From bad crash to Coast to Coast for Goodwin

MURRAY HILLS
Last updated 05:00 13/02/2014

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New Plymouth's Mark Goodwin says he's not a runner and he hasn't done a lot of kayaking.

But it hasn't stopped him entering this year's Coast to Coast 243-kilometre endurance race.

The 51-year-old will be on the start line at Kumara Beach tomorrow morning competing in the two-day individual section.

"It's been 46 weeks in the pipeline. I should have done enough training by now, I hope so anyway," he said yesterday.

"I'm not a runner. I run more like an elephant. And the mountain run is more like a goat track, not an elephant track.

"That's going to be my biggest hurdle."

Goodwin copped a bit of flak from his mates after one recent training run on Mt Taranaki.

"About six weeks ago, I got lost on the mountain and had to be airlifted off. I couldn't go up, or down, or across. I had to set off my locator beacon. I'm still copping flak."

Goodwin said he had a first-hand look at the Coast to Coast course six weeks ago.

"I had a guided run and kayak. I feel more confident now. There's a couple of hairy spots on the river, but hey, it should be entertaining for someone anyway. There's one place called Carnage Corner, all the photographers line up there. That could be interesting," he said.

"My cycling is fine, but the last leg could be difficult with a headwind."

So why the challenge?

"It's 21 years since we [Mark and wife Glenys] had our big car accident in the Uruti Valley. I never thought I'd be doing the Coast to Coast or even running," he said.

"It's been a tough 21 years on the body. It was a pretty horrific crash, we were lucky to get out of it. I badly smashed my hip and I was off work for 12 months."

One thing Goodwin did miss out on was last week's Flannagan Cup open water swim.

"I didn't get to compete in this year's Flannagan Cup, it would have been my 20th in a row."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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