Marathon effort to keep IT man fit

BECK ELEVEN
Last updated 05:00 21/07/2014
Ben Kepes
KIRK HARGREAVES/FAIRFAX NZ
RUNNING MAN: Ben Kepes sets out on a rainy day for his 68th half marathon of the year. His goal is at least one a week.

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It does not matter what the weather is like or where he is in the world, every week Ben Kepes runs a couple of half marathons.

The North Canterbury man said his drive came from the death of his father three decades ago.

"My dad died when I was 13. I was a fat, asthmatic kind of a kid and I didn't want that to happen to me," Kepes said.

"A lot of the motivation came from that. He was unfit and inactive and I just wanted to be part of that active dad thing."

The 43-year-old IT consultant said many in his industry were desk-bound and busy, but he wanted to prove you could be busy and fit too.

Last year, Kepes ran one half marathon each week - the 52nd on New Year's Day.

He upped the ante this year, with a goal of roughly two a week. He is up to 68, slightly ahead of his goal and may reach 120.

Kepes travels a lot for work so most of his runs are mapped by GPS, exactly 21.1 kilometres. If he is in a city with an organised event, he will enter it.

"It's all relative. There are people who run 100-mile races all the time so I'm a complete fraud compared to some people but I just want to do my bit to stem the tide of horrible health statistics that come from this country and others."

If he runs in an organised event, his two sons, aged 12 and 14, will enter the 10km and his wife enjoys walking.

"If you'd said to me five or 10 years ago that I'd be running a half marathon a week I would have laughed."

Last week Kepes ran through forest areas in Wellington, and a month ago, he was running at 4.30am in the all-day sunlight in Iceland.

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- The Press

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