Reporter on the Run
This is it.
Tonight I head to Wanaka for the Motatapu Icebreaker Marathon.
Training is over, my new socks (a ritual before any marathon) are packed and I'm mentally ready to spend a large chunk of my Saturday placing one foot in front of the other over 42.2 kilometres of one of the most scenic parts of the country.
The course follows a route early Maori used for hunting and gathering.
It starts from Motatapu Station, near Lake Wanaka, to Arrowtown and goes through Motatapu, Soho and Glencoe Stations. Then, just for good measure, about 20-odd river crossings are thrown in.
I've never been a gym bunny. I've always been of the school of thought that you can do your cardio outside - rain or shine - and your body weight can be used for a lot of exercises.
But, recently I've changed my tune.
All my flatmates go the gym. They seem to love it so, begrudgingly, I went along recently.
Next thing I knew I'd signed up for a year.
The thing is I'm strong through my legs, but my upper body needs some work. Likewise, I have certain areas of my body that I know strengthening will help me run better, more efficiently, stronger and faster.
"I still can't believe you're a runner. I mean when I think of runners I think of thin, I mean really skinny people. Not people like you."
A male colleague who uttered these words to me recently then immediately started backtracking. I knew what he was trying to say - that often the top runners tend to be of very lean body shapes.
Words like athletic, shapely, curvy and muscly are often used to describe me.
My Oma (grandma) told me when I was about 13 that I had "good birthing hips" and "strong shoulders".
My body shape is what it is and while exercise will change it to some extent, I will always be broader, taller and wider-hipped.
The time had come for me to run the furthest I'd ever run.
Richard told me I'd be fine. My friends told me that I could definitely do it. I told myself I could do it. But, as I headed out the door of my Addington flat in the early hours of Saturday morning, the self-doubt started to creep in.
A few hundred metres in I came across a traffic light and had to stop. Then again a while later. This kept happening until I made it to the bottom of Hackthorne Rd where a music disaster nearly happened - my iPod fell out of my armband as I tried to take my jacket off without stopping.
When I started up Hackthorne Rd towards the Sign of the Kiwi I instantly felt better. I was heading back to my favourite stomping ground on the hills.
It always takes me a while to settle into a run and this one was no different. About 45 minutes in I relaxed a little and just focused on one foot in front of the other. I also mentally break the run up into sections.
Sometimes I wish people would act more like compassionate human beings.
Recently, some friends of mine came across a woman with a broken ankle near the Devil's Punchbowl in Arthur's Pass. (They could see the bone so it was pretty obvious something was wrong).
They stopped, called for help and waited with her, and her young children and husband, until paramedics arrived.
While waiting, several other people walked past them on the same track with one even commenting that they were "in the way". Not one other person stopped to help.
The woman was flown by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to Christchurch Hospital.
Blog terms and conditions
You're welcome to post in the comments section of our blogs. Please keep comments under 400 words. When submitting a comment, you agree to be bound by our terms and conditions.