Southland man Jack Lovett-Hurst nervous ahead of New York Marathon

Jack Lovett-Hurst will be doing the half marathon in the Southland Festival of Running on Sunday as part of his training ...
John Hawkins/Stuff

Jack Lovett-Hurst will be doing the half marathon in the Southland Festival of Running on Sunday as part of his training for the New York Marathon next month.

Seven laps around Queens Park is about 30.9km. Jack Lovett-Hurst learned that the hard way.

It is the biggest distance the 20-year-old has done to date as he prepares to take part in the New York Marathon on his hand cycle next month.

Lovett-Hurst, who was born with muscular dystrophy, was awarded one of only two spaces for hand cycles in the New York Marathon that are given to each country that participates.

Training was going well, but he is nervous about the race, Lovett-Hurst said.

His mum, Debbie Houkamau, said Lovett-Hurst has had no injuries so far but his stepdad Greg Houkamau, who will run the race with him, injured his foot after a misplaced step in the dark.

However, the pair had a training run on Thursday night and had no problems, she said.

As part of training, Lovett-Hurst and his stepdad completed seven laps on the roads around Queens Park totalling a distance of 30.9km.

"It was pretty tough. At times I wanted to give up but I knew I couldn't," Lovett-Hurst said.

On Sunday, Lovett-Hurst will take part in the half-marathon event at the Southland Festival of Running, that involves running from the Waianiwa Centennial Hall to the SIT Zero Fees Velodrome.

The pair hadn't planned to run in the event but the Southland Harriers had offered Lovett-Hurst free entry since he was training for the marathon in New York.

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Lovett-Hurst said he would not be going to New York if it was not for the people who had been supporting him financially with donations.

Southlanders who have run the marathon before have come out of the woodwork to offer Lovett-Hurst tips and advice about what he can expect, Debbie said.

They leave for the United States on October 28, where they will spend a few days in San Francisco before flying to New York ahead of the marathon.

They would then go on a bus tour of the marathon course three days ahead of the race, Lovett-Hurst said.

Debbie said they were hoping to live stream the run for those back in Southland to watch.

After the race, they will spend time in Las Vegas and Los Angeles before flying home.

 - Stuff

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