Summer Starter: I started from the bottom and it got worse video

DAVID WALKER/Stuff

After being volunteered for the Summer Starter, Christchurch-based Stuff reporter (and running newbie) Maddison Northcott has started training in an effort to run 10 kilometres in this year's event.

OPINION: I am not built for running.

My legs are stumpy, feet pigeon-toed and I hate getting my hair sweaty.

I blame my parents – they are not built for running either, although Dad doesn't know it.

An early first training run at Hagley Park on Tuesday. My palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.
DAVID WALKER/STUFF

An early first training run at Hagley Park on Tuesday. My palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.

He won a high-school athletics award and thinks that qualifies him to dish out unwanted advice on speed and agility at any sporting event.

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He frequently dons disturbingly clingy lycra shorts on early morning bike rides, to make sure everyone can see just how active and therefore superior he is.

One of the last athletic endeavours I tackled before giving up on sport - my primary school cross-country.
MADDISON NORTHCOTT/STUFF

One of the last athletic endeavours I tackled before giving up on sport - my primary school cross-country.

As a child, he encouraged me to play netball. He was enthusiastic about team spirit, camaraderie and bringing home a win. I was enthusiastic about the hot chocolate in the car on the way home. 

I would wag school to avoid competing in the annual sprint race around the field and even a family ski trip required more co-ordination than I could provide.

I once signed up to a week long trek in the Himalayas, solely to get a photo in a Nepalese sarong at the peak. Suffice to say, the tramp was hellish. I was the second slowest, ahead of a girl who later faked a knee injury to be airlifted out, and I had such chronic altitude sickness that I forgot to get the promised photo. Good times.

A children's dash, duck and dive event is the newest addition to the ASB Summer Starter course, which also includes ...
JOSEPH JOHNSON/STUFF

A children's dash, duck and dive event is the newest addition to the ASB Summer Starter course, which also includes 4-kilometre and 10km runs.

Yet somehow I was volunteered to run 10 kilometres in the fourth ASB Summer Starter, from New Brighton Pier to Redcliffs Park in Christchurch on November 26.

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Registrations for the run, which is a fundraiser for St John and drew over 3000 people last year, open on Wednesday, with pets, scooters, and fancy dress welcome. A 4km route and a 1.5km children's run with an inflatable obstacle course are also available.

It's been a week since I reluctantly agreed, and I've since tried to muster the courage to break my leg on the railing in the lift, deliberately walked outside in the rain in a feeble attempt to catch a cold and unsuccessfully tried to palm the humiliation off to almost every other colleague.

But, on Monday I took the first steps. I downloaded a 'workout' playlist, bought a fancy foil-patterned drink bottle and wrote an inspirational quote on the the whiteboard next to my desk.

Baby steps.

Maddison Northcott is a reporter for The Press and Stuff. She will enter the Summer Starter and run 10 kilometres for the first time on November 26.

 - Stuff

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