I’ve been running since 2004, I came home one day and told my lovely wife that I was going to run the 61km, Kepler Challenge. She laughed, she had good reason to, at 171cm Short, I weighed 84kg, my 1st run was 15 minutes and I was ruined. I got the 1st d, went back for a 2nd and begged Ann not to let me do another. There’s 7 medals hanging on the shelf now and more to come. One day there might even be a decent time attached to one of them. Things have looked up a bit since begging not to do another.
A lot of my motivation comes from a fascination with Physical Suffering. Both the self induced kind and that forced upon people, eg the prisoners of war in Burma. Long before I ran, I’d read of the early explorers, Everest Climbers, prisoners of war and other activities that required a combination of critical thinking, planning and endurance. What makes then tick? Why do they do? What they do? How do they do it? I also come from a successful sporting and business family. Being competitive and doing your best is normal in my life. Both parents (John and Lynne) played Age Group and Representative sport as did my brother Simon. Cricket, Tennis, Rugby, Golf, Netball, Shooting, Business, add to that national success in Yachting, Windsurfing, more Business, Art, Literature (try turning “the Wheels on the Bus” into a best seller again) and Viticulture for wider parts of the family.
With that as a background I worked hard at the sports I did do, which put me in contact with a lot of New Zealand representatives, mostly in cricket, playing with and against. Being a ‘geek’ I was a student of whatever I did, and spend a lot of time talking to those who have done well and reading history to put everything in context. We have a lot to learn from those who are successful, especially those who’ve got there with less talent.
So in 2009, partially on a whim, I entered the Sri Chinmoy 24hr Race in Auckland. I knew, that if I ran 200km in that one day I might have done enough to represent New Zealand. How could could it be? To be brutally honest, and it will dissapoint some people, it’s not that hard. I run 3 times in the previous 5 weeks, including 56k only 6 days before. I had an achilles strain that eventually made me walk for 5 hours. I finished 30 minutes early and I got my distance, 201.2km (thanks Nic) and a full National Title, no age groups for me. I cried.
I have gone on to represent New Zealand at the World 24 Hour Championships in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France in 2010 where I ran 221.365km and finished 48th of 151 men. I cried when I was selected, on the start line, at the finish and nearly now as I write this. I am incredibly proud to be kiwi and represent our country. To have Ann there supporting still chokes me up.
The bio might change, but that’s who I am as a runner.