My first real running race was the Tussock Traverse in 2015 and I loved it!
I started taking running more seriously after being inspired by a friend who took on the Coast To Coast Multisport Race. I was there as support crew for him and realised, “I need to set a goal that scares me, a goal that I don’t know if I can achieve it”. After turning over stones in early 2016 and looking for what that goal would be, it turned out to be Tarawera Ultramarathon 102km in Feb 2017.
I still remember the night well when I clicked on the entry to pay and seal the deal. This would have been one of the hardest parts of the journey, that point where you have just jumped and you’re not sure if have a parachute on or you are about to go splat! At the time of committing, the goal was to complete the race. As time moved on, with coaching from SquadRun and training many kms in HOKA ONE ONE, the goal kept changing as I was growing as a runner and my expectations kept evolving.
I ran 2017 in a pair of Clayton’s and learnt some massive lessons that day. Fast forward 4 years of training and racing, and I found myself crossing the finishing line in a pair of Speedgoat to claim the Mens 1st place title!
There is something very important I have learnt on the way. As I have worked my way through the pack improving until I found the podium, I have learnt the following.
The most courage comes from turning up to the starting line. Everyone is out there fighting their own demons. For the guys and girls at the front, the hills only feel smaller, the distances feel shorter and the fight with those demons is over quicker. Always look forward but never stop looking back and always remember, those who cross behind you are the real champions as their hills were higher, their distances longer and they fought those demons for longer than you.
If you ever bump into me on the trails, please come and say Hi.