|Harriers Running Cross Country - Waikato c. 1980|
In my early University days my climbing mate, Mike White, sometimes prevailed on me to run on weekends with the University Harrier Club - they were great social events - run-ins over recently ploughed fields were not so hot. Sometimes they would get me to help out their 'C' team on the Christchurch to Akaroa road relay. Because I was a climber I'd get the Little River to Hilltop leg - great.
In those early days running fitness was an offshoot of my general outdoors fitness. Later, in middle age, running became more of a passion and a way of keeping fit for my outdoor activities. I joined Hamilton Harriers (now Hamilton Hawkes) and spent a considerable time running cross-country, road running and marathons. One of the great spinoffs for me was the fact that whenever I travelled for work or pleasure I could get up before breakfast and explore my surrounds. It was so easy to just toss a pair of running shoes into a bag and you were set. I involved myself in multisport and mountain running too. These were probably the most enjoyable of my running times. On one occasion running enabled me to climb Mt Anglem in a day from Oban in Stewart Island - it was quite a long day.
These days when I go for a run - most of it is walking !!! But these days I'm sometimes bemused when I sit down to dinner with friends who warned me, years ago, that my running would wreck my body - and watch them count out their pills 'to be had with a meal'.