On 23 January 2005 I went out one morning and walked three power poles, ran three, walked three and a bit more until I had completed about 2 kilometres. It was a bit off and on the first year, but nearly 9000 kilometres later (well 8916 to be exact!) I do if asked, call myself a runner. I’m not fast, but I’m not too slow when I apply myself and in those six years I’ve completed 12 marathon events and my average run length went from 6km in 2005 to 15km in 2010.
It’s often hard but I’ve kept going with lots of support – especially from Michael Simons who I’ve mentioned before – and the other regulars on Monday and Wednesday: Julie, Maria and Froste. Mum and Dad have almost always been there to face my mid-marathon abuse! And recently my son Tim took the ferry to Waiheke to see me complete the Wharf2Wharf.
I’ve learned a lot about myself through running: the space to reflect when going solo, pushing myself really hard to see what I am capable of, encouraging others and being encouraged when the going gets tough and of course a bit of healthy competition to make you go that little bit harder.
I’ve discovered a lot about our great city – you see so much when you’re running that you miss in the car or bus. Running knows no boundaries and the legs work just as good or bad in Marine Parade Herne Bay as they do in Massey Road, Mangere.
When I ask myself: what makes me a leader?, running is an important part of it. In fact it’s got many of the components of leadership in one neat package: self awareness, communication, reflection, role-modelling, mental & physical toughness and resilience, it’s fun, builds teamwork and is eco-friendly.
Looking forward to the next six years.