Rachel Grunwell

Rachel Grunwell is a fitness writer for the Herald on Sunday.

Running for their lives

Sixteen thousand runners will take part in the annual Auckland Marathon on November 3, doing the full or half marathon or 10km race. A feature for runners will be crossing the harbour bridge and taking in sea and city views. Rachel Grunwell talks to some of the runners about what drives them and what preparation they’re doing to make sure they hit the finish line

Mike Duckett runs between 60 and 70km a week  and will increase that to 100km in the lead-up to the marathon. Photo / Michael Craig
Mike Duckett runs between 60 and 70km a week and will increase that to 100km in the lead-up to the marathon. Photo / Michael Craig

Kiri Price

40s, mum of three and coach at GetRunning and the AUT Millennium Institute, Auckland.

Why are you doing this marathon?

I love doing the Auckland Marathon - this will be my 10th. It's on home turf and I'm familiar with the course. This year is special because I've been doing training programmes for a lot of first-time runners so it's exciting. You see these people cross the finish line and it's life-changing for them. It gives them so much confidence.

How long have you been training and what sort of training have you been doing?

I started in May as I'm coming back from injury. But I've got lots of aerobic fitness from deep-water running in a pool and so it won't take me long to get back up. I'll train five times a week, at least 10 hours, doing running, strength work and deep-water running.

What's the hardest thing about training and how do you overcome that?

I work in the mornings when I like to run so I have to run in the afternoon instead. So it's about mindset and planning.

What do you get out of running?

It's time out and a good stress-release. I've got three kids and two jobs, a busy life and I love that I can go running any time, anywhere and in any weather.

What's some advice or tips that have helped you?

Pacing. I learned that from my dad who has done 28 marathons and 127 halves. He's 74 and came second in his age group recently in the Rotorua Marathon. Consistency of training will get you through, too, and you learn a wealth of information from other runners.

What time would you like to do the marathon in and why?

I won't be racing because I'll be doing another marathon not long after. I've run 55 marathons, so it's about enjoying them, rather than racing them. The fastest time I've done is 3hrs 31mins and I've done that twice. My slowest was 7hrs 28mins because I did it with a woman who had had a stroke.

How will you celebrate after finishing?

I usually go and run in a pool for recovery, but I'll be at the GetRunning tent after this marathon, celebrating with others. I'm hoping my family and friends will be there. It's neat seeing my kids run around with my medal on.


Maddie Aiken

18, studying architecture at Victoria University, Wellington.

Why are you doing this marathon?

I've always wanted to do the New York Marathon one day so I thought I would start with this and see how I get on.

How long have you been training and what sort of training have you been doing?

I started in May and I try to run for as long as I can, up to 8km at a time, every day or every second day. I have a good base fitness as I'm in the under-23 NZ Underwater Hockey Team, so I train eight to 10 hours weekly in a pool.

What's the hardest thing about training and how do you overcome that?

It's a bit of a mental thing. I try to think of a point and make myself run to it then have a break.

What do you get out of running?

I've got a busy life so it's good to get outside, especially when I have to come up with [architecture] ideas. It's good to see what's around.

What time would you like to do the marathon in and why?

I'm just aiming to complete it!

How will you celebrate?

Not another run!


Lucy Naylor & Tristan Shipsides

Husband and wife of two years: Lucy Naylor, 33, group account director in advertising and Tristan Shipsides, physiotherapist, 32, both from the UK but now in Melbourne.

Why are you doing this marathon?

Lucy: We're coming to New Zealand for a holiday and doing the marathon while we're over.

Tristan: This is my first road marathon and my first holiday to New Zealand. We've integrated exercise with holidays previously too.

How long have you been training and what sort of training have you been doing?

Lucy: In the past I've been a triathlete [she was once the 8th British girl home for her age group], I've raced Olympic and half ironman distances and got into trail running. I won an ultra marathon in Marysville in November which was a bit of a fluke! But I've always been sporty. We met through being sponsored athletes and then I came to Australia and I got fat eating lots of banana bread! I got back into it all again recently, but I've injured my hip so I'm back to the start with just 10-15min runs.

Tristan: My 18-week programme started in May. I'm running one or two times a week and surfing whenever I can.

What's the hardest thing about training and how do you overcome that?

Lucy: I don't find running hard. It's active meditation and without it I get incredibly itchy feet.

Tristan: Motivating myself to get out of the door when I'm out running on my own. I run with my wife or mates or I try to incentivise myself. Losing my car keys works wonders, so I have no choice but to run to work!

What do you get out of running?

Lucy: I need it in my life. It's a luxury, not a hardship.

Tristan: Gone are the days when I used to be super competitive and beat everyone else. As I'm getting older, I'm becoming more lazy. This is a great goal to try to change that because I've always said I wanted to do a marathon, but have never done it and it should stop me putting on too much weight, which I'm sure Lucy won't mind.

What's some advice or tips that have helped you?

Lucy: I perform better when I'm not worried about the race. Don't set highly optimistic times and listen to your body.

Tristan: Speed work is key. Long-distance, steady-state running is great for aerobic fitness but if you want to run a faster personal best, it's the shorter, harder track sessions that make the improvements. And never do a long run without vasoline!

What time would you like to do the marathon in and why?

Lucy: I ran Marysville [a 47km race] in 3hrs 49mins, but I think I will get out there and enjoy myself.

Tristan: Sub 2.40 because I've told enough people that I think I can and I don't want to disappoint them. Based on previous 10km and 21km times, I see it as an achievable goal.

How will you celebrate after finishing?

Eat!


Andy Harper

63, father of three and granddad of one, tyre business owner, runs with the Auckland YMCA Marathon Club, lives in Eden Terrace.

Why are you doing this marathon?

Habit! I've done 13 Auckland Marathons and 60-plus marathons. I like to do them because other people can't - and I'm doing it for them.

How long have you been training and what sort of training have you been doing?

I train continuously with the club, but there's a structured 12-week build-up for this marathon. I'll run six or seven times a week, about nine-10 hours.

What's the hardest thing about training and how do you overcome that?

Fitting in long runs back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday, and increasing in distance to about 30km for some runs.

What do you get out of running?

It's a pleasure and I do it in the company of friends. My social life tends to be around running.

What's some advice or tips that have helped you along the way?

A friend Gordon Jackson used to say lots of one-liners like "your race is represented by your training".

What time would you like to do the marathon in and why?

As one ages, one gets slower ... 3hrs 20mins is my goal. I started running just before 50. I got my best results in the mid-2000s - 2hrs 51mins was my best time, in Rotorua.

How will you celebrate after finishing?

I'll let the adrenaline do its work and it's about spending time with friends.


Mike Duckett

44, IT worker, runs with the Titirangi Tunnel Rats, from Waitakere.

Why are you doing this marathon?

I've been running properly since 2006 and I've run about 14 marathons. I did an Ironman recently and this made me appreciate how much I love running - you only have to worry about shorts, a T-shirt and shoes, instead of spare bike tubes and a wetsuit.

How long have you been training and what sort of training have you been doing?

I started training seriously in May, but I did do a marathon and Ironman recently. I'm running about 60-70km weekly and I'll increase the distance to up to 100km closer to the race.

What's the hardest thing about training and how do you overcome that?

Getting out the door and having the mindset to run and then do it.

What do you get out of running?

When I'm out in the Waitakeres I'm in nature and it's peaceful and beautiful.

What's some advice or tips that have helped you?

Gradually build on correct form and your running in a steady manner; don't make drastic changes or you'll injure yourself.

What time would you like to do the marathon in and why?

3hrs 20mins. I've done my best marathon in 3hrs 14mins. I'm not a natural runner, so I'm happy with that.

How will you celebrate after finishing?

Maybe a beer, or find another race to enter.

- Herald on Sunday

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