A love let­ter to One Tree Hill

Central Leader - - LIFESTYLE & LEISURE - SIMON MAUDE

‘‘Noth­ing gets my pulse run­ning like your tran­quil slopes’’

This is my love let­ter to One Tree Hill and Corn­wall Park, a let­ter writ­ten in ab­sen­tia - I left you but I know you al­ways take me back.

Noth­ing gets my pulse run­ning like your tran­quil slopes and I miss you ter­ri­bly.

It was the per­fect place to run, and still is if I make the pil­grim­age from the other side of town.

The 2.7 km road gen­tly rolling around most of Maun­gakiekie / One Tree Hill’s base was where as a 30-some­thing ex-smoker I first wheezed, then shuf­fled and fi­nally strode my first runs.

The place in­duces a med­i­ta­tive state. Once, twice, three then some­times four laps around I built up my dis­tance.

But it’s other peo­ple’s hap­pi­ness and re­mem­brance that picked me up.

On most week­ends I’d spot at least one wed­ding party cel­e­brat­ing in the park. My wife and I did the same, get­ting wed­ding photographs on daf­fodillined Twin Oak Drive and still to­day run­ning it re­minds me again and again of that happy day.

Daily I’d cross paths with other park run devo­tees, a slight nod or fin­ger flick ac­knowl­edged each other.

Years later, now and again I man­age to re­turn, sadly a few kilo­grams heavier, yet One Tree Hill and Corn­wall Park never fails to re­new.

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