Chil­dren give in­spi­ra­tion

Mum and re­porter JO McKEN­ZIE-McLEAN is tak­ing on one of the big­gest chal­lenges of her life train­ing for the North­burn Sta­tion 50km. She re­ports on her progress.

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -

Ihave my first in­jury. Well, if chaffed armpits are con­sid­ered an in­jury in sport­ing cir­cles . . . prob­a­bly not. My red welts have been waved around with pride to friends and fam­ily af­ter I took part in the 10km Clyde to Alexan­dra on Satur­day.

I never re­ally thought about chaffed bits as I got ready for the run— dress­ing in my stan­dard Ware­house-in­spired get-up, but trav­el­ling down to Clyde with a group of chatty girls like my­self I soon learned there was a whole wardrobe de­signed to re­duced the dis­com­forts of run­ning: wire­less, padded bras, dou­ble-thick knick­ers, spe­cial run­ning t-shirts and lo­tions and po­tions I can’t re­mem­ber the names of. One of the girls (who will re­main name­less) had even taped part of her anatomy down to pro­tect from chaffing.

Thoughts of in­juries dis­ap­peared as I be­came pre­oc­cu­pied with the urge to pee lead­ing up to the race, which only got worse as I sat on the bus that took all the run­ners from Alexan­dra, along the route, to the start­ing point at the Clyde dam. That looks a lot fur­ther than 10km I mut­tered to my­self.

Some of the girls I went to the race with were de­ter­mined to start up at the front. Some­how I found my­self up there with them, and by the time I thought - ‘what am I do­ing up here - I’m just go­ing to get my­self tram­pled’ - the horn sounded to go. It was too late, I started run­ning and all I could think of as a wave of peo­ple passed me was - ‘‘what an in­ter­est­ing sound - dead si­lence ex­pect for the mass pound­ing of feet thump­ing across the dam’’.

The foot­steps soon qui­etened and I was too scared to look back in case there was no-one left be­hind me and I was last— not that there is any­thing wrong with be­ing last of course. The down­hill af­ter the dam was a won­der­ful start to the race and the flat run made a change from the hills I’ve been made to scale lately.

As I started run­ning past a group of peo­ple drink­ing beer and eat­ing de­li­cious smelling food on the side of Sun­der­land St, I heard a car com­ing up be­hind me. Try­ing to suck it in and look like a fo­cused proper runner, all of a sud­den voices yell out from open win­dows ‘‘go Jo’’! My kids were peer­ing at me from the back of the car wav­ing. They drove up about 500 me­tres and got out of the car to high-five me. That was the best mo­ti­va­tion to pick up my speed and af­ter sev­eral high-five stops - the fin­ish line was soon in sight.

I pushed on, thank­ing the magic hands of my friend and mas­sage ther­a­pist San­dra Rivett who had given my aching legs a workover the night be­fore, and crossed the line with a time of 1 hour and 58 seconds.

If it wasn’t for San­dra, I think I would be com­plain­ing about more than just chaffed armpits.

Nearly there: Go mum: Jo McKen­zie-McLean with her num­ber one sup­port­ers— her chil­dren Mor­gan and Travis— who met her at the fin­ish line.

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