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.
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.