Run­ner tack­les pain for marathon gain


Wanaka mother-of-two Pia Con­dren took her time to take up run­ning but has found her par­adise and a way to keep pain at bay.

In Novem­ber, she will take her pas­sion fur­ther and run her first marathon, the Air New Zealand Queen­stown In­ter­na­tional Marathon.

Con­dren set­tled in Wanaka three years ago via Aus­tralia, In­done­sia and Columbia and has been in­dulging in her pas­sion for run­ning, cul­ti­vated when she lived in Pa­pua New Guinea.

‘‘I had a car ac­ci­dent when I was 24 and did some dam­age in­side my pelvis. I started run­ning when I was 39 and run­ning has pretty much saved me. I have to keep it up to keep the pain away.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple think that run­ning would ex­ac­er­bate any prob­lems like that but it seems to have re­ally helped me,’’ Con­dren said.

Last year, she ran the Queen­stown 21km half and en­joyed it so much she de­cided to do the marathon, which she hopes to ‘‘plod through’’ in un­der five hours.

Con­dren finds run­ning not only helps with the phys­i­cal ef­fects of her ac­ci­dent but also helps her cope men­tally with ev­ery­day chal­lenges.

‘‘Men­tally be­ing able to al­levi- ate the pain is a big deal for me. It is very stress­ful to live with pain. I also went through a mar­riage breakup and run­ning helped a lot with that, just to get out on my own,’’ she said.

Con­dren and her friends now share a plan to run on ev­ery con­ti­nent.

‘‘As an ex­pat wife [in In­done­sia], there wasn’t all that much to do and a group of us got into run­ning, go­ing to events to­gether. The first event saw eight of us travel to Perth for the City to Surf half marathon, and oth­ers in the same group did the Athens and Mel­bourne events to­gether.

‘‘If I can do it any­one can. I am in no way crip­pled by the pain that is a part of my life . . .I might be as slow as a wet week but I love the per­sonal chal­lenges . . . see­ing the sheer guts of other par­tic­i­pants.’’

Con­dren hopes her daugh­ters Mikaela, 17, and Tia, 7, will be able to see her con­quer the marathon, af­ter they missed her fin­ish the half last year.

The Queen­stown In­ter­na­tional Marathon is on Novem­ber 18, 2017. The event also in­cludes shorter dis­tances and kids races. More info: queen­


Pia Con­dren at the start of the 2016 Queen­stown half marathon.

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