Widow finds rea­son to run

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

A few years ago, the no­tion of com­plet­ing a half-marathon would have made An­nemarie Cramp­ton laugh, but now she has the inspiration.

Ms Cramp­ton and her two daugh­ters will soon mark the sec­ond an­niver­sary of her hus­band Dal­las’ death. The pop­u­lar head of the Porirua Com­mu­nity Guardians and for­mer po­lice­man died sud­denly from heart disease on June 28, 2009.

New Zealand heart disease sta­tis­tics are sober­ing. It has a 40 per cent fa­tal­ity rate, claim­ing a life ev­ery 90 min­utes. It is es­pe­cially dan­ger­ous to men in their 40s, who may have left their sport­ing days be­hind, and have busy work­loads with not enough time to stay ac­tive or eat prop­erly.

Since Dal­las died, Ms Cramp­ton has be­come more aware than ever of the im­por­tance of a healthy life­style. In the past year, the 45-year-old has started bik­ing and swim­ming, and taken up run­ning and com­pet­ing in short-course triathlons. She has shed more than 20 kilo­grams and, aside from a few nig­gling in­juries, feels fit­ter and stronger than ever.

Her daugh­ters, Alex and Han­nah, 10 and seven, now get reg­u­lar health checks.

‘‘It’s been about a change in life­style, a de­ci­sion that I made in Au­gust last year to do it for my girls. He [Dal­las] was not com­ing back, it’s just me, so I need to change some things. I started with 10 min­utes [on a sta­tion­ary bike], at Christ­mas I did some run­ning and then some of the fun run se­ries and triathlons. I’m busy, we’re all busy, but I’m find­ing the time to do ex­er­cise, it’s im­por­tant to.’’

On June 19, Ms Cramp­ton will line up at the start of the Welling­ton Half-Marathon. Achiev­ing a good time is not im­por­tant, rais­ing money for the Heart Foun­da­tion in Dal­las’ mem­ory is.

She has signed up as a Heart Racer, with all do­na­tions go­ing to the foun­da­tion so they can con­tinue re­search, buy re­sources and carry out ed­u­ca­tion in the com­mu­nity. The hope was to raise $1000, but two weeks out she’s al­ready raised more than $1700.

‘‘It’s fan­tas­tic to get that sup­port, very hum­bling. Dal­las would be chuffed. I’m not a run­ner but I’ll get to that fin­ish line, it’s a mind game and I’m con­fi­dent.’’

Ms Cramp­ton says she misses Dal­las ‘‘ev­ery day’’, but she and the girls are cop­ing well.

‘‘ We have to con­tinue, some days are not easy and com­ing up to the an­niver­sary is tough, but I’m okay talk­ing about Dal­las. He loved life and liv­ing, and I felt I needed to be out there, do­ing things, chal­leng­ing my­self to be fit­ter. I’d like to think he would’ve been on the side­line, cheer­ing me on to do this [half-marathon], he may have even been out there run­ning with me.’’

Do­nate at heartracer.org.nz/ An­nemarieCramp­ton.

Heart racer: An­nemarie Cramp­ton’s run­ning shoes have be­come a con­stant in her life as she pre­pares for the up­com­ing Welling­ton Half-Marathon, in mem­ory of her hus­band Dal­las, who died sud­denly in 2009.

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