Widow finds reason to run
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.