FIRST TIMER GEARING UP
Matt Wood is gearing up for his first tilt at the Porirua grand traverse and you can guarantee the Plimmerton resident will have his sunblock on. The keen runner will be entering the duathlon with mate Paul Walton and can’t wait to tackle the course. ‘‘It’s going to be a tough run up Colonial Knob but I’m looking forward to it. This event has built up such a good name over the years; it’s become iconic and something I’ve always wanted to do.’’ Wood had to forgo an important part of his build-up, however, forced to miss last month’s Wellington Half Marathon after having two operations to remove a melanoma in December. ‘‘I was having checks every couple of years but it was a self-check at home that caught it. I had been training for the half [marathon] but had to give that a miss. ‘‘ I’ve been training pretty hard though, with uphill runs up Mt Vic and Airlie Rd, so I’m ready for this.’’ Wood said the Plimmerton Runners, who meet at 6.30am every Friday outside The Big Salami, would all be taking part in the grand traverse, taking advantage of the ‘‘incredible area for recreation and sport’’ that Porirua is blessed with.