Super-fast ecologist heads toOlympics
State Highway 1 busts through the middle of the Kapiti Coast, but up in the hills there is nothing but the peace and quiet of nature, the wind and the sun.
For a super-fast ecologist who travels the globe with a dream of making history, there’s nothing better than returning to the hills north of Wellington.
This week Hamish Carson, 27, will walk into the Olympic Stadium in Rio for the race of his life.
He qualified for Rio and will make his Olympic debut as part of a trio of runners, including Nick Willis, in the 1500m event.
On the eve of slipping on the back singlet, the Kapiti middle distance man has spoken about the Coast - the constant on his journey to Rio.
‘‘I live right on the edge of Queen Elizabeth Park so I can be out the door running on trails all the way to the Hutt Valley.’’
Carson loved getting up into the hills of Whareroa Farm, the Department of Conservation reserve in southern Kapiti, and into the Akatarawas, he said.
Carson said he worked as an ecologist in Paekakariki but his job wasn’t enough to cover his international travel.
‘‘I was cut from the Athletics NZ high performance program last year so members of my club Wellington Scottish and others stepped in to get my campaign off the ground.’’
His mum Julie Carson said her son enjoyed combining his training with nature.
‘‘He loves it up there. He goes up the hills all the time, and Queen Elizabeth Park is awesome.’’
She said he made a swift recovery when he returned home from last year’s European athletic season, where he suffered an accident jumping a stone wall.
‘‘He had a fall in Belgium and broke both his wrists, and knocked himself out.’’
Over the years his training included impromptu decisions to add local running events to his programme.
On the lookout for endurance training he joined the Levin half marathon and blitzed the field by 10 minutes, warmed down with a 14km run, then had breakfast.
‘‘I’ve had my fair share of setbacks over the years so for it to all come together in the most important year of all, Olympic year, it makes it that much sweeter,’’ he said.
Olympian Hamish Carson competing in Wellington.