Su­per-fast ecol­o­gist heads toO­lympics

Kapi-Mana News - - GARDENING - JOEL MAXWELL

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.

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