Marathon effort inspires teen to run
‘‘It was such an incredible thing to do, such a brilliant distraction.’’
A former Matamata resident and her son have both been inspired by marathon runner Vanessa Oshima.
Last week the Chronicle published a story about Vanessa, who completed the world’s six major marathons and was continuously running for her friend Caroline Steer, until she was cancer free.
Caroline, who raised her family in Tauranga O Moana, was diagnosed with multiple breast cancers in 2012, and has had a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
She says she was hoping to take the treatment into her stride, but it ’really kicked’ and she realised she would have to find a strategy for dealing with the treatment.
It was on day three of her treatment that things changed after Caroline saw a Facebook post from her former Matamata College friend Vanessa about going for a run.
‘‘I thought, that’s it, I’m going to need to get moving.’’
It was around this time that Vanessa offered to continuously run for Caroline.
‘‘It was such an incredible thing to do and such a brilliant distraction,’’ says Caroline. ’’For so many reasons I loved it and looked forward to her posts.’’
It’s not only Caroline who has been inspired, but also her son Connor, a year 13 student at St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton.
Connor, a former Hinuera Primary student, took up the challenge to run everyday and is on day 429.
The 17-year-old is dedicated to running, choosing to run between three and 10kms daily.
He ran with appendicitis and post surgery (under his mum’s close observation).
‘‘I ran in my hospital gown and jandals,’’ he laughed.
Connor has entered the Auckland marathon, with the 40 member strong Step out for Cancer team. Each team member pledged to raise $1500 for the Cancer Society. Connor aims to raise $2000.
Connor will start university next year and with a few big years ahead of him, he can’t make big goals for his running. But he would like to run with Vanessa in the Tokyo marathon.
‘‘My goal is the Auckland Marathon, I haven’t looked beyond that, other than I will keep running.’’
Connor Steer and his mum Caroline have been inspired by marathon runner Vanessa Oshima.