Fun runner ready to go the distance
New Plymouth’s Shiromi Smith insists she’s no serious athlete, instead she prefers to run for fun at a comfortable pace.
The social runner will take her recreational pastime to a another level by tackling her first ever half-marathon.
‘‘My point is, if I’m doing it I, want to enjoy it,’’ Smith said.
Come October 1, Smith will compete in the New Plymouth Joggers and Walkers Club’s annual half-marathon. The race takes off from Pukekura Raceway and competitors will take in parts of the city before looping back.
While some will be racing against the clock as well as each other, Smith’s goal is to simply make it across the finish line.
She was a solo jogger until a gentle nudge from a friend swayed her to join the clubs’ clinics that prepare people of all fitness levels for the long-distance event, with encouragement by group leaders and each other.
‘‘My apprehension was unfounded and completely selfinflicted, my only regret is not joining sooner,’’ she said.
The group labelled ‘Determined’ was perfect fit for Smith who considers herself to be at the slower end of the speed spectrum. Taking part in the clinics has enabled her to gauge her pace compared to others and was as a social gathering of sorts too.
‘‘We have some really cool conversations about nothing in particular. The idea is if you’re talking then you are running at a good pace,’’ Smith said.
If you are not up for such a long-distance challenge can compete in the 10km and 5km events.
The annual event is in its 37th consecutive year and proceeds from the day will go to the Taranaki Cancer Foundation.
‘‘It’s very heartening when local community groups raise funds for the Cancer Society because not only do they raise awareness, the money will support families in Taranaki affected by cancer,’’ Cancer Society Taranaki manager Meg Rodel said.
The Society has provided lots of support to some of our members, their whanau and friends, said club captain Cath Anderson-Carroll. ’’We wanted the chance to give back to this amazing organisation and say thanks on behalf of many for their support.’’
The half-marathon starts at 8am then half-marathon walkers start at 8.05am, 5km and 10km start at 8.10am. To enter and for more information visit http:/ /www.np-joggers-walkers.co.nz
Shiromi Smith to swap her coffee for a water bottle for her first halfmarathon.