Fun run­ner ready to go the dis­tance

North Taranaki Midweek - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - CHRIS­TINE WALSH

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

CHRIS­TINE WALSH/ STUFF

Shi­romi Smith to swap her cof­fee for a water bot­tle for her first half­marathon.

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