From the ed­i­tor

Weekend Herald - Canvas - - UPFRONT - MICHELLE HUR­LEY michelle. hur­ley@ nzher­ald. co. nz

I’ve never run a marathon, not even a half. My great­est achieve­ment was run­ning 14km in Syd­ney’s City-to-Surf a few years, which seems hope­lessly in­ad­e­quate when you con­sider the huge boom in run­ners — many of them mid­dle-aged — run­ning ex­ceed­ingly long dis­tances. Take the most pres­ti­gious one of all — the New York City Marathon. When it be­gan, 127 peo­ple did four loops around Cen­tral Park. To­day, more than 50,000 peo­ple com­pete. And it’s women driv­ing the trend: they now ac­count for 43 per cent of marathon fin­ish­ers in the US, up from 26 per cent a decade ago.

But still, when I think of marathon run­ners, I con­jure up im­ages of grim, gaunt-faced as­cetics pun­ish­ing their imag­i­nary vices with hours and hours of painful ex­er­cise. Which is why it was such a plea­sure to read Kerre McIvor’s piece about run­ning them this week: this is a woman who knows how to en­joy life, and her per­spec­tive on run­ning — es­sen­tially you can have your cake and eat it, just pos­si­bly not at the same time — makes it seem alarm­ingly achiev­able.

No doubt this at­ti­tude is why she’s in­spired so many peo­ple over the years to start run­ning, three of whom share their sto­ries to­day.

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