Schwartzel sets the pace as he steps up bid for home success
would have sat on the sofa as well, too.
“So we were introduced to that, running about, playing about and she was walking. You had memories of that when you were younger.”
He explains the health benefits.
“Every single thing the Government are trying to do to stop cancer and childhood obesity involves targeting these groups, but the groups they want to target are ours.
“We have women in their 40s, who are a high-risk group. We tick a lot of boxes, we have a kids group, cross-community. Men in their 40s and 50s, we have a lot of men who have stopped playing football. I have seen it all down through the years where lads stop playing football, they might play a bit of indoor soccer and play past it. They have got heavy and put on a couple of stone, get into a bit of a rut.
“Boys from their early 40s… that is an age bracket you want to target to keep exercising. That’s the kind of groups that are at risk of diabetes and obesity and heart problems.”
He continues: “There was always a good rugby team and loads of good Gaelic teams in this area. But that can only attract 15 men on each team. There was nothing for peo- ple outside of that. People thought they couldn’t try, that running is for 10 stone waifs. But then they saw all the women who do train and none of them got it easy at the start.
“My big thing is that I never focus too much on speed. I’ve seen it down through the years with fellas who fell out of love with it because they were running for the wrong reasons.
“Going to 10ks and trying to get faster and then they just got fed up with it and stopped running.”
Now, a friendly atmosphere and a happy camp make it something people are sacrificing home comforts for.
“If you are sitting in on a Saturday night with nowhere to go to on a Sunday, you would probably — not that there is anything wrong with it — but you would order a pizza and drink beers or a bottle of wine,” he reasons.
“But if you have running in the morning, you might think that you will leave it out.”
More and more are making that choice. And it’s doing them no harm. CHARL Schwartzel will take a one-shot lead into the weekend after firing an excellent bogey-free 63 on day two of the South African Open.
The 2011 Masters champion is looking for a first win since 2016 and made six birdies and a spectacular eagle over the Bushwillow Course at Randpark Golf Club to get to 12 under.
Zambian Madalitso Muthiya was at 11 under, a shot clear of 2010 Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, fellow South African Zander Lombard and America’s Kurt Kitayama.
It proved to be a disappointing day for Ulsterman Michael Hoey as he followed up a first round 75 with a one over par, 72. That left him five over and missing the cut.
Birdies at the first and fifth helped Schwartzel turn in 33 and he was edging into contention after further gains on the 11th, 12th and 14th.
A long putt on the 16th had him within one of the lead and despite having to lay up on the 17th after a poor tee-shot, he spun his third into the cup on the par five for an eagle.
The South African has six top fives without a victory at his home Open and was refusing to get carried away after seeing some recent good form fail to yield a victory.
“I still can’t figure out why I’m not getting the performances I need, even after that round,” he said.
“I’ve had a few tournaments where I’ve played well like this, so I’m not going to talk too much yet.
“There’s lots of golf to play. All I know is I’m playing well. I’m driving the ball well and I haven’t been doing that consistently.”
Muthiya carded a 68 on the Firethorn Course, a score matched by Lombard on the Bushwillow. Kitayama registered a 69 on the Bushwillow, with Oosthuizen battling to a 70 on the Firethorn.
England’s Matt Wallace was playing alongside Oosthuizen and he signed for a 69 to sit at eight under.
Happy family: Joe, Celine and Connor McCarroll at a race; (right) Connor McCarroll in the DublinMarathonStill winning: mum Celine McCarroll at 70 Sadly missed: The late Paul Murray was an enthusiasticrunnerBirdie blitz: Charl Schwartzel