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Start Me Up inspires marathon run

Start Me Up inspires marathon run

A Lower Hutt woman was so inspired by participating in Start Me Up last October, she is off to run in the the New York Marathon in three weeks.

Anita Woodgate, 46, had walked regularly prior to the women’s entry-level event, with a group of women from Healthy Inspirations. She says she was busy talking at the beginning of Start Me Up last year and missed the walker’s start.

“I jogged very slowly to catch up …. very strangely for me I found a comfortable rhythm and just tried to keep going, told myself I could get to half way and then walk back to the finish.

“At half way I stopped for a drink, took a deep breath and away I went again …. all the way to the finish. I was incredibly proud of myself running through the finish line and there were a few tears of joy!” says Anita.

Her story is an inspiration to other women are participating in Start Me Up this weekend, on 18 October. The untimed walk, run or cycle event is being held at McEwan Park, Marine Parade, Petone, at1pm. The event aims to encourage regular exercise, among a supportive, friendly environment.

Anita is ‘tapering off’ before her trip to New York and walking with her sister in the event.

Start Me Up coordinator Andrea Bolton asked Anita, aged 46, a few questions about her experience at Start Me Up. As well as enjoying the run, Anita inspired her sons to keep fit by exercising along with her. She is also fundraising for the Cancer Society as part of her marathon challenge.

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Did you find Start Me Up an encouraging event – how so?

Very much so, I remember feeling really excited at the Saturday registration as everyone was so organised, friendly and encouraging and the goodie bag was filled with lots of treats. On the day it was wonderful to be surrounded by lots women all shapes and sizes creating a fun atmosphere giving everyone the confidence they needed. The warm up was a lot of fun too!

What running/training have you been doing since Start Me Up?

Well it was really the beginning of it all for me, I really wanted to aim for another goal, another event. I found an app on my phone which gave me a plan for my next challenge and started to walk/run around the block. It really doesn’t take long to build your fitness up if you do it slowly and regularly. My first runs were 1 or 2km’s.

I achieved my next goal by walking/running The Round the Bays event in Wellington.

How do you fit it in with children/family responsibilities?

When we were running up to 5km we would get our boys to come with us on their bikes, now that distance is longer we are very lucky to have such wonderful support from our Alicetown Community and Family who look after our boys. It takes a bit of organisation but we enter them in kids events so they understand what we are trying to achieve and build good habits for them. However when training gets serious, there are times when you need to get out of bed at 5.30am to get it done. It is a wonderful start to the day.

Why the New York Marathon – was it a bucket list/dream?

My sister-in-law is a great runner and she gave me Kerre Woodham book Fat Chick to Marathon Runner as a birthday present. I was so motivated after reading it, I had to look up New York Marathon on the Internet. 50,000 people take part and over 2 million spectators….I love a great atmosphere and Kerre Woodham is very inspirational.

What encouragement can you give the women who are unsure about entering Start Me Up?

Don’t think about it, just do it! There is such a great sense of achievement once you walk/run/cycle through a finish line. Then celebrate it. “Strength doesn’t come from what you can do, it comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t”

What’s next – New York Marathon in September – then what?

The New York Marathon is 1 November so I haven’t given too much thought about what will be next, spending time with my two boys will take first priority. Saying that though, I joined the Hutt Valley Marathon Clinic and have met some very inspiring people throughout my running journey, some of them have completed more than 150-200 Marathons, so I doubt New York will be my first and last. I like the thought of the Paris Marathon as they offer cheese and wine at drink stops.

Start Me Up details:

Where: McEwan Park, Marine Parade, Petone

When: Sunday 18 October, 1pm event start. Participants should be there at least 30 minutes prior for briefing and warm-up (begins 12.30pm).

Options: Up to 7km run, or up to 7km walk, or 15km or 25km cycle, or duathlon of 5km run and 15km cycle.

Website & info:

Circuits: Run walk: Petone Foreshore; cycle: Hutt River Trail.

Cost: $25 adults, $20 teens 12-18 years.

Entry: Online until 12 noon 17 October. Entries after that time on paper at registration or event 11am-12noon.

Registration: When you pick up event numbers and bags!

At Petone Baptist Church, Buick Street, Saturday 17 October 1pm-4pm


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