92 Year Old Set for His Final Half-Marathon Bow
92 Year Old Set for His Final Half-Marathon Bow at Queenstown Event
The Air New Zealand Queenstown International Marathon has attracted interest from around the world, but it is the stories from home that are often the most inspiring as everyday New Zealanders push themselves to and beyond their limits, often overcoming incredible odds just to be on the start line.
From 92 year old Colin Thorne from Whangarei racing in his final half marathon, to the kids taking part in the fun race at the finish line area, this event is a wonderful cross section of New Zealand descending upon a location that is envied around the world as participants run on largely packed off road trails from Millbrook Resort in Arrowtown, through to the finish line in the heart of Queenstown.
Behind the elites will be a host of fascinating stories, including that of 92 year old Thorne (the oldest entrant in all events on Saturday). The Whangarei man only started running in his mid-sixties but has since clocked up 50 marathons (that mark coming up in Rotorua earlier this year) and a host of half-marathon events. He will be joined by 14 of his family, all running in various events this weekend to celebrate his final half-marathon as he obeys instruction from his wife to ‘hang up the shoes’.
There are a host of celebrity participants as well, each in their own right pushing themselves well outside their comfort zones, sometimes for a cause but equally it is for their own development and for very personal reasons that they are taking part in an event that showcases the best that New Zealand has to offer.
Newstalk ZB host, author and columnist Kerre McIvor is no stranger to running marathons but says this weekend will be special.
“I wanted to run the Queenstown Marathon last year as I wanted to run a marathon before I turned 50, but my dear friends decided to get married that weekend, and while people were being taken off the course due to the weather bomb, I was sipping champagne at Huka Lodge!
“However, I still wanted to run another marathon and so I decided, in my year of being 50, I’d do Queenstown. I’d heard great things about it and it’s a great chance to visit one of the most beautiful parts of New Zealand.
“This is the most I’ve ever trained for a marathon – two 30km runs under my belt and numerous half marathons have been run in training. I’ve been training with the #GetRunning crew and I’m lucky to have Mike McRoberts and a couple of other people to run with who are around my pace and who will also be doing Queenstown. My aim is to enjoy it. Forty two k’s is a bloody long way and it’s a long time to be miserable but I am planning on having a great day!”
Here are a few more insights to some of the amazing stories behind the race numbers this Saturday:
Air New Zealand Marathon:
• Kath Godber, Auckland. 60 year old Kath was hit by a cyclist in 2012 when training for Boston, suffering a head injury and broken bones but is back and active, taking part in her first marathon since the accident.
• Anna McCone, Christchurch. 31 year old Anna is running to support her brother who is recovering from anxiety and depression, he started the Rubber Duck Running Club, Anna is running to raise awareness and money for mental health research.
• Jo-Anne Michaels-Mulder, Auckland. 46 year old who almost died on the operating table ten years ago and now lives life to the fullest, can’t think of anywhere better to run than Queenstown.
• Andrea Davidson, Christchurch. 44 year old Davidson is on an inspirational journey, having lost 80kg on her way to better health, Davidson will line up for her first half-marathon on the way to her goal of a full marathon one day.
• Jan Taylor, Wyndham. 7 years ago this 51 year old couldn’t walk to the gate, now Taylor is on a journey of continents as she celebrates losing 63kg by running a marathon on each, Queenstown is a step along the way to her final event in Antarctica in March 2016 with Queenstown the perfect preparation.
• Angela Christie, Auckland. 46 year old Christie wondered if she would ever walk again, let alone run, after being wiped out by a snowboarder on Coronet Peak in 2014 and being helicoptered off the mountain. Saturday celebrates another step in her return to full fitness and health.
• Les Holland, Hawkes Bay. 44 year old Holland has a daily reminder as to why his health is so important, on race day he will be 7 and a half years sober as the recovering alcoholic continues to be inspired by the simple act of running.
Amongst the 9000 on the start line this Saturday are also celebrity runners, all looking to achieve personal goals and at the same time raise awareness help inspire others into healthier lifestyles.
Kerre McIvor (Newstalk ZB and NZME) is no stranger to running, having competed in various marathons around the world, but admits she has never been as motivated to run well as she has for the Air New Zealand Queenstown event.
Josh Emett has already invested plenty in Queenstown, the Michelin star chef and restaurateur owns popular Queenstown restaurants Rata and Madam Woo’s and can’t wait to play his part in spreading the word about this amazing destination around New Zealand and the world as he takes on the ASICS Half-Marathon event.
Mike McRoberts is more at home reading the news on TV3 but is happy to be part of the news on Saturday. The likeable 3 News broadcaster and journalist will race in the full Air NZ Marathon.
Scott Molina and Erin Baker are legends from the sport of Triathlon, the Christchurch couple will race the Air NZ Marathon and ASICS Half-Marathon respectively.
Peter Williams – TVNZ newsreader and personality and TVNZ reporter Max Bania will be taking part on the day.