I’m Rebekah, I live in Christchurch with my husband Steve and two kids Erina and Joseph. First and foremost I would like to describe my running style, or rather, how it was described by a fellow Tarawera Ultra (100km) competitor: “caravan”. As this poor fellow finally pulled up next to me after huffing and puffing behind me for a very long time he uttered, “You’re just like a caravan, you look like I should be able to pass you but we’re actually going the same speed”. I have enjoyed this description for the past four years and merrily reflect on the scene of a comfortable happy wee caravan rolling along enjoying the ride (or run as the case may be) while the uncomfortable, somewhat grumpy, sports car realised we were actually travelling at the same speed.
I feel like my running history is short but upon reflections that’s not actually the case. It reads like this:
In high school (Kelston Girls) we were told to set a really meaningful and challenging goal. I thought long and hard and chose a half marathon somewhere in the Waitakere Ranges. Having no real interest in physical activity I thought this was a great goal. I later realised that the teachers lack of enthusiasm in hearing my goal was due to the fact they were hoping for an academic goal! Anyhow, I made myself a programme and ran the event. All I really remember now is finding a barley sugar in my pocket near the end of the run and thinking it was magic, goal achieved, end of story.
I didn’t consider running after that again until I took up running as form of procrastination coinciding with postgraduate study. I decided if I was going to procrastinate I better do it properly. A Sri chinmoy half marathon in Hagley Park (Christchurch) was promptly followed by the Buller marathon then the Routeburn Classic, after which, due to cancelled flights and a shared car journey from Queenstown to Christchurch I met my husband, the highlight of my running career to date! Since meeting my husband I’ve run a bit more, including some lovely long scenic runs: the Heaphy, the Abel Tasman, the Tongariro Crossing, The Tarawera Ultra 100km, The Queen Charlotte, 42 Traverse. Most not as events, just because we can.
Two kids later it’s time to get back running. After the first kid was born I ran the “Big Easy’ Mountain Marathon Near Wanaka. With a 10 month old it sure was big and a day off from the kid made it feel easy … seeing her and Steve at the check points to cheer me on was magical! Now kid number two is nearly two, and Steve and I can run in the same event (thanks Mum!!). I am really running the Hillary as a bonus to Steve’s fathers day gift. I entered him into the 80 km for his gift and upon closer inspection there’s the shorter event just perfect for me! To claim I was a mid-pack runner would definitely be pushing the boat out a bit. I don’t look fit and fast (I’m not either but hopefully fit soon!) but I’ll be out running, smiling away, chatting to whomever I come across and promoting the joys of running. My husband makes my running progammes and I try to stick to them. I imagine fitting this around two kids will present a bigger challenge than ever, especially since we’re both training at the same time! I sure do know a thing or two about eating pizza on the run and I am most happy to share this knowledge.
PS … another reason both my husband I run is to ensure good mental health. There is nothing better than setting a challenging goal, working towards it together and achieving it to make you feel great!
PPS … our sons middle name is Edmund, after the namesake of this race. We want to teach the wee guy (and our girl) of this amazing man and what he did for the world, showing them what one person can achieve.
PPPS … Steve is a speedster and all going well we’ll cross the finish line at a similar time thanks to your staggered start times
See you out there!
Rebekah (entered for the 34km)
Whaia te iti kahurangi,
ki ti tuohu koe,
me he maunga tei tei.
Seek the treasures of your heart.
If you bow, let it be to a lofty mountain.