Award-winning chef could win Rotorua Marathon

Ciaran 3*

By Rachel Grunwell

An award-winning chef who has cooked for Prime Minister John Key  may just snatch the Rotorua Marathon title on April 30.

Ciaran Faherty doesn’t even have a run coach. But he’s a top contender to take out first place.

He’s a relatively new name causing ripples on the running scene.

ciaran 1*

 

Faherty, a 28-year-old chef who works at Circus Circus cafe in Mt Eden, Auckland,  says he started running three years ago as a hobby and because friends were into the sport. But he has only decided to take running “seriously” in the last few months after winning some races recently including: a 10km race in Albany, Taranaki’s Mountain to Surf marathon and the Huntly Half Marathon.

He ran the Taranaki event as a warm up for the Rotorua Marathon and ended up blitzing the course in 2 hours 21 minutes 58 seconds.

“I’ve won three events in just a few months… It’s so exciting,” says Faherty. “Actually, it’s a bit of an addiction now. But it’s a good addiction to have!”

He credits being “stubborn” and “dedicated” to long-distance training for his wins.

“I run a lot of days (in) excess of the marathon distance – mostly 50km days, twice a week during peak training. I’ve run a few 60km days in the past few weeks and the longest training day to date is 70km. I just love to run. Hopefully now, stamina won’t be an issue,” he says.

The 5’9 and 61kg athlete says he ran nine times weekly for his training build up (as well as fitting in some weights and kick-boxing). His biggest week was getting in 210km training miles. However, he’s in taper mode at the moment.

Faherty says his recent winning streak spurred him to take running seriously and so he switched from being a head chef at Auckland’s TriBeCa restaurant, working over 60-hours weekly, in January to taking up a chef role in Mt Eden where he only works 40-45 hours weekly.

This is so he can fit in more run training.

It was at TriBeCa that he cooked for John Key, MP Paula Bennett and others at a fundraiser dinner.

He met Key too.

“I introduced my chefs to him afterwards. He’s a nice chap. He was besotted by the quality of the food, which was lovely to hear,” says Faherty, who has previously won the Chef’s Table gold award for two consecutive years in Australia. He won these awards before he moved from Sydney to Auckland to live two years ago.

 

ciaran 4*

Here’s an example of one of Faherty’s culinary creations.

He says swapping his award-winning chef’s career to focus more on run training took a lot of consideration, but he reckons the “gamble” was paying off  with his recent race wins.

Faherty says he’s also not a typical chef because “I eat very, very healthy food”.

He eats lots of grains, vegetables, “a hell of a lot of chicken” (about nine meals of this weekly) and loves making his own smoothies and bircher muesli.

On race day, he’ll use three gels and take a sip of water at every drink station.

The Irishman, who moved to New Zealand two years ago, has the quickest personal best marathon time of all the elite male runners currently entered into the Rotorua Marathon event. However, his best time was on a downhill course (The Mountain to Surf event).

So he will have tough competition with some other top male runners lining up beside him including: Stephen Lett, Tony Payne, Nick Horspool and Chris Sanson, to name some. While, the elite females who have entered so far inlcude: Klaartje van Schie, Katie Wyrill and Mel Aitken.

The Rotorua Marathon will be Faherty’s 12th marathon (he ran 8 last year). He runs with the YMCA run club and says he’s the second youngest member.

He also trains a lot with ultra runner friend Claire Walton, who gives him a bit of training advice – as he doesn’t have a run coach. (I mentioned he should get one!)

Meanwhile, Faherty says his big, ultimate run goal is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and he says: ” I think it’s pretty realistic”.

Meanwhile, look out for him on race day wearing his sponsor’s logo (Bolero Drinks).

“Hopefully I’ll be ahead and I’ll be running scared,” he quips.

You can still enter the Rotorua Marathon. Click here

ps go into the draw to WIN a $150 prize package including a blender by entering a comp on our Facebook page.

Story penned by Rachel Grunwell, a wellbeing columnist for two magazines, yoga teacher (who specialises in ‘yoga for runners’) and blogger for www.inspiredhealth.co.nz.  She’s running the Rotorua Marathon too (her 12th marathon), guiding a blind runner as an Achilles charity ambassador.

Follow Rachel/Inspired Health on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Rach 02

 Rachel’s last run-related blog was: Nutrition Tips for Runners doing the Rotorua Marathon – from 2 nutritionists and an elite runner.

The run blog was on TV3’s Mike McRobert’s entering into the Christchurch Marathon

Nutrition Tips for runners – from 3 experts

mikkiBen Ruthe headshot  sarah sinclair

Elite runner Ben Ruthe, pictured centre, & nutritionists Mikki Williden, left, & Sarah Sinclair, right, share top nutrition tips for runners.

 

Nutrition Tips for runners – from 3 experts

By Rachel Grunwell

What can you eat to best fuel your running?
It’s a question a lot of runners ponder. So I chatted with two qualified nutritionists who specialise in this field (who are also runners) – as well as an elite runner from the Bay of Plenty who has won some top titles.
I asked one nutritionist about what to do about the tapering period, and another about what to do on race day. While, the athlete gave his own perspective about what works best for him. He also made a good point that nutrition is an individual thing ultimately. I’ve interviewed many of the top nutritionists throughout NZ and it’s a point that these experts all hammered home too. However, here are some incredible tips and words of wisdom worth noting. I know I’ll be putting some of this great advice into action with my next event – the Rotorua Marathon on April 30 – the next major event on the NZ run calendar. Some of this advice may help you too – for any event. These experts are all awesome and I rate them all highly.

mikki

FUEL AROUND TAPERING TIME
It’s close to tapering time for those participating in the Rotorua Marathon, like me. But use this information for any event you may have in the future. Firstly, tapering means backing off the training miles in the lead up to the race. This also means you shouldn’t be fuelling your body up as much as you might think…
It’s a “common mistake” around this time for runners to keep eating like we do while doing the big training miles.
Nutritionist Mikki Williden says it’s a real issue.
“Some people end up being heavy, lethargic and brain-fogged when they turn up to the start-line,” she says.
She knew of one guy who carb-loaded so much during a taper period that he ended up around 4kg heavier when he turned up at an event start-line.
“People overeat all the time when it comes to running,” says Williden.
So during the taper period – which can be a few weeks or as little as 10 days before an event depending on the individual – here are some of Williden’s tips:
Reduce your food intake over this time. You don’t need as much fuel because you are not using up as much energy.
2. Tap into your hunger cues; Do not eat to schedule.
3. If you suffer from nerves then reduce your vegetable intake a few days out from the event. Williden is usually an advocate of “10 serves of veg a day”, but around this time too much fibre can upset the gut and take up a lot of stomach space “which can make you feel bloated”.
4. Don’t take vast quantities of sports drinks leading up to a race. It can be too much liquid energy. “You’re better off making your own smoothies or having natural electrolytes like coconut water,” she adds.
5. Eat more frequently in the day before the event, but reduce the size of meals. This helps with having “a comfortable stomach”.

ps Williden says her favourite pre-race meals are things like Japanese (think salmon don), or a roast pork meal with kumara.

sarah sinclair

 
FUEL FOR RACE DAY
Raceday nutrition is different for everyone. So what works well for one person may not work well for another. Probably the most important advice for race day, is that you should practise your own race day nutrition while doing your training runs. And it is wise to experiment with different options as it can be a matter of trial and error to pinpoint what exactly works best for you.
Sarah Sinclair, a nutritionist who specialises in nutrition for runners through her business RUNtrition, recommends eating things on race day that are “nutrient dense, with complex carbs, with healthy fats and ideally a few antioxidants to boost (think whole foods and real foods where you can). And of course drink some fluid.”
Do not eat too much prior to a race – but make sure this meal is at least 2 hours before your race/event.
Lots of people find Oats/Oatmeal or a granola works well for them, whether or not you add milk/or yoghurt is an individual thing. Some things can upset the GI tract. “Bananas are generally always safe, a piece of plain (not too fibrous) toast with banana and nut butter works well too”.

5 top tips from Sinclair:
1. Practise your nutrition strategy well ahead of race day – the before and duringfoods/fuels.
2. Prep it the night before – at 4am you don’t want to be searching around for the last scraping of peanut butter.
3. For your event fuel – always take extra, just in case – or have supporters on the course with extra.
4. Just take a sip or two of water/fluid at each drink station -you do not need to drink the whole cup, over hydration can be as dangerous as dehydration.  And if you are not gunning for a sub 1:45h in a half or 3:20 full, walk the drink stations – I promise you, you will make up the time by not choking on your water.
5. Always eat within 30 minutes of your race/event finishing to help refuel the body and ensure optimum recovery and avoid alcohol however tempting until you have fully hydrated (i.e. at least gone to the bathroom after the race/event).

Ben Ruthe headshotAn Elite Runner’s perspective:

Meanwhile, I spoke with elite runner Ben Ruthe because I knew he would give a unique opinion here – and a fresh perspective too. And he’s worth listening to because he is a gun-runner (so is his gorgeous wife too, by the way). He’s the bloke who won the Auckland Marathon in 2008 and also has six national titles to his name (under various distances), to name just only a few of his incredible accomplishments.
The Bay of Plenty based runner says he honestly eats what he craves, but avoids excessive amounts “of things that aren’t good for you”. So to decode here, he means don’t drink alcohol like you are a party-animal, and don’t consume sugar like you might if you were Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…
Ruthe strongly advises testing out race fuels well before race day so you know if they might upset your stomach.
He recommends to keep eating the foods you usually eat close up to an event too ie don’t change things radically. He says his father-in-law Trevor Wright (who represented England at the Commonwealth Games and could run a marathon in 2:12.28) used to love steak and chips and so he continued to enjoy eating this favourite meal right up to running his events. But it’s an individual thing, he adds.
But generally his approach is quite chilled. He reckons it can affect your performance if you focus too much on everything being precise food-wise around race day. “It can knock your confidence if you get hung up on everything being perfect,” he says.
He reckons rather than focusing too much on food on race day, rather focus on “enjoying” the event…

Meanwhile, you can enter the Rotorua Marathon by clicking here

  • Rachel Grunwell is a wellbeing columnist for 2 magazines, marathoner,  yoga teacher (who specialises in ‘yoga for runners’) and blogs on Inspiredhealth.co.nz .  She’s running the Rotorua Marathon this year (her 12th marathon). Her last run-related story was on TV3 presenter Mike McRoberts set to take part in the Christchurch Marathon, which was published in newspapers nationwide & on her blog. 
  • Follow Inspired Health on Facebook (for wellbeing inspiration + health-inspired giveaways) 
  • Follow Rachel on Instagram 

Rach 02

 

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Win a Weight Watchers membership + 5 top tips for motivation while losing weight!

home_stair_run

Win a Weight Watchers membership + 5 top tips for motivation while losing weight!

 

By Rachel Grunwell

 

Do you want to kick some kilos? Well, it takes a lot of dedication and motivation to keep going on a weight-loss journey.

 

I get it. I’ve been there. I put on a lot of weight after I had my first child and it took a lot of strong will, and time, to keep going with my weight-loss journey. I want to share some of the things that helped me keep motivated, but also some things I’ve learnt since I became a wellbeing columnist for two magazines. Then, the cherry-on-top, is one lucky Inspired Health follower can go into the draw to win a 3 month Weight Watchers membership. How AMAZING is that! But first up, here are some tips for keeping motivated. These helped me and I hope they help you too (or please share this piece with someone you know whom it might inspire):

 

  • Think about the end goal and visualise how you will feel when you get there. For me I wanted to lose weight so I could feel happier, fitter, lighter and I dearly wanted to feel good in a pair of jeans. You know, that feeling when your legs don’t swish together anymore. Whenever you feel like reaching for a piece of cake, then remember your goal and why you started on this journey. Visualise again how you will feel when you get to that end goal.
  • If you are doing this journey alone then rope in more friends to help you with different parts of your goal. It could be a weekly walk with friends, sharing healthy recipes with another mate, or a gym session with other friends. It will make this journey more fun. And you can help encourage each other.
  • Tell your loved ones your goal. They can encourage you to keep accountable.
  • Think about a reward when you reach your goal. For me, I promised myself a beautiful pair of new jeans (no expense spared on this because I deserved it and worked sooooo hard for it). Every time I’ve worn those jeans since I smile. And yes, I still have those same jeans and I still love them. That’s the thing about a great quality designer item by the way – it lasts through fashion trends. It’s always a mini celebration when I wear them too. I’ll never forget how hard I worked to shed all that extra weight. I got to the point of wearing some size 16 clothes at the height of my pregnancy and put on close to 30kg (due to weight gain but also pre-eclampsia which cases swelling and some other more series issues if left unchecked). I’m normally a size 8. So yeah, I know what this weight loss journey thing is all about!
  • Read other inspiring stories – on Facebook, Instagram or through books even from the library. Weight Watchers has some awesome support too (more details below). The main thing is these stories and other real-life journeys will inspire you to keep going. You can also pick up tips and tricks from other inspirational people.

 

Do this journey alone if you have incredible will-power. Or if it would help to have a guide and great support, then you could try Weight Watchers like I did. Weight Watchers has recently overhauled their program and it is even better than when I used it. It now focuses on a new way of living, not a diet. It’s more of a holistic approach that incorporates good food, fitness and feeling great – it’s called Your Way. So there are lots of options to choose from to help you on your journey.

Backed by the latest science, too, the Your Way Program encourages members towards healthier eating, including more lean protein and less saturated fat and sugar.

Chicken with zucchini noodles

 

Weight Watchers also makes it easier to work fitness into your life with a new FitPoints™ system and a smartphone app. It’s an approach that’s about eating foods that fuel your health and happiness, while keeping active. The pictured chicken and zucchini noodles here is a great example of a Weight Watchers meal. Yum!

Go into the draw to win a 3 month Weight Watchers membership by finding Inspired Health (https://www.facebook.com/InspiredHealthNZ) / (https://www.instagram.com/inspiredhealthandfitness/) on Facebook or Instagram/or both, locate the promotional Win a Weight Watchers membership + 5 top tips for motivation while losing weight! post on Instagram or Facebook, and leave a comment in the ‘comments’ section of the post specifying ‘Who helps you to be the best you’. You can enter as many times as you would like! The winner will be emailed as well as announced on the Inspired Health Facebook page.

 

The winner will get access to the online community where members have help with the following:

 –          Track your food through the WW website and app, which is where you can keep an eye on your SmartPoints™.

–          Track your activity and FitPoints™ and find exercise ideas and workout plans to suit everyone.

–          Calculate SmartPoints™ for foods.

–          Access more than 3000 recipes.

–          Track your weight and milestones.

–          Be kept up to date with health trends and access motivational articles (e.g. Walk your way to slim).

–          Join the WW online Connect community, where you can chat to other members and share your successes.

(Terms and Conditions are at the end of this post)

Rachel Grunwell is a Wellness columnist for Good Magazine and also Juno Investing Magazine. She is also the director of Inspired Health where she blogs and aims to inspire Kiwis to live a life they love. She’s a keen runner and yoga teacher too.

Rach 02

 

 “WIN A WEIGHT WATCHERS MEMBERSHIP – INSPIRED HEALTH” PROMOTION

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

(REVIEWED/REVISED BY ANISIMOFF LEGAL ON 04/04/2016)

 

  1. Information on how to enter and the prize form part of these Terms and Conditions. Participation in this promotion is deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.

 

  1. The promoter is Inspired Health, 13 Essex Road, Mt Eden, 1024. Auckland, 0274064984 (“Promoter”). The prize supplier is Weight Watchers New Zealand of Level 4, Westpac Building, 79 Queen Street Auckland City 1010, telephone, (09) 573 5020 (“Weight Watchers”).

 

  1. Entry is only open to New Zealand residents aged 18 years or over who: (a) are not an existing Weight Watchers member at the time of entry or winner selection; and (b) have a valid Instagram or Facebook account. Employees (and their immediate families) of the Promoter, Weight Watchers and agencies associated with this promotion are ineligible to enter. Immediate family means any of the following: spouse, ex-spouse, de-facto spouse, child or step-child (whether natural or by adoption), parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister or 1st

 

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Facebook Entry:

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OR

 

Instagram Entry:

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  • they will not submit any Content that is unlawful or fraudulent, or that the Promoter may deem in breach of any intellectual property, privacy, publicity or other rights, defamatory, obscene, derogatory, pornographic, sexually inappropriate, violent, abusive, harassing, threatening, objectionable with respect to race, religion, origin or gender, not suitable for children aged under 15, or otherwise unsuitable for publication;
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Without limiting any other terms herein, the entrant agrees to indemnify the Promoter and Weight Watchers for any breach of the above terms.

 

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Nutrition Tips for runners – from 3 experts

mikkiBen Ruthe headshot  sarah sinclair

Elite runner Ben Ruthe & nutritionists Mikki Williden, left, & Sarah Sinclair, right, share top tips for runners.

 

Nutrition Tips for runners – from 3 experts

By Rachel Grunwell

What can you eat to best fuel your running?
It’s a question a lot of runners ponder. So I chatted with two qualified nutritionists who specialise in this field (who are also runners) – as well as an elite runner from the Bay of Plenty who has won some top titles.
I asked one nutritionist about what to do about the tapering period, and another about what to do on race day. While, the athlete gave his own perspective about what works best for him. He also made a good point that nutrition is an individual thing ultimately. I’ve interviewed many of the top nutritionists throughout NZ and it’s a point that these experts all hammered home too. However, here are some incredible tips and words of wisdom worth noting. I know I’ll be putting some of this great advice into action with my next event – the Rotorua Marathon on April 30 – the next major event on the NZ run calendar. Some of this advice may help you too – for any event. These experts are all awesome and I rate them all highly.

mikki

FUEL AROUND TAPERING TIME
It’s close to tapering time for those participating in the Rotorua Marathon, like me. But use this information for any event you may have in the future. Firstly, tapering means backing off the training miles in the lead up to the race. This also means you shouldn’t be fuelling your body up as much as you might think…
It’s a “common mistake” around this time for runners to keep eating like we do while doing the big training miles.
Nutritionist Mikki Williden says it’s a real issue.
“Some people end up being heavy, lethargic and brain-fogged when they turn up to the start-line,” she says.
She knew of one guy who carb-loaded so much during a taper period that he ended up around 4kg heavier when he turned up at an event start-line.
“People overeat all the time when it comes to running,” says Williden.
So during the taper period – which can be a few weeks or as little as 10 days before an event depending on the individual – here are some of Williden’s tips:
Reduce your food intake over this time. You don’t need as much fuel because you are not using up as much energy.
2. Tap into your hunger cues; Do not eat to schedule.
3. If you suffer from nerves then reduce your vegetable intake a few days out from the event. Williden is usually an advocate of “10 serves of veg a day”, but around this time too much fibre can upset the gut and take up a lot of stomach space “which can make you feel bloated”.
4. Don’t take vast quantities of sports drinks leading up to a race. It can be too much liquid energy. “You’re better off making your own smoothies or having natural electrolytes like coconut water,” she adds.
5. Eat more frequently in the day before the event, but reduce the size of meals. This helps with having “a comfortable stomach”.

ps Williden says her favourite pre-race meals are things like Japanese (think salmon don), or a roast pork meal with kumara.

sarah sinclair

 
FUEL FOR RACE DAY
Raceday nutrition is different for everyone. So what works well for one person may not work well for another. Probably the most important advice for race day, is that you should practise your own race day nutrition while doing your training runs. And it is wise to experiment with different options as it can be a matter of trial and error to pinpoint what exactly works best for you.
Sarah Sinclair, a nutritionist who specialises in nutrition for runners through her business RUNtrition, recommends eating things on race day that are “nutrient dense, with complex carbs, with healthy fats and ideally a few antioxidants to boost (think whole foods and real foods where you can). And of course drink some fluid.”
Do not eat too much prior to a race – but make sure this meal is at least 2 hours before your race/event.
Lots of people find Oats/Oatmeal or a granola works well for them, whether or not you add milk/or yoghurt is an individual thing. Some things can upset the GI tract. “Bananas are generally always safe, a piece of plain (not too fibrous) toast with banana and nut butter works well too”.

5 top tips from Sinclair:
1. Practise your nutrition strategy well ahead of race day – the before and duringfoods/fuels.
2. Prep it the night before – at 4am you don’t want to be searching around for the last scraping of peanut butter.
3. For your event fuel – always take extra, just in case – or have supporters on the course with extra.
4. Just take a sip or two of water/fluid at each drink station -you do not need to drink the whole cup, over hydration can be as dangerous as dehydration.  And if you are not gunning for a sub 1:45h in a half or 3:20 full, walk the drink stations – I promise you, you will make up the time by not choking on your water.
5. Always eat within 30 minutes of your race/event finishing to help refuel the body and ensure optimum recovery and avoid alcohol however tempting until you have fully hydrated (i.e. at least gone to the bathroom after the race/event).

Ben Ruthe headshotAn Elite Runner’s perspective:

Meanwhile, I spoke with elite runner Ben Ruthe because I knew he would give a unique opinion here – and a fresh perspective too. And he’s worth listening to because he is a gun-runner (so is his gorgeous wife too, by the way). He’s the bloke who won the Auckland Marathon in 2008 and also has six national titles to his name (under various distances), to name just only a few of his incredible accomplishments.
The Bay of Plenty based runner says he honestly eats what he craves, but avoids excessive amounts “of things that aren’t good for you”. So to decode here, he means don’t drink alcohol like you are a party-animal, and don’t consume sugar like you might if you were Charlie from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory…
Ruthe strongly advises testing out race fuels well before race day so you know if they might upset your stomach.
He recommends to keep eating the foods you usually eat close up to an event too ie don’t change things radically. He says his father-in-law Trevor Wright (who represented England at the Commonwealth Games and could run a marathon in 2:12.28) used to love steak and chips and so he continued to enjoy eating this favourite meal right up to running his events. But it’s an individual thing, he adds.
But generally his approach is quite chilled. He reckons it can affect your performance if you focus too much on everything being precise food-wise around race day. “It can knock your confidence if you get hung up on everything being perfect,” he says.
He reckons rather than focusing too much on food on race day, rather focus on “enjoying” the event…

Meanwhile, you can enter the Rotorua Marathon by clicking here

  • Rachel Grunwell is a wellbeing columnist for 2 magazines, marathoner,  yoga teacher (who specialises in ‘yoga for runners’) and blogs on Inspiredhealth.co.nz .  She’s running the Rotorua Marathon this year (her 12th marathon). Her last run-related story was on TV3 presenter Mike McRoberts set to take part in the Christchurch Marathon, which was published in newspapers nationwide & on her blog. 
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NZ teacher doing 307th marathon at Rotorua Marathon event

Kiri, Bill and Graeme

Caption: Bill Richardson, pictured left, is on track to run his 307th marathon when he takes part in the Rotorua Marathon on April 30. He is pictured here running the Wanganui Marathon with friends, Kiri Price, centre, and Graeme Tindall.

Go in the draw to win an entry into this year’s Rotorua Marathon (you choose the distance category) via our facebook page by clicking here.

By Rachel Grunwell

When South Island school teacher Bill Richardson runs the Rotorua Marathon on April 30 it will be his 307th marathon.
The 64-year-old Invercargill resident has quietly clocked up this amazing feat with his feet and barely told a soul! He prefers to keep his marathon tally on the down-low. It’s just what he loves to do. He thrives on the 42km challenge.
He did celebrate his 300th marathon with close run friends though, with a cake – this was after the Buller Gorge Marathon in February.
His Rotorua Marathon run this year will be a bit of cause for celebration too. It will be his 15th time lapping Lake Rotorua, which means he will enter the ‘Rotorua Marathon Survivors Club’. You have to have completed this event 15 times, or more, to be a club member. There are 514 members in this club at last count in the history of the 52-year-long event.
“It will be as good as gold to be in the club,” he says, chuckling “but I don’t get too carried away by these things.”
Richardson says he loves the Rotorua Marathon event “because it has a bit of town, hills and country”. He also loves the history of the event and the big turn out it attracts. Elite athletes, international runners to everyday runners love it. He’s looking forward to seeing lots of run friends there too. But, of course, he’s honest and admits that the last 10km of the event is always tough! The stretch by the airport is always a challenge. His top tip for running this event is not to run out too fast too soon by the way.

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Richardson was born in Owaka, South Otago, and raised in the tiny Central Otago settlement of Omakau. He used to run 4km to school and was always horse-riding, duck-shooting, river swimming, building rafts or fishing. So he has always been an active bloke.
Richardson has two children, Matt and Kate, and five grandchildren. He lives solo. He retired as a social studies and geography teacher at Southland Boys’ High School a few years ago, but still is a relief teacher here.
Richardson started running marathons in 1980. His first was in Invercargill. He has since run most major marathons of the world and repeatedly run a lot of domestic events nationwide.
Some favourite events include Boston (“the premiere marathon in the world” which he has completed nine times – he loves that you have to qualify to enter), the Riverton to Invercargill run (“one of the best” and something he has run more than 30 times) and the Buller Gorge race (“amazing scenery and people”).
He has loved conquering each marathon for “the amazing adventure” and among these incredible adventures includes: the Midnight Sun Marathon above the Arctic Circle in Norway, the Niagara Falls run in Canada and an American run during which competitors cross a border.
He estimates he has spent a cool $150,000 on his passion and he jokes “the rest of my other earnings were wasted”. He has a room full of medals and t-shirts dubbed “the running room”. He reckons one day he will make a duvet out of them all… “one day when I buy a sewing machine chuckle chuckle”…
I quip he could likely make a string of duvets, actually…
His fastest marathon time was 2hr 50mins at Christchurch Marathon in 1997. And yes,’ he will be there again to run this event this year. He can run marathons these days in 3 hours 40 minutes but it’s more about being out on each course for the enjoyment now.
Meanwhile he swears by starting every marathon with porridge including: oats, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, banana and topped with walnuts and almonds.
Besides eating a great breakfast, his biggest advice to any runners out there is “enjoy every race. It’s a lot of fun”.

Good luck on race day! Meanwhile if you see Richardson out there, cheer him on loudly. He’s a bit of a run legend!

His friend Kiri Price, a run coach,  says Richardson is only the second person in NZ to achieve the status of running 300 marathons.  He is also a proud member of the 100 Marathon Club, of which there are just 44 members. “And he’s the humblest, nicest gentleman out there as well,” says Price.

  • To enter the Rotorua Marathon (there are four distances from a 5.5km fun run to the full marathon) click here to link through to the Rotorua Marathon website.
  • Rachel Grunwell is wellbeing columnist for two magazine titles and a string of newspapers throughout NZ. She’s a professional blogger and the director of Inspired Health too. She’ll be running the Rotorua Marathon (her 12th marathon).

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14,000 runners tackle Cigna Round the Bays

lance, tamati, rachel, corin

 

Pictured at the Cigna Round the Bays in Wellington from left: Cigna CEO Lance Walker, Achilles charity blind runner Tamati Pearse and his guides wellness columnist Rachel Grunwell and TVNZ political editor Corin Dann

 

By Rachel Grunwell

Over 14,000 Kiwis ran in Cigna Round the Bays in Wellington on February 21 including 60 Achilles charity members in fluorescent yellow shirts.

Achilles helps Kiwis with any disability to participate in mainstream run events.

Some of the Achilles participants don’t have legs, others are without sight, some have survived car crashes or underground explosions, or battled debilitating illnesses. Some used wheelchairs or racing bikes on the day, while a one-legged athlete used crutches.

The youngest Achilles member, who was born with spina bifida, is at intermediate school while others are grandparents like the charity’s founder Peter Loft who was there too on the day running with his young grandson. It’s truly a diverse bunch.

Achilles athletes always run with support guides.

I’m an Achilles volunteer guide and an ambassador who was at the event alongside fellow ambassadors: former All Black Frank Bunce, TVNZ’s political editor Corin Dann, Breakfast presenter Nadine Chalmers-Ross, Fair Go journalist Garth Bray and Newstalk ZB newsreader Niva Retimanu.

It was a stunning day and main sponsor Cigna NZ had several amazing cheer stations. The Achilles runners seemed to get the loudest cheers – behind the lead elite winning runners though, of course!

Corin Dann and I had the pleasure of co-guiding blind Auckland runner Tamati Pearse, 21, who smashed his best half-marathon time. It was his third half-marathon and he’s also conquered the New York Marathon.

He was thrilled at his time, but mostly he had lots of fun. We had a group hug when we got our medals.

A highlight that day was seeing Tamati smiling broadly throughout the course as he soaked up every cheer – and then he beamed even brighter over his PB at the finish-line. Even elite runners took time to cheer on Tamati that day on the course. It made them smile too.

I think anyone who saw Tamati couldn’t help but be inspired by his goal-crushing and can-do mind-set…

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Tamati almost near the finish-line with Corin Dann guiding and Rachel capturing the action. We talked politics, running about family, friends and fun while on-the-run. Corin even took a call from a producer mid-run. The bloke works way too hard!

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Achilles Athletes also at the event Ian Walker, left and Ian Winson, right. Ian Walker sped back first on his wheelchair at the event. Check out their smiles too. Truly awesome.

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Another Achilles pic. From left, Tamati Pearse, former All Black Frank Bunce, Rachel Grunwell, Fair Go’s Garth Bray and Newstalk ZB newsreader Niva Retimanu. If you wear a yellow shirt then it’s compulsory you have to group hug lol. I think these guys are as huggable as my yogi mates 😉

 

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The Tussock Traverse – one of NZ’s most scenic courses

Tussock Traverse

By Rachel Grunwell

It’s a New Year and so it’s time for new adventures. Training for an “adventure” is a top way to keep fit.

It can also scare you out of bed in the morning to train!

A unique event (for walkers and runners) is the Tussock Traverse, one of the most scenic courses in New Zealand (on January 30). 

It’s an off-road adventure like no other.

The event showcases the eastern area of the World Heritage Tongariro National Park encompassing Tukino and the Round the Mountain and Waihohonu tracks before finishing at the majestic Chateau Tongariro in Whakapapa. 

Victory Events director Jason Cameron says most Kiwis can take part in the event. “Unlike its near neighbour the Goat, the Tussock Traverse is not highly-technical and is very achievable with its range of distance options”.

He says there’s an event option for most ages and abilities (6.5km, 13km and 26km). “It’s not highly-technical; it’s achievable”.

In the 26k expect some rock hopping through a lava field before negotiating the rolling lunar like landscape with volcanic sands through native vegetation before reaching formed tracks in the last 10km.

He says at one point in the race, entrants are “dwarfed by Mt Ngauruhoe on the right whilst capturing stunning views of Mt Ruapehu out to the left”.

Project Tongariro (formerly known as Tongariro Natural History Society) is the event’s charity partner and so entrants help give back, and conserve, the area too.

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Pictured: Craig Kirkwood running in the 2015 Ironman NZ event.

One participant this year will be Craig Kirkwood, 41, an elite runner and coach from Tauranga. He “runs” Craig Kirkwood Coaching. He says this event will be “a training run” for the Tarawera Ultra 100km event on February 6.

His tips for doing the Tussock Traverse (which he came second in last year): Expect the course to feel 10% longer than running on-road, take a good quality raincoat in case the weather turns and “smile” and “enjoy it!”

* For more info check out: www.tussocktraverse.co.nz

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Rachel is the director of inspiredhealth.co.nz/ 

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Where to get the best advice on run technique

Kelly & Rachel

By Rachel Grunwell

Obviously I’m not likely to ever run like some light-footed Kenyan athlete. They’re long-legged; I’m vertically challenged. They’ve got lightening speed genes; My ancestors preferred pints at the pub.
I ain’t a gazelle. I know that.
But even everyday runners (like me) love to strive for personal bests.
I’ve run 11 marathons, but I’d like to improve my run style. After all, I’ve only been running for a few years.
So I visit Kelly Sheerin at AUT Millennium’s running and cycling clinic on Auckland’s North Shore (pictured above). A physiotherapist and biomechanist, he analyses the science behind optimum run technique and injuries. Some top athletes seek out his advice, but also “weekend warriors” like me.
He assesses my run efficiency by putting 20 reflective markers on my lower body to measure joint angles. I’ve got 9 infrared 3D cameras watching my every move – and my form (or lack of it).

AUT Millennium pic 2

I run at different speeds on a treadmill which measures the force, and angle, at which I strike the treadmill.

Rachel running on treadmill
I then do some strength tests and he analyses all the data. The camera doesn’t lie so Kellly gets a full “picture” of my weaknesses. He tells me about things like my stride width and rate, heel whip, peak knee velocity and reveals that my gluteus medius muscles need strengthening and gives me “homework” (ie strength exercises). His technique advice is around how to optimally strike the pavement and how to position my trunk, hips and knees when I’m in motion.
It was fun being a “lab rat”. I learnt some new things about my body and what I need to do to work on running better. Information is power. Hopefully I’ll power through my next marathon. Maybe there’s a gazelle within that’s screaming to get out ha ha ha!

Meanwhile, the AUT Millennium is a very cool place. It has incredible gym and pool facilities, does some exciting research and attracts some big name athletes. While I was there I spied champion shot putter Valerie Adams pumping iron. So if you go to the gym here you can say “I work out with Valerie Adams!!” Well, you won’t quite be “training buddies”, but you do get to see her in the flesh and she’s a pretty super mighty fine cool Kiwi. A Kiwi hero.

Upstairs, is the research testing area where it’s clinically-clean (and hospital-like with all the white). There are lots of weird testing machines. There’s one room (Environmental Chamber) where athletes can practice training in hot or freezing temperatures (acclimation for overseas events). There are stationary bikes, enormous treadmills (Endurance Performance Clinic) and some weights (Strength and Conditioning Clinic). They also can do exercise testing for people at risk or living with medical conditions (Human Potential Clinic) and body composition testing (Body Composition Clinic).
Another test is lactate testing (where pin-pricks of blood are taken to measure lactic acid in the blood) as a predictor of endurance performance in events like cycling, rowing, running and triathlon style events. Plus there’s an anaerobic peak power test (a sprint test) on measuring anaerobic ability.
There’s a VO2max test too, which can reveal aerobic fitness and performance potential (or not). In other words, your ability to utilise oxygen.  For this, you run on a treadmill, while attached to a mask (which measures the volume and composition of the air breathed out) and also a heart-rate monitor.

I’ve tried this in the past. I was asked to run at progressively increasing speeds until exhaustion (think: rat on a wheel). During this, a bloke asked when I found the test fine, hard, very hard, and when I needed to stop (or I might pass out).

Through doing this I pinpointed my best training zones i.e. how fast I can run comfortably and approximate indicators of what my heart-rate should be doing during different types of training drills like interval training to endurance runs. So it’s a science-based guide to follow.

With this information, you can better tailor a training programme to suit you best.

So is this worth it? I reckon sports-mad folk will love getting science-based data to improve their performance. I want to do the lactate testing next time here – for even more accurate results. And I’m keen to try a deep water running session with Kiri Price. This is a full-body workout, I hear. It’s biomechanically the closest cross-training method to actual running (without the impact on the body).

Try it: AUT Sports Performance Clinics at AUT Millennium, 17 Antares Place, Mairangi Bay, North Shore, Auckland, www.autmillennium.org.nz

Rachel is a wellbeing columnist and healthy recipe creator for Good Magazine & Juno Investing Magazine. She writes a weekly column (on health/fitness/wellbeing etc) too for the Herald group of newspapers.

She is a marathoner, yoga teacher and director of Inspired Health

Follow Rachel on Inspired Health via Facebook and Instagram 

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Elite marathoner Stephen Lett’s top race tips + Rachel’s yoga poses for runners

stephen horizontal

By Rachel Grunwell

I chatted with elite runner, Stephen Lett, about some top marathon tips. 

 

Stephen, a physiotherapist and Pilates instructor, who works at Peak Pilates & Physiotherapy on Auckland’s North Shore, has sweetly given some cool training tips for those doing the Auckland & New York Marathon events.

Stephen’s Top Tips:

1. Don’t go out too fast at the start “is the Number 1 Golden Rule”. If you’ve “stuffed yourself” in the beginning half then you are “going to die” in the latter half. Control yourself!

2. Keep hydrated – “because obviously you’ve got to run a long way!” Auckland can be hot too at this time of year, he says (while, NY will be cold, so make sure you’re warm enough). Drink often and properly at water stations – stop to do this perhaps… “rather than dumping Powerade over yourself and getting all sticky!”

3. Use fuel you’ve tried out prior to race day.

4. Get to the race early and in time to use a loo. “Don’t get caught with your pants down so to speak!” Stephen jokes. It’s all about preparation and you want to have gone to the toilet and be ready and relaxed at the start. Follow the 6-Ps: Prior preparation prevents piss poor performance, he quips.

5. His last words of wisdom: “Breathe through your diaphragm and enjoy the race!”