Martin Harrap

The journey!

A while ago I was a runner that only ran parkrun!

In my younger days I had run the London Marathon, even walked the whole length of the UK. When I arrived in NZ, I was running just a bit, but that fell away to nothing! I started to walk and then run again about seven years ago. One New Year’s Eve, I had a hospitality friend visit us and I said why not stay overnight have a few drinks and celebrate the New year. No sorry I cannot do that I have a parkrun in the morning! What are parkruns? Just 10 minutes later there I am all signed up and on January 1st, 2018, my first parkrun. That was fun, let's do it again next week and the week after…………………. Hooked!

As I said, I was only a runner on a Saturday morning at 8am. What do you mean, people run forty, fifty, even sixty plus kilometres every week! It was back on 5th June 2021 that Vicky Brewin came to Whangarei to complete her Run New Zealand. As a competitive person, I thought this looks a great idea. parkrun, Run the World, what’s next join the local running club (Hatea Run). No; that’s for those elite boys and girls, who have flash watches and short, shorts! A few weeks later out with them on my first forest run. Up hills and running, well walking at first along beautiful areas of Northland.

What’s next? More incentives, what about a 10km race, a half marathon, a MARATHON! The other incentive was of course to find that on the Run the world maps one is just a few kms from a town. What does that entail of course a 10km run turns into a 15km run so that one can reach a new town! Then of course there are the competitions run on Run the World, like get as many new members signed up. Cut a long story short, two of the three are still running the New Zealand map and from that I was fortunate to find that I had won a trip to go to the Queenstown marathon. Thank you for that Travis a fantastic trip and completing the run that made two out of the three marathons on the “Runaway” group series. They have a marathon in Noosa, right let’s get that signed up! That was done this year and just before that they started a half in Sydney! Let’s complete the series of four. Off to Sydney in May 2024 and after aborted trips to the UK because of COVID, lets add on the Edinburgh marathon later that same month.

Training of course every week, 30, 40, 50 plus some short, some long, but because of the Run the World idea and many people along the way, I now have an area of the house with many running shoes, loads of running tops, gloves and hat for the cold, short shorts of course, and not to forget one of those flash watches that tells you all the fun things like, lap times, cadence, speed per km and heart rate etc, etc.

All this at seventy-two when some at this age are slowing down! Having finished the New Zealand map; I am now on a trip from Calais to Paris, at the rate I finished the last one I will be about 82 when I arrive in Virtual Paris! But its thanks to Roz Kelly for getting me started into parkrun, Vicky Brewin for the incentive to Run the World, not forgetting Leanne Evans from Tasmania for the additional “push” along with Hatea Run, Ron Crowhurst and Dianne Zucchetto up here at the Whangarei parkrun for the weekly push.

But one must not forget Travis of course for having the idea to start a website in the first place, Me off for a run what else, I have to get to Paris!