Marathon approaches

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JOHN.COSGROVE
@cluthaleader.co.nz

With less than a month to go, runners are out pounding the pavement, preparing for the Balclutha half marathon.
The event, organised by Cross Recreation Centre and Sport Clutha, starts at 10.30am on Sunday, November 1.

First timer . . . Mark
Olsen-Vetland will have
his first tilt at the
Balclutha half marathon
in November. PHOTO:
JOHN COSGROVE
Family tradition . . . .
Mark Geddes ran his first
half marathon with his
father many years ago,
now he is looking forward
to competing again with
his own family. PHOTO:
JOHN COSGROVE

Two individuals preparing for the half marathon are Mark Olsen-Vetland and Mark Geddes.
Olsen-Vetland is a first-time competitor, in contrast to Geddes who has a strong family connection with the race, dating back to the first half marathon 35 years ago.
A former dairy farmer  Mr Olsen-Vetland (42) only took up running a year and a half ago.
“I hadn’t run much since my uni days playing uni rugby, but over the years the physicality of the job as a dairy farmer kept me fit.
“When I gave that job up and moved indoors I started losing that fitness, when my wife Rosie became involved in the Park Run series I started running again, slowly building up the fitness again,” Mr Olsen-Vetland said.
“I told her I needed a challenge so she told me to enter a triathlon.” He survived his first
one – the Wanaka Challenge, ran the Ashburton half and is now looking forward to his first Balclutha half marathon.
“It should be nice as it’s all on flat ground.”
Geddes (44) holds many fond memories of competing in previous Balclutha Half Marathons.
“When I grew up in Balclutha, my father, Dr Peter Geddes, competed in the first one when the Clutha Licensing Trust ran them in the late 1980’s, he ran in every one he could and over the years competed in between 40 and 50 half marathons around the country.
Mr Geddes said he and his two brothers (Stephan and John) also followed in their fathers footsteps and regularly compete in half marathons.
“My wife Anita and my two children are also avid runners, I still enjoy running but it’s all for fun now,” Mr Geddes said.

Other events also running on the same day include a 10km walk (11am) / run (11.30am), a 5 km walk (11.45am) / run (12.15pm) and the 2km family run which starts at 12.45pm.