It’s fun to go as fast as you can. Renae
Picking up speed later in life
By Roger Childs
40 year old Renae enjoyed running at school in Cannons Creek, but only started racing competitively three years ago. Living close to the Paraparaumu Domain, she noticed the Kapiti Joggers heading out from the car park on their Sunday morning social runs and decided to join the group. It was quickly apparent that Renae was a natural athlete and she soon moved on to the more competitive harrier scene. In 2011 she began running track in the summer and this year has competed successfully in national harrier events.
Stepping up from Joggers
Renae was an enthusiastic member of the group when she joined in 2010. The Joggers enjoyed her company and recognised her ability. Not surprisingly she won the Kapiti Joggers and Walkers’ Perpetual Motion Trophy for 2010, but it was clear she needed a more competitive environment to realise her potential.
I run for the textures under my feet. Masters running legend, Roger Robinson
Renae would endorse this mantra and enjoys all types of running, especially off-road. She loves the regular weekend excursions in the hills of the Kapiti Coast, often in the company of experienced long distance runner, Janet Walker, and other friends. This has increased her stamina. Janet remains an inspiration for Renae because in her words she pushes me!
In 2011 she joined the Kapiti Multisport Club and relished the prospect of competing with runners from other clubs. By her own admission, she had a lot to learn and was often impulsive in races, going out with a very fast start and then fading. In her first run in the Dorne Cup, Wellington’s biggest inter-club event, she startled a strong women’s field at Trentham Memorial Park by sprinting out in front before being swallowed up.
2012-2013: ups and downs
She began running track late in 2011 specialising in the 800m and 1500m. Her coach lived in Tawa, so she joined the Johnsonville based Olympic Club.
On the track she performed well in her age group and progressively improved her times. Her best times to date are:
- 800m – 2.24
- 1500m – 5.06
Possibly as result of over-training, she suffered ankle and foot injuries and had to endure the frustrations that most runners experience when forced to stop training and competing. However, she made a comeback and in 2014 had a new coach and a new club.
2014: on the rise
Renae is continuing to improve after a lengthy lay off with a foot injury. She is strong and determined and was rewarded with an individual bronze and team silver medal at the NZ Cross Country Champs in Christchurch in August. (She is) a valuable member of the Kapiti Running & Tri Club. Bryn Kempthorne, Club President
Now under the guidance of local running legend, Gavin Thorley, Renae is doing more balanced training and learning to listen to her body. Not surprisingly, the more cautious approach is paying off. She is now back with the Kapiti club and so far this year, in her age group, she has been placed
~ 1st in the Vosseler Shield
~ 2nd in the Dorne Cup
~ 3rd in the North Island Cross-Country Championships
~ 3rd in the National Cross-Country Championships.
Renae has two primary school aged children, and finds that running and working as a teacher aide provides the balance she needs in her life.
Looking ahead, she is keen to cut back her middle distance track times and improve her performance in 5km road races and over the half marathon.
Renae took up running to be healthy, have fun and be competitive. These goals are still key motivators for her and will doubtless see her continue to make progress on the road, cross country and track.
(Photos by Pam Childs.)