These pages hold the stories of various adventures I’ve undertaken. My story as a runner began in a completely unexpected fashion in October 2009 when my husband Craig went to Sydney to compete in the World Masters Games in his re-formed table tennis team from his youth. At that time our three children were still quite young and I spent the week he was away contemplating how to find a sport in which I too could compete, and to continue my exercise routine despite the fact Craig was not at home to be with the children while I went for my usual morning walk.
And thus, running was born! It was that or power lifting, however I didn’t detect much enthusiasm from Craig for the latter. Running worked reasonably well – I walked the flat and hilly sections, and ran down the downhills! It got me home to the children faster in that week Craig was away. I was surprised that I could do it, and things really just flourished from there.
In the coming weeks things progressed to me being able to run 5km without stopping, and being able to do this in under 30 minutes became a goal – achieved a few weeks later! At that point Craig too became interested and started to run with me. I bought a running magazine and saw an advertisement for the Rotorua marathon festival, and mentioned to Craig that I’d like to go and run the 5km. In true form Craig debunked the idea of 5km and set our goal to walk the marathon – 42.2km!
And so our training began. We followed a marathon running program but walked the distances instead. Our first walking event was in April 2010 when we competed in the Newcastle Running Festival 10km race, where, to my surprise, Craig decided to run a portion of it! A week later he suggested we run part of Rotorua, which was in early May 2010!
Our second marathon was in Greenland in 2012, where we met others enjoying the marathon tourism adventure and who spoke about achieving the quest to run a marathon on every continent – “Seven marathons on seven continents”. We planned further travel to achieve this however it became clear not long after that Craig’s body, having suffered injuries along the way, was not at all suited to endurance running and much more suited to support crew. Thus he retired from marathon running and actively embraced his role as world-traveling companion until April 2018 when he emerged from marathon retirement and finished London with me!
Earlier in 2016 while in Chile we met members of Marathon Maniacs, a US-based club promoting membership based on completing certain levels of marathon running, such as three marathons in two weeks. This was inspiring and unleashed further goals for marathon adventures.
And then in Uluru in mid 2016 I met another Maniac who also belonged to a club called Marathon Globetrotters, where membership is open to runners having completed marathons in 10 countries. Once you’ve heard something, it can’t be unheard!
Why “Run Apricot Run”? I’ve never had a nickname. “Anne” seems to cover what I need to be called. But to enter Fukuchiyama marathon I had to enter via the Japanese website with a Japanese name and Japanese address. While the address of the Tokyo Hilton was acceptable, my English name was not and I used Google Translate to come up with the equivalent in Japanese – Saekeri An. When the confirmation email arrived it had translated back into the English equivalent and read “Dear Apricot“!
So I don’t pretend to be a great runner. I wish I’d discovered running when I was much younger because it seems I could have been a reasonable distance athlete. I didn’t set out to be a marathon runner – it just happened. I’ll never be fast now, but I can target crazy marathons to run and mad goals to achieve. Training keeps me fit and happy, and looking ahead to the next “thing”. I’ve made some awesome friends through running. All in all it’s a good pursuit to have!