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Great Lake Relay
16th Feb 2018

Will Johnston from The Hits Bay of Plenty radio station will be joining us at the Bay of Plenty Times Surf to Surf 5km event. Will is not a runner, in fact has been known to say, like so many people, that he hates running! He set a goal to run the City to Surf Half Marathon however due to an injury while out on a training run Will is now taking on the Surf to Surf 5km event. Read his story below..

I’m not a runner. In fact I’ve been known to say, like so many people, that I hate running! So I decided that I needed to have a life a bit more free of hate and maybe a little more full of health. The only way I know how to tackle a problem is to run towards it, not away from it. I live near the Mt, so I decided that I would run towards that!

I’ve been to a few City to Surf’s over the years, to support others doing it. So this year, I’m going to go and support myself doing it! About 2 months ago I put running shoes on, my headphones in (oh and clothes on too, the last thing anyone needs to see is a tall white man in his 30’s running naked down Marine Parade… Unless it’s New Years Eve) and went for a run to see how far I could get. Turns out I got 9.5km! There were a couple of walks near the end there, but I was stoked that after years of not running I got that far. I was expecting to give up by the end of the street! Dear lord was I sore for the next 4 days though.

So I went for a couple more runs over the next 10 days and things were progressing nicely… Imagine a baby giraffe running, that’s my ‘running style’. It’s been likened to an octopus falling out of a tree. So it’s a miracle I make any progress really.

Then disaster! I was out for a run, crossing a road, looking to see if a car was turning in I bent my big toe right back as I missed the kerb. What an idiot! I kept running the last couple of k’s home and could feel it swelling by the time I got home. The next day it was like a balloon, it was kind of like a sprained ankle, but of my big toe big joint! It took 3 weeks to come right, I was limping like an old man… what an insight in to my future.

I realise that I now won’t be ready to do the 11k’s of the City to Surf, I refuse to do it half-assed. I will not walk it… Otherwise it would be a walk, not a run. So I’ve set a lower goal, the 5k option of the race. I’m sure I can do that without stopping, so now it becomes a balance of doing better and better times over that distance and not hurting myself again…

I felt like a bit of a quitter when I decided not to do the 11k. But, if I’m going to do some sort of running race – with my previous hate of running in mind – then it’s going to be something that I can enjoy and see real progress in. Bring on November 5! Remind me I said that when I’m 4k’s in and blowing a lung out my nose please!