My life on the run

I was born in Roseville and then Herb won the Olympic Gold a month earlier. Abebe Bikila won the marathon in World Record time 2.15.16
Moved to Green Valley and later Liverpool when Dad opened a pharmacy in Elizabeth Drive. My sister Nicole was born.
Started running around the backyard destroying the veggie patch as well as eating dirt.
I graduated to running out the front door and into the front yard. Ron Clarke sets the World Record for 10 000m 28.15.6
My brother Paul was born and now Mum had three under 4 running around the backyard. Meanwhile Morio Shigematsu lowered the marathon World Record to 2:12 in Tokyo Olympics
Ron Clarke sets the World Record for 10 000m 27.39.4 which stayed till Viren broke it in 1972. He also broke he World record for the 5000m three times in this year: 13.34.8, 13.33.6 and 13.25.8. I think he set a handful of world record in 7 days in track meets in Europe at this time.
Meanwhile I was still running around the yards sometimes escaping up the street with my golden retriever “Jockey”.
First year of school was at St Mary’s Catholic Primary school. It has been knocked down now and is on the site of Westfield’s Liverpool. Ron Clarke also lowered his 5000m world record time to 13.25.8.
I remember chasing girls or playing footy in the play ground and ran into the wooden fence and slammed into it with my knee an nicely inserting an nail into it. My running was on hold but Derek Clayton set the WR in the marathon at 2.09.4.
Ron Clarke did his “heart buster” run at altitude in Mexico City. Meanwhile we moved to Strathfield and I went to St Martha’s Catholic school and spent a lot of time running from the nuns especially Sister Angelica. Also my brother Matthew was born. I had a bit of a break from running as I spent weeks in bed with swollen legs due to my Allergy to Penicillin.
Derek Clayton set the WR at and it sat there till Alberto Salazar ( broke it in New York in 1981 which was later revoked as the course was long and Deek got the record as he had the next fastest time. However, by then it had been lowered by someone else (Sparkie am I right?) In this year my running was put to good use and I was getting first and second in the U-9 running races. I think I was in the fastest races.
Graduated to St Patrick’s College Strathfield and had to spend a year dodging the strap from Miss M and I lasted the year till the last week. I had to get it eventually as she said at the beginning of the year no one misses out. I got right into gymnastics in the Junior School and could do back flips etc really well. I still can do them.
As three more classes of boys came to the school in Year 5, I well and truly headed to the back of the pack on the running front. However, I maintained fitness as I spent much of the year running from the bigger boys who were bullying us. Here is a picture of me with my brothers and sister in this period you can see my hair has the look of running.
Year 6 we were the now big boys and I was able to relax for a year. Frank Shorter won the Olympic marathon in 2.12. Viren started his first of two sets of doubles in the 5000m and 1000m. This is my first recollection of athletics and the Olympics. All I remember from this period is Shane Gould and the Munich Terrorists. On the political front I remember the hype of the “It’s Time” campaign and Gough Whitlam coming to power.
Year 7 and the year group doubled in size again. As the size of the school got bigger I had little opportunity to run except for the mandatory cross country and factory processed heats for the athletics carnival and then you spent the rest of the time on the sideline cheering.
I do remember we went on a 20km walkathon towards Bankstown Airport way and back and being amazed at some of the guys that actually ran it all the way
The overriding memory of Year 9 was PE we had a home classroom and all year we left our gear in the back of the classroom on the floor. I don’t think we ever washed the clothes we would just rummage through it before PE lessons and find out gear. …disgusting actually. I also remember getting into lots of arguments about “The Dismissal”.
1976 I was in Year 10 and the furthest thing on my mind was exercise. I played a bit of rugby in the B’s and C’s as flyhalf or fullback. Also a bit of tennis in summer. I started to work at school work. Cierpinski won the Montreal Olympic Marathon in 2.09 55 and Frank Shorter was second.
I just realise that the post numbers correspond to important years in my life. I will gradually back date them to 1960. 1977 I was in Year 11 and went to Ayres Rock and a few ran around it…climbing it was enough for me.
The post and year is 1978 my HSC year. In this year I did my first every suburb to suburb run. We organised a surprise birthday for a mate Burnsie and after footy on Saturday I suggested we run from my place Strathfield to Wiley Park.
Meanwhile while I was distracting him on the road as our mates drove by I did my longest run to date at that stage of my life. There was no other running in that year.
This is post number 1979 and it was my first year of university, I first met my wife Jenny outside Manning House. I did a total of 6 laps in Sydney University pool and that was the sum total of exercise for the year.
This is post number 1980. In 1980 I have no recollection of running at all but did do Inter varsity Gymnastics for the year. I did not realize Cierpinsk won the marathon Gold at Moscow for a second time in 2.11.03.
This is post 1981. In 1981 I finally worked up the courage to ask Jenny out and we went out for a year. On our first date I actually went to a Young Achievers Ball (not me I knew an achiever) and jenny was dancing with Justin and he passed her to Prince Charles for a dance. Absolutely no running or even exercise… too busy with university and 21st birthday parties.
This is post 1982. In 1982 still doing no exercise. I was no longer going out with Jenny but we were still at university together.
The post number is 1983. In 1983, after a big year living in Redfern in 1982, I decided to come home so I could focus on my Honours Thesis. Meanwhile still no exercise and no interest in it.
This is post 1984. In 1984 I was 24. My first teaching appointment in Bowral. I was appointed Cross Country Coordinator and had to map out and organise the interschool events. I did my first fun run the Bunyip Burrawang 8km in 34 minutes and my first Nepean Triathlon. This is the official year I started running and triathlons. Carlos Lopes won the Los Angeles Olympic Gold in 2.090.21. No need to write about other runners as I am running now!
The post number is 1985. In 1985 I was in my second year of running at the age 25. I was hooked on fun runs in winter and did triathlons in summer. I was learning from all my mistakes and getting ready for what was to be my best year in 1986. Next post.
For those who don’t know I am making a comment about my post number as they correspond to years. This is post number 1986. In 1986 I set must of my PBs 3:42 marathon, 39 minute 10km and 46 minute 12km and 18-19 minute 5km in a dualthon and 56 minute 14km in a triathlon. No surprise it was the year I competed in the most triathlons and road races to date. went out with Jenny for a while and went our own way again. My fault as I was being too obsessed about my running.
This is post 1987. In 1987 I was turning 27 and after a huge 1986 I continued running and triathlons. I moved to my third house in Bowral and this time I actually brought it. A Bowral mate Glenn and I went to NZ and competed (No:1865) in 3 triathlons a mountain race and two ocean swims in 18 days. I actually wrote an article for a triathlon magazine at the time. We cycled from Youth Hostels further on the morning of the race than the races themselves!
I also dabbled in canoeing. Another Bowral mate Jonesy and I went in the NSW Canoe Marathon Championships and we got 4th in the C2 Category.
Jenny and I met up again at the end of the year. I remember running from Strathfield to Wahroonga to see he one weekend. It was also the year I shaved my legs for triathlons.
Still matching up post numbers with years. This is post 1988. In this year I got married to Jenny. I was on my second year of my Masters, I rolled my ankle on a school camp and had to miss the Nepean Triathlon. For most of the year I did some basic training and started to do a few Half Marathons. Gelindo Bordin won the Olympic Marathon in 2.10.32 in Seoul. I also read somewhere he wrote a running novel and have never been able to track it down.
Still doing the post number and years. This is post number 1989. In 1989 there were other priorities. I was settling into my married life, still living in Bowral and studying, though I was doing one Nepean Tri a year and half marathons such as Lane Cove before they built the freeway. Here is a bit of a summary of my triathlons in the 1980s.
Still commenting on posts and years as I approach Colin on 1999. This is post 1990.
It is funny how things pan out.
1990 was the year I turned 30, stopped drinking for 12 months, I finished my Masters Dissertation and basically did very little running. Still I managed a Half Marathon PB (and my last PB to date) of 1:28 at the Canberra Half Marathon. We sold our Bowral house brought in Berowra and rented another house Bowral as we planned to try and get jobs back in Sydney the following year
Continuing with my post number and year commentary. I am 9 away from you now Colin. When are you getting home?
Anyway this is post 1991.
In 1991 I moved back to Sydney and was living in Berowra. I missed running with mates in Bowral and started to run the trails in the area. However, I lost a lot of fitness as I had no one to run with. I used to run and ride to work using the Berowra ferry to Arcadia.
I had done a lot of riding in Bowral and now I had to get used to the traffic but I managed good rides between Hornsby and Cowan.
Continuing my matching posts with years as I chase Colin. This is post 1992. This was an interesting year 1992. I spent a week in hospital with internal bleeding. The good thing was that I got my weight down to 60kg! but I had no energy for exercise. I did manage the normal Half Marathon and Nepean Tri at the end of the year. The experience gave me more perspective on exercise and life.
Continuing the tradition.
This is post 1993. There were a few things of note in 1993. Nick was born, I took a year’s paternity leave to look after him and I threw away my watch for all things in my life including running. This lasted for 3 years. I did hardly any running except for a half marathon and the Nepean Triathlon on no training. I developed a proposal for a PhD which would be finished now and irrelevant if I started it.
The most important thing on the running front was that we won the right to host the Olympics around this time and I said to myself I must run on the Olympic Marathon Course.
In 1994 nothing much on the running front. I stopped using a watch in 1994 and gave up recording my run times and maintaining a training log. I went back to work after a year of paternity leave in 1993. IT was also a period in which I got into Outdoor Education with my school students dong a fair bit of overnight walks in the BLue Mountains including Breakfast Creek and Wild Dogs very near to the 6 foot track…little did I know what that track actually meant.
This is post number 1995. The 1995 was one of a few years of not much on the running front. I was still without a watch. I was frustrated with my slow times and was having trouble coming to terms with running slower.
I did do the SMH half and my 10th Nepean Triathlon on no training.
Well I am into the last 10 years for post numbers and updates. This is post 1996. This is the year that Ali was born and I took another year paternity leave to look after her. Also it was the year I started to teach myself about the internet and generally develop my ICT skills.
I forgot to mention earlier we moved from Berowra to St Ives in 1992 and in 1996 we moved to Galston as that was the only suburb where we could find Long Day Care for Nick and Ali for 5 days a week when I went back to work.
Like Nick in 1993 I wrote a journal for Ali in 1996 to give them at their 21st birthday. Now with a blog they have heaps to read about me and them.
I had retired from triathlons (till 2005)and mapped out a few 5-8km runs through the rural roads of Galston and Arcadia. I decided to buy a watch later in the year. All I did was the SMH Half on limited training and my first Westleigh Half Marathon. I think this was the year I was running next to Cliff Young.
So this post 1997. It was the second year of the Howard government. I was on the management Committee of the Galston Long Day Care Centrex, getting involved in the local area and I was back at work in Arcadia .
By now I had created a series of runs in Galston. I had come to terms with running slower and not setting PBs. I had to create double back loops through the “CBD” and residential area of Galston to run at night in winter as there were no street lights past the edge of town.
I was starting to think of one of the goals I had set. One marathon in each decade (80s, 90s 00s…)as well as in my 20s. 30s, 40s…and time was running out. I had been keeping my eye on the plans for the Olympic marathon but they kept changing the course and the hype was not at a level to get me motivated. Something happened to increase my desire to run.
I was asked to step in to assist with taking 42 boys and girls to USA on a tour for school as someone got sick at the last minute. I was reluctant to go as I did not want to be away from the family but I am glad I did. I spent 18 days travelling to the east and west coast including Bourbon Street New Orleans with the students on July 4th!!!
We had some free time in Boston and I had established a routine of walking a block or so from the main tourist strip to see things; sometimes this was not too safe (especially in Washington and New York) but I enjoyed the thrill. In Boston I noticed a shop that caught my attention and I went in at street level and it had a level beneath as well. Before long I realisied that I had entered Bill Rodgers Running Shop. I only had about 15 minutes and no one to share the experience with. After looking at all his gear like Soviet tracksuits, pictures of him and other marathon runners in events such as Deek, I madly brought all sorts of running gear like shorts, tops, books…I was so excited.
I started doing a bit of running on the rest of the trip. I ran on the Temple University Track in Philadelphia and got up in Washington one hot morning and ran with a student all the monuments past the White House, past the Washington Monument to the Korean and Vietnam Memorials across to the Lincoln Memorial, then the long run to the Jefferson Memorial and then the steps of Capital Hill and back to the hotel. We were gone for about 70 minutes and I had done the whole cross of Washington. It was a fantastic and most memorable run.
My motivation for running was coming back.
This is post 1998 for me. I did my second marathon in Canberra – 4:08 . My training was based on 30-40km a week and a not to long long run.
What was more interesting was meeting Kevin Tiller and Ian Kemp in the hall and speaking to them about Cool Running. Kevin does not remember meeting me but I did and I have the evidence. A mate who came with me brought me one of the limited edition Cool Running T -Shirt and Collector’s Item.
I have no main running recollections of 1999. Ali was starting Kindy the year after and Nick was was going to go to the school in Hornsby. So I spent a lot of the year looking at real estate for the move across from the Galston side of the Gorge and the kids could eventually get themselves to school. Also as it turned out I prepared and put in an application for another school and was accepted to start in 2000.
The 1990s were nothing like the 1980s for running but I was heading in the right direction by the end of the decade. Unfortunately I threw out my training diaries for the 1980s in one of my 1990s house moves. I have written my recollections of the running in the 1980s. I also did the same thing for triathlon training But I did manage to keep a simple training log for much of the 1990s:
1999 978km
1998 1158km
1997 1137km
1996 430km
1994-1995 no watch or log
1993 679km
1992 760km
1991 360km
These are the events I competed in in the 1990s
1 Marathon:
17 Half Marathons
6 Nepean Triathlons
2 other triathlons in Gosford and Nowra
5 fun runs and
2 Sustain- Kellogs Hornsby- Mt White Cycle Challenges.
There was one PB in the decade this was the 1990 Half Marathon – 1:28
In 2000 I started a training program for the Host City Olympic Marathon Course. It was probably my best marathon in terms of not walking and consistency of running. I explain here why I think this is the case. Soon after this race I stopped my training log and completely switched off running. I was living in Pennant Hills now. We had renovations to do, Ali had started school, Nick was at a new school and I had started work in another school. When I had a chance I went for my standard 5-6km jog around the streets of Pennant Hills and no racing at all.

cheers Plu