A Race Worth Coming Home For. John Shaw’s 46 year journey.
As a child growing up in Hobart during the 50’s and 60’s I loved to run and race. The annual school sports day was the only school day I truly enjoyed.
My last race in Hobart was in 1969 when as a skinny 16 year old I represented New Norfolk High School in cross country. I never raced again and in 1975 I moved to Brisbane.
Fast forwarding to mid 2012 I had become an extremely unfit, unhealthy 96kg. 59 year old. It was time for change.
First I walked 1000km in 3 months and shed 23kg.
Then I began to jog. Though it was only a short distance at first it was a start. As the weeks rolled by I ran further and faster. The natural speed I had as a child very slowly returned. In January 2013, after a 44 year break I ran my first race – a 5km event completing it in 23.04. I now had the running “bug”. I got fitter; a lot faster and even had running ambitions.
One ambition was to return to Hobart and compete in the Australian Masters Half Marathon Championship which is held as part of the Cadbury Marathon event. This I will do in 2015 and barring injury I will attempt to win my age group (60-64). Hopefully I remain in my current good form.
In 2014 I achieved an age group win at the Gold Coast Half Marathon (1.23) and the Melbourne Marathon (3.07)
At some stage during the event I also hope to run alongside my nephew, Jarrod Shaw, who won the Cadbury Marathon in 2008.
Whatever transpires on the day it will be an emotional homecoming race that has been 46 years in the making.
John, we thank you for sharing your story with us. You might get to run alongside Jarrod but it sounds like you’ll have to slow down first!
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