Running passion

Iris - jump for joy
JUMP FOR JOY – the last half marathon knocked off.

It’s been a long run for Gordonton’s Iris Riddell, but she’s knocked it off. Last month she completed the Taupo 63.3km challenge, raising money for local lad Tiago Pinheiro.

The Taupo Times reporter and Number 8 Network co-founder crossed the finish line in grand style at the Kinloch Offroad Challenge in September. It was the last of three half marathons, completed in three months.

The transformation from a duvet-hogging, ice cream-scoffing, Dr Who-loving comfort fiend into a duvet-hogging, ice cream-scoffing, Dr Who- loving comfort fiend who runs half marathons was almost painless, says Iris.

She knocked off her first event, the Tauhara Trail Run, in July and Mizuno Half Marathon in August, with a bout of flu slowing her down somewhat.

Number 8 Network’s Annette Taylor was grateful for this – somehow she also got the bug and in the misguided belief that one needs to stand (or run) by one’s daughter, also signed up.

The transformation from duvet-hogging, ice cream-scoffing Dr Who-loving comfort fiend into a runner was not painless, says Annette, who is not quite the spring chicken she used to. (Her first run consisted of once around the paddock in gumboots. Proper shoes were bought not long after.

And in the midst of all this running about, was a good cause – Iris managed to raise  $815 for two-year-old Tiago, who was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer in January.

Many thanks to all who supported – it was a great effort, and helped keep the runner on her mark.  (Click here for the first story on this.)   One of the regulars at the Gordonton Country Market, Stella Sim, was the first to raise money for the family at the Market in March.

Tiago’s mother, Jo, says she always believed it takes a community to raise a child.  “I have discovered that it also takes a community to help a family in crisis.”

Iris will present the family with a cheque when next she is home from Taupo.

Not that all this running stuff is done with. Annette and Iris had signed up to do the recent 10th Hamilton Half Marathon but a family bereavement cancelled those plans.

Next year, watch out Osborne Rd, we hope to be there. (Click me for information on the 2014 event.)

Organiser Lyn Harris says more than 1800 runners took part, including 100 children who ran the final 2.195km to complete the marathon distance in the Earthcare Environmental Kids Marathon.

It turns out, much to the duvet-grabbing, chocolate eating pair’s surprise, that running is fun.  You might even see them running about on Woodlands Rd.

Iris and Annette running
“And we go this way for, oh, miles and miles and miles of mainly uphill…” Annette gives Iris, left, a few pointers.
The best part of any running event is when you stop...
The best part of any running event is when you stop…


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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

4 thoughts on “Running passion

  • November 5, 2013 at 10:10 am

    Congratulations to you both. For reasons obvious I couldn’t join you . . . Roy

    • November 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm

      You were missed. If we take on the Hamilton Half Marathon next year, Mr Burke, we expect you to cheer us on.

  • November 6, 2013 at 4:07 am

    Oh, you are the best!!!!! Congratulation for keeping up and coming that far…..
    and of course allthe best for Tiago and his family!

    • November 6, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      She ran and she ran and… well done her. And thanks to everyone who cheered her on!


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