As marathon convenor of the Kia Tu Kia Ora – Summer Wellness Marathon clinic, Annemarie Gallagher was at the heart of an exciting project which led a large group off the couch to chase their goal of competing over a range of distances at the Rotorua Marathon.
Launched in late-January the 15-week clinic was led by Lake City Athletic Club, in partnership with Athletics New Zealand and the Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust. The clinic proved a huge success more than 150 people turning up to train up to three times a week. Unfortunately, due to the postponement of the Rotorua Marathon*, scheduled for May 2, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the clinic was closed in mid-March.
While fully acknowledging the reasons behind the closure of the programme, Annemarie admits she was “devastated’ as she believes it offered the community so much. “I was blown away by the numbers in the programme,” says Annemarie. “For some of the participants it was life-changing. We had a homeless woman attend and we also had a young widow, who has recently lost her husband. She said the group was the one thing that had kept her going. It increased fitness, allowed people to make new friends and changed lives,” she adds of the programme.
*The Rotorua Marathon has been postponed until Saturday 26 September, and will include the New Zealand Marathon Champs. More information can be found here. Planning is underway to re-start the Kia Tu Kia Ora programme ahead of the new Rotorua Marathon date.
Read more about how the marathon convenor for Kia Tu Kia Ora is taking on the challenge of life in lockdown below:
How are you coping with life in lockdown?
Very well. I’m lucky to live in a lovely home and to an extent I’ve treated it as a holiday. My husband and I are really busy people but we’ve have really enjoyed spending that extra time with the family. I try and make sure I get out for a run in the Redwood Forest here in Rotorua at least three times a week. It is tough to run on your own but at least it helps keep the lockdown fever away.
Describe your daily routine?
I have five kids currently staying with me, three of my own children and my sister-in-law’s (my sister and her husband are essential workers) two children aged 10 to 14. Schoolwork often starts at 9am and could go on until 1pm. If I’m going for a run, I’ll do so in the afternoon and then it is cooking, baking and spending time with the kids. On an evening, it is generally movie time.
Is there a fitness video you would recommend?
I’ve done some of the Les Mills videos, although I’m not so co-ordinated! We’ve done some videos on YouTube, although I’ve generally gone along with the fitness videos the kids want to do.
What is the best thing about being in lockdown?
For me, is has been about stopping to take the time to reflect and appreciate the simple things in life. I’ve had lots of family time with no pressure and as a person who has a very pressured lifestyle doing lots for the community, that has been quite nice. My husband has focused on trying to save our businesses (in tourism and hotels) and for the first week to ten days I felt quite down. But after a while I came right. If life gives you lemons you make lemonade!
What have been some of the most challenging elements of life in lockdown?
It has been when the children are having a bad day and not getting on. Being under the same roof all the time has created its pressures. It’s been difficult for them not being around their friends.
What has been your favourite downtime activity?
Baking. I’ve worked my way through the Edmonds Cookbook during lockdown. I’ve baked souffles and sponges, things I would normally have never had the time to focus on.
What movie and TV series would you recommend watched during lockdown?
The movie is ‘Last Christmas’ with Emilia Clarke and the TV series would be Ozark, that kept me entertained for two weeks during lockdown!