Our guest speaker on Tuesday 13 October 2015 was Andrew Wharton. Andrew lives in Tawa with his wife Miranda and they have three young sons.
He took up running six years ago because he felt he was not active enough and needed to lose weight. He joined the Scottish Harriers and quickly built up his training and enthusiasm to a point where he contemplated running the marathon.
The Boston marathon is the oldest continuously run event having commenced in 1897. For amateur runners it is the greatest challenge and most high profile event. It is a “point to point” run, rather than the typical continuous circuits elsewhere. In the 2013 race there were 30,000 runners from around the world including over 30 kiwis. The qualifying standards are set high as otherwise the numbers would be too many to cope with.
Andrew showed us very clear overheads of the course and the finishing area where the two bombs exploded shortly after he had finished his run. The first was outside his hotel and the second was ten seconds later a block down the road. He gave us a graphic and at times emotional description of the after effects of the bombing , both physical and emotional, as well as his observations on the reactions of the media and the wider public. His greatest regret was to miss out on the traditional celebrations after completing the arduous task. This motivated him to return and run again in 2014, which was a means of exorcising some of the negative emotions arising from the earlier event.
Andrew has run a total of eight marathons, four of them overseas, including representing Wellington this year at the marathon sponsored by our sister city Sakai in Japan. As a rising 40 year old he feels he can now reduce his distance running but continue to enjoy participating in shorter events. However he may just get interested again in contesting the 125th Boston event in 2021.
We thank him for his very comprehensive and thought provoking address, and wish him well in his future career.
Boston Marathon – a sequel
Andrew Wharton’s stimulating talk and reference to Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston marathon brought back a memory. Switzer is the wife of Roger Robinson, international athlete, broadcaster, writer and an emeritus professor of English at Victoria University. Robinson was an entertaining guest speaker at a time when our meetings were held at the Tawa tennis club rooms. Robinson and Switzer divided their time between New York and Wellington (more the former). It was a balancing act for Robinson to fit in our meeting (he also spoke to the Wellington retired police members’ club). Kathrine Switzer was ‘interested’ in speaking to our club but, for one reason or another, it never eventuated.
Meeting with Tawa Lions
On Wednesday, 21 October, we have a joint meeting with Tawa Lions. The guest speaker is Detective Inspector Paul Basham, Kapiti-Mana Police’s area commander. The meeting is Linden Social Centre, Linden Avenue at 6pm.
Singers to listen for
Rotary Wellington is hosting a fundraising event on Friday 6 November -
"This event promises to be a showcase of our spectacular New Zealand talent, featuring Benson Wilson, Stephen Diaz, Madison Nonoa and Filipe Manu with Rodney Macann as MC and Bruce Greenfield as Accompanist.
Tickets price includes canapes and refreshments. A charity auction will be held on the night with funds raised being donated to Wellington Free Ambulance." To find out more, click on the this link.