Oamaru man Luke Smyth reckons now is the perfect time to test himself physically, as he moves closer to a significant milestone.
He is one of three locals to have gained sponsored entry to the Alps 2 Ocean Ultra, a 300km run from Aoraki Mt Cook to Oamaru over seven days in late February and early March next year.
Smyth, a veterinarian partner and mixed rural practitioner at the Veterinary Centre in Oamaru, said having the opportunity to compete in the event was huge motivation for him.
“I turn 40 at the end of this year, which is a bit of a milestone. I had a goal of being as fit as possible at 40, so this is a way I can work towards being part of the race.”
Smyth, who had his entry sponsored by Fitness 24, is a regular at the gym’s “tribe fit”, a high-intensity exercise programme.
In recent months, he has competed in the Queenstown marathon and the off-road marathon at the Motatapu multisport event, alongside twin brother Jacob.
While he looked forward to the challenge of tackling the ultra event and would adjust his training accordingly, he was determined he would not slip into any old habits that might impact on his preparation.
He also wanted to ensure it did not affect his family life too much.
“I tend to be a bit lazy with these things, so it will force my hand, so to speak.
“I worry about the time and the training involved. I’ve got a wife and three young sons – there might be a slightly selfish element to it, so I have to factor my training around my work and family life.”
Smyth said he would take a positive attitude into the race, and was determined to see it through.
“I’ve tried to break it down in my mind to 100 3km races, because everyone can run 3km. That’s my way of breaking it down into manageable chunks.”