Jeremy Ferguson hit his stride about 40km into the 60km charity Run for Hope he completed on Saturday.
“It was tough the first couple of laps … the third lap came, and it almost seemed easy. I don’t know why … The second lap was definitely the hardest.”
The Oamaru man decided to run an ultra-marathon to raise money for Ugandan-based Orphanage of Hope, and set imself the task of running three laps of a 20km circuit around Oamaru and Weston.
He set out from Friendly Bay at 4.30am and was joined by fellow Oamaru runner Wendy Fallon for the first two laps. Fallon and Ferguson trained for, and took part in, the first Alps 2 Ocean Ultra together in 2018.
“It was really good,” he said. “Because I think a lap without someone would have really been a struggle.”
For the third and final lap, he was joined by friends Nick Johnston and Ryan Thorn.
The father of two said his training for the event had dropped off in December, but he still completed the 60km in just over nine hours, which was his targeted time-frame.
“Training leading up probably wasn’t the flashest. In saying that, I’m the sort of person, that once I start it, if I say I’m going to do it, I’ll do it. But it might just be a lot harder than it should have been.
“I’d always get it finished and get it done, but it was still rough.”
Support at water stations increased as the day wore on, which was also a welcome boost, Ferguson said.
“That was really good. Made it easier to plod in and plod on.”
He managed to complete the run without any blisters, but gained two purple big toenails for his efforts.
His knees and other joints had also taken a hammering, especially coming down Buckleys Hill, near St Kevin’s College, but luckily wife Beulah is a masseuse, so massages for the next few days post-race had eased the pain somewhat, he said.
The run raised almost $1000 on the day from donations, which was equal to 200 bricks for the new school planned for the orphanage. Sponsorship from the New Zealand Air Academy provided another $1000 towards the $361,000 target, he said.