For many parents dropping the children and “running” is simply a necessity of modern life, but for three Raglan mothers it’s led on to a huge sense of achievement.
Friends Sharon Patterson, Brigid “Biddy” Allan and Joan Loten got into the habit of going for a jog together after dropping off their youngest children at the same Raglan kindergarten sessions in Stewart Street.
Sharon says she liked the running but was concerned that “as we get older we tend to get injured”, so jumped at Joan’s suggestion a few months back that they start biking together instead and train up for the Karioi Classic.
And on Sunday the three friends reaped their rewards in the 43 kilometre race.
Sharon Patterson was understandably “shattered” after cycling around the mountain, but added that completing it in under two-and-a-half hours – she stopped the clock at 2 hrs 24 mins 24 secs – was awesome.
She reckoned the hardest part of the race was the climb up from Ruapuke, but once past Te Toto Gorge she knew the worst was over. And looking around at some point and seeing she was among a group of guys “I knew I wasn’t too far behind”.
Fellow first-time competitor Brigid, who finished in a great 2hrs 11min 02 secs, joked she found it all easy peasy before quickly tagging on the words “no way!”.
Meanwhile for their mutual friend and third-time competitor Joan Loten, who at 2hrs 8min 46 secs “smashed” her previous best time by around 20 minutes, crossing the finish line on the airfield perimeter was also an ecstatic moment. She said later she would’ve been happy with 2hrs 15.
For the record Joan was 17th woman home overall, with Brigid just one place behind and Sharon 24th woman home.
The three had admitted when the Chronicle caught up with them before the race that they were hyped up – “My heart’s racing … hammering,” Sharon confessed, whereas Joan only started feeling not so “wobbly” once she was on her bike.
Joan’s husband Mike, a GP at West Coast Health Clinic, won a bike for her after competing in the first of the four Karioi Classics he’s now notched up. That motivated Joan to compete in the events herself.
Joan in turn was good at motivating her friends on their training rides, Sharon explained. “She’d push us along and was always ahead … we kept trying to catch up with her.”
And while they wouldn’t exactly call themselves competitive, Sharon told the Chronicle, they were all “serious” about the event and of course wanting to do well.