Manfeild’s running man back on track
WHENEVER Perry Newburn starts out on a run, whether a gentle outing or a total gut-buster, he knows sooner or later he will meet an adversary who must be befriended.
Pain is simply part and parcel of a pursuit that has seen him undertake 60 or so marathons, a number of fund-raisers and several ultimate distance running feats, including crossing the United States.
Pain’s arrival is never a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ says the master of epic foot-pounding endurance.
“You’re going to have pain. Definitely, That’s inevitable.”
The trick, says the man who took up running 12 years ago with the goal of running a marathon before he turned 50 and nowadays might clock more than 200km a week, is to meet and beat that foe; be prepared mentally and use it to advantage.
“You have to learn to relish it, use it to your advantage.”
He will next battle his enemy in earnest at Manfeild on April 12-13, when he undertakes a 24-hour run that is primarily a fund raiser for IDEA Services’ Day Base.
The target of an 8am to 8am effort is to equal or better the $3500 he raised for them several years ago.
The run also serves as a warm-up for a much more ambitious national outing later this year: Cape Reinga to Bluff in under 18 days, thus bettering a record that has stood for 40 years.
Lapping the circuit is nothing new for the Feilding identity – he’s previously undertaken a 72-hour enduro and two 48-hour run at the home of some of New Zealand’s most famous motorsport events.
Those feats were arduous enough to wear out shoes and induce cramp, nausea and, ultimately, hallucinations.
The latter came in the final hours of the three-dayer, when he achieved a landmark 487km. He became convinced the painted bays on the track designating the race vehicle starting positions were hurdles.
“I was stepping over them as though they were a metre off the ground and I wondered why the guy next to me was laughing his head off. Even when I realised what I was doing I found it hard to stop.”
Again, all part of the territory when you’re pushing to – even beyond – the normal physical limit. “You just go with the flow.”
“You need to sleep. You have to balance how much you have to have and how much you need.”
Even though preparation plays a huge part in ensuring success, he says no amount of planning can cover everything. For Manfeild, for instance, the regime of drink and comfort stops, sock and shoe changes, all planned with the support crew that will remain on hand through out, will remain flexible.
“It varies so much, depending on what’s going on, how the body is handling it on the day.”
His aim is to achieve up to three laps of the 3km main circuit per hour.
“But it all comes down to how you feel on the day. With this you go through stages where – you know, you’re feeling great – and then, suddenly, it’s ‘God, who’s idea was this?’
“You have to expect the unexpected, so that when it hits it is not such a biggie.”
The previous Manfeild efforts were invaluable in his build up to the feat that has made him internationally known – that 5000km New York to Los Angeles epic in 2014 when he claimed the world masters record for the coast-to-coast run, covering the distance in 51 days, 16 hours and 40 minutes.
He’ll return to the US at year-end for ‘Across the Years’, a six-day event on a short loop track so named because it starts on December 28 and finishes on January 3.
That’s after he strives, in September, to shorten the Cape Reinga to Bluff record by a day; a step up from his past feats of an Auckland to Christchurch run and a circumnavigation of the country.
Bettering current Kiwi records in both will be bitter-sweet if accomplished, because they were set by Newburn’s hero, Siggy Bauer, another Kiwi legend who was a world ultra-distance ace in his day.
Meantime, Newburn is welcoming anyone to come and join him on the track, for gold coin donation, during Manfeild opening hours – 8am to 5pm – on April 12.
Manfeild CEO Julie Keane says it is a delight to have Mr Newburn on the track.
“Perry is a remarkable person and the massive effort he puts into his sport is truly incredible.
“We are pleased that Manfeild affords him a safe, traffic-free haven for his incredible battle overcoming enormous physical fatigue, not only muscular but mental.”