We at the Marathon Clinic love running and think it’s far more fun to run in a group. Based at the Barrington Tennis Club in Spreydon, we have four regular runs a week.
Our members are diverse, ranging from those who have never run a race, and just want to get into running, to those that have run many ultra marathons or triathlons: there is always someone to run at your speed. We also have a walking group on Saturdays.
Our standard runs
Tuesdays – Hill day! (10-14km)
Who doesn’t like a good run up a hill? We run from the clubroom to the Port Hills, up, then down and back to the club. On road, this is generally a faster run to get the blood pumping.
Thursdays – Speed work
Don Greig puts us through our paces in Hagley Park with short-distance speed work. Starting from the clubroom, we jog to the park, do our thing and jog back. The goal is to run a set time, rather than ‘as fast as you can’, so you are competing against yourself.
Saturdays – Flat (10-18km)
Starting at the club we go for a run around the city. Afterwards there is tea/coffee and a bikkie back at the clubroom.
Walkers: A walking group also heads out on a Saturday morning aiming to arrive back when the runners do.
Away runs: every so often we have runs away from the clubroom; as an example Halswell Quarry, the Red Zone, Bottle Lake, and Godley Head have all featured.
Sundays – Long slow run
Starting at our cafe of the week, we head out for 2 to 2.5 hours for a jaunt out in the fresh air. Predominately on trail, we normally head into the Port Hills, and naturally we end up back at the cafe for a coffee afterwards!
Have we got you convinced? Then come join us!
In February 1983, staff from the Christchurch City Council Pioneer Sports Stadium approached local long distance runner Don Cameron with the idea of setting up a group to train ‘fun runners’, and those new to running, with the goal of having them complete a half or full marathon. This turned out to be a very successful idea and the Pioneer Marathon Clinic soon had 70 members.
The group increased in number over the next two running seasons and in October 1984 it became self-managing and changed its name to the Christchurch Marathon Clinic. Membership grew steadily to reach 130 by 1986 and the club applied to become an incorporated society with the name ‘The Christchurch Marathon Clinic Incorporated’.
Origin of the name
The clinic gets its unusual name from a movement begun in Hawaii in the 1970s. Hawaiian cardiologist Dr Jack Scaff was a firm believer in the health benefits of long distance running, particularly for those recovering from heart attack. He helped to start the Honolulu Marathon and then founded the Honolulu Marathon Clinic.
At about the same time in New Zealand, there was a general desire to improve the health of our citizens and the Christchurch City Council promoted the idea. The Christchurch Marathon Clinic under the guidance of the late Don Cameron was a product of this wave of interest and concern.