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1983 saw an upsurge of people running, with the likes of the weekly milk run, women running clubs and harriers, the year saw over 1,000 runners head to Christchurch to compete in the marathon and half marathon.
Marathon running can be a lonely sport but it is the achievement of success that gives it the attraction. It is not just the run itself but the many hours pounding the roads by yourself.
Twenty six miles is not a long way, especially maybe for the first twenty, but it is the last six miles that can be a killer. This is the zone where a lot of runners hit the wall and try as they might to clamber over it is just too hard.
There were notable Southlanders that competed in 1983 with most of them excelling in other codes. Some of them were: Bob Robertson, Cyril McKenzie, John Crowe, Ron Cardno, Gordon O'Callaghan, Peter Fahy, John Hawke.
Of these group of ex-sportsmen Cyril McKenzie at 57 years of age competed in golf, squash, boxing and rugby.
Another band of Southlanders were: Murray Guise, Len Stephens, Colin Gray, Garry Palmer, Geoff Jones, Phil Masters, Lionel Ashford, Richard Baillie, Evan Jones, Philip Cook, Bernie Morton, Geoff Fraser, Gavin Warburton, Dennis Warburton, Tim Harrington, Gordon Rodgers, Tom Pryde.
The best chance for a Southland placing was in Dave Askin who was the 1982 Winstone Marathon winner in 2.22.37.
Others who were looking to better than 2.30 were Jim Bagley, Roger Whittle, Tony Wilkins, Peter O'Sullivan and Jim Hanan.
Women runners wre: Marilyn Cavanagh, Ann McDonald, Jan Burton, Yvonne Taylor, Mavis Hunt and Joyce Wylie.
Reference: Local Interest in Marathon. The Southland Times 1983
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