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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

How we spent Mother's Day

Updated: Mar 8

Being a special day for my beloved Alofa, I suggested we drive over the hill from Wellington to the Wairarapa for a romantic walk over the lower trails of Mount Holdsworth, then finish with lunch. She agreed. It happened, by sheer coincidence, that the Wairarapa Multi-sports Club was running its annual Mountain Duathlon at Mount Holdsworth. I entered.


So, while Alofa hiked the trails I cycled 20 km, ran 5km then cycled another 20km to the finish. We had a wonderful Mother's Day.


Oh, did you, by chance, ask how did I do in the race? Well, to my surprise, I finished second in the Open Men. Not too bad when you consider I'm bordering on 68 yrs and did the race on a cyclo-cross bike, taking on the hybrid time trial bikes.

Race results

More pleasing than ever was I ran freely over sometimes rough trails.

Gary running
The finish of the run

A few months over 5 years ago, I shattered my left ankle.

ankle fracture
My left ankle today

The damage was such that my running days were over. But I kept hope alive and patiently plugged away at gentle rehabilitation, knowing the genetic programming of my body is to heal, no matter the damage. All I had to do is nurture these processes, which is what I did. For the first two years, I did not even attempt to run. I seldom walked further than a kilometer. I stuck to activities that encouraged repair and strengthening and not further wear and tear of already damaged joint cartilage and tendons. I found I could cycle without pain, so cycling it was to be! During the 5 years of rehabilitation, I won three World Masters Mountain Biking Championships - yes, three.

Gary bike transition
20 kilometres to go!

With joints, "no pain - no gain" does not apply! Any pain deep within a joint is a signal to stop, lest I do irreparable wear and other damage to delicate joint surfaces. Pain is our friend and one not to ignore. So, for five years, I patiently listened, waiting for my ankle to tell me when to ramp things up to another level. For the last year, I've been carefully stepping up the distances being run, as well as tackling more and more challenging terrain. This patient approach has paid off. Instead of hobbling about with an arthritic ankle during my retirement years, I'm having a ball!

Gary at finish of race
Well, that was rather exhausting!

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