May 2020 -Week 6

Wellington Marathon Clinic May (Week 6 of lockdown) 2020, Newsletter 

How are you going?

I’ve got to say that I haven’t had the best of weeks – a crash off my bicycle and an infected finger obliged me to spend some time in hospital. I can report that our health system had a lot of capacity to deal with COVID – the wards weren’t busy when I arrived. A few days later they were filling up, the nurses said that things are “returning to normal”.

In New Zealand, and the rest of the world, things are slowly going back to the way they were. On Thursday the government clarified what we can and can’t do in Level 2. I’m sure most people have read the rules –  

For runners and walkers, it means we have to use good hand hygiene, maintain physical distances and keep track of who you’ve been in contact with. All of those are manageable for WMC, so when Level 2 happens, we should be able to resume our Sunday activities in some form or other. We’ll be in touch of course.

Wim van Dijk, President

PS. The finger is getting better thanks. I’m contemplating a short jog in the sun tomorrow, somewhat inspired by Sean Bardsley – who is virtually running through England!

Peter Firth

Here is how Peter is feeling during the lockdown …

How are you feeling during this time?
Quite relaxed and accepting of the lockdown now that the number of infections are reducing and the death rate is relatively small compared to other countries. At first I was annoyed and upset that the freedom of movement that I had enjoyed all of my life (apart from a few months in the Army doing National Service) had been curtailed. As I have been retired for some time now though, the lockdown has not been as wrenching as it would have been if I had still been working. When I do go out now, it is on foot, not in the car. The saving in the cost of petrol will more than cover the wear and tear on my walking shoes!

Who is in your bubble?
My bubble is very small. Just my wife, Janet and myself. With telephones and computers though, our contacts with friends and relatives has not been restricted at all. Our Clinic walking group, the Medium Walking Group, has set up an email Bulletin Board on which we chat to one another. This is really enjoyable as we have always been a very social group and it is good to know what others have been up to during the lockdown. As for face-to-face contact, Janet and I live in quite a compact little neighbourhood and we frequently converse with the neighbours over the fences and driveways, keeping the requisite two metres apart of course.

What have you been doing with all the spare time we have on hand?Mostly gardening and reading. Just before the lockdown took effect I had hired a gardener to help stem the ever increasing green tide. When I was younger I looked after the house gardens, a smallish vegetable garden and a large piece of steep council land between my back boundary and Pembroke Road above just on my own but now, a helping hand is much appreciated. Unfortunately, Myrene came only once before the lockdown so what I would gladly have left to her, I am now doing by myself. When my muscles cry “Uncle!” I have been reading those books that I had but had not yet opened. There were an embarrassingly large number. A couple of years ago I visited the aviation museum at Mount Maunganui and purchased a vast number of back issues of aeroplane magazines. I’m still working on them, they have been a godsend when looking for something lighter than history books.

What does your fitness routine look like?
Quite apart from the fitness that my almost daily gardening routine gives me, I have been keeping up my cardiovascular fitness by doing two walks a week. Midweek I do a 6km walk, mostly through Wilton and Wadestown down through Lennel Road to the harbour lookout at the bottom of the cutting. Always worth a good pause to admire the view, especially on really nice days. On the way back, I have been exploring all of the little byways, steps and paths between the lookout and home. In the weekend I have been regularly doing a 2 hour, 10km walk. Firstly a circumnavigation of Tinakori Hill and then out and back walks to Khandallah and South Karori. Must admit that solo walks, while enjoyable, are not as pleasant as walking with a group of friends. Let’s hope that we will be able to do this again, sooner than later. 

Dennis Key

Here is how Dennis is feeling during the lockdown …

How are you feeling during this time?
Busier than ever (see below). We are lucky to have physical contact with our granddaughters though.

Who is in your bubble?
Christine, my son and his wife, and two granddaughters ages 5 and 7. My son’s house is in the middle of renovations with currently no kitchen, laundry or bathroom. They were staying with us while work was proceeding, when lockdown came and the work had to stop. We’re all pleased that it has now resumed under Level 3.

What have you been doing with all the spare time we have on hand?What spare time? We are both retired so it could be said that all our time was already “spare”. But having extended family with young children in the house, our life has become busier than ever. Both parents are busy working from home so home schooling is now on our agenda, starting with class Zoom meetings to kick each school day off. Like many other people, I have taken up baking sourdough bread, a fresh loaf every other day.

What does your fitness routine look like?
My gym and Christine’s yoga classes are not an option at the moment. However, living in Hataitai, we are lucky to have so many walking routes with beautiful views from the hills overlooking Evans Bay, north towards the Hutt Valley and south to the Cook Strait. We manage to get out most days. Hopefully the paths, steps and zigzags of Hataitai’s undulations are helping to keep us fit.

Ring of Fire 72km Volcanic Ultra Marathon,
Mt Ruapehu
Aotearoa/New Zealand

At 4am on the 7th April 2018, in the dark over 160 runners began their epic 72km day circumnavigating the active volcano. One of these runners was our very own Sean Bardsley.

“I’ve heard it said that running an Ultra Marathon is like experiencing Life in a Day. Well you certainly have an intense series of experiences that delight, excite, disturb, frustrate, hurt and reassure. If it scares you and excites you at the same time then you should probably do it. I think that’s about right – dare to fail don’t fail to dare. Push your limits my friends for that’s when the human spirit grows best.”

Sean Bardsley.

To view Sean’s photo journal on Steller:

Get Steller free on the App Store:

Photo Gallery – Andy McNeill Memorial Event 2019

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Editor’s note: 

This is the last of our ‘Weekly Lockdown Newsletters’ as we are returning to the monthly newsletter. I would like to thank everyone for their contributions and Stan Wing for loading them to the website each week.

If you would like to contribute an article/story to the newsletter please email contributions to

Kia kaha – stay strong!

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