Setting the pace

17 Oct 2019

“It’s all about the challenge, to see how far I can go and what I can achieve – and, although you have to have a certain level of physical fitness, it’s much more mental than it is physical.”

Housemaster, teacher and ultra distance runner Dr Mike Field has the grit, determination and perseverance to take on what, to many, would be an insurmountable challenge – and to do so with a smile on his face. After running (and running and running ...) a total of 201km around the track at the AUT Millennium Stadium in Auckland from 9am on Saturday 28 September to 9am on Sunday, Mike was declared the 2019 Athletics New Zealand 24-hour men’s national champion.

“It’s a race run in ideal conditions. It’s completely flat, you don’t have to carry anything, you just have to focus on how far you can run in 24 hours – and you soon get into the zone, run, think, change direction every four hours. Time seems to go quite quickly.”

While Mike ran the hard yards, the whole Field family was there to cheer him on. His wife Julia was trackside for the full 24 hours, while his children, his siblings and their families came and went. He was truly grateful for their support, especially as he finished his marathon effort.

“It was an amazing feeling, very emotional, just a fantastic moment. All my family were there supporting me, making a lot of noise. It was lovely, a really nice finish.”

Mike’s win means he has qualified to represent New Zealand at the 24-hour world championships in Romania in March 2021. But you can’t keep the Mike out of the field for long and before then he plans to do more endurance races, including a 200km alpine run in Central Otago in January, a “last man standing” event in Auckland in April, and a 390km desert run in Utah next October.

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