Jendi Paterson, of Arrowtown, will leave the Wakatipu next
week bound for New York, where she aims to complete the New
York Marathon after the race was cancelled last year. Photo
by Tracey Roxburgh.
Jendi Paterson is not particularly fond of the name
The 30-year-old Queenstown Lakes District Council recreation
programmes team leader last year won her dream lottery - to
compete in the 2012 New York Marathon, a long-held goal and
one she wanted to do before her 30th birthday.
It was not to be.
After nine months' training, Ms Paterson boarded her plane
bound for New York - a city struggling to cope with the
after-effects of Hurricane Sandy.
At that time it was ''50:50'' as to whether the event, which
attracts about 50,000 runners, would go ahead.
Just 30 hours before the starting gun was fired, Ms Paterson
went from the highest of highs - collecting her race number -
to the depths of despair after learning through a United
States chat show the race had been cancelled.
''There had been a New York Times picture of a big
generator on the front page, not being used, in Central Park,
when there were 30,000 homes without power.
''I can definitely understand that, when 50,000 people were
entering their city and [planning to] use power that could be
used to light and warm homes and feed families.
''But it was so gutting.
''I didn't know what to do [so] the next day I went for a run
and saw the finish line.''
In 10 days, Ms Paterson will again see that finish line. This
time she hopes to be crossing it at the end of the 2013 New
York Marathon, having been offered a place in the race late
While it was an expensive decision, Ms Paterson said it was
also a ''no-brainer''.
''I kind of felt beaten - when you work so hard for something
like that and then something called Sandy comes along and
wrecks it all; to be beaten by some wood and twigs was
''There is nothing more frustrating than hearing `it wasn't
meant to be' at that time, but it has worked out better and
this year I'm just humming.''
In the past 18 months, Ms Paterson has gone through seven
pairs of running shoes and clocked up an estimated 3900km,
running an average of 50km a week, including this year's 32km
Routeburn Classic, which she finished in 5hr 1min. While last
year she aimed to cross the finish line in less than four
hours, just to finish this year would be enough.
''I think it would be stupid to go and do a race like that
and put pressure on myself. If I get a dream run ... I am
capable of doing it under four [hours], but I'll just be
happy crossing that finish line.
''If I have to crawl I will crawl.
''If they start that race, I will finish it.''
- The New York Marathon will be run on November 3 (early
November 4 in New Zealand).