Taking part motivation for Hill

Damian Hill and mother Denise Hill, both of Dunedin, at the finish of the half-marathon. Photo:...
Damian Hill and mother Denise Hill, both of Dunedin, at the finish of the half-marathon. Photo: Wayne Parson.
For talented sportsman Damian Hill, yesterday’s half-marathon was never going to be about  victory but of taking part.

The Dunedin retail worker navigated his way around the 21.1km course from the Sargood Centre to  Dunedin’s northwest corner to Watson Park, Port Chalmers, in 2hr 6min 2secFor Hill (36), running is just another string to his sporting  bow  with cycling, tennis, surfing and golf all featuring in his busy lifestyle.

He has recently returned from a two-week surfing holiday in Fiji, enjoying what he said "were just a few waves and some kava".

Hill fronted for what was just his second half-marathon in 10 years, encouraged by his run in the 28km Three Peaks race over the Dunedin summits of Flagstaff, Swampy and Mt Cargill in April.

"That got me back into running again.

"More for fitness and enjoyment than anything," he said.

Running in the Three Peaks event was something he had often thought of doing but had never got around to. He rolled an ankle on the run up the Pineapple Track but carried on  despite ongoing discomfort.

"It slowed me down for the rest of the race" he said of reverting to a combination of jogging and walking. He completed the course in just under 4hr.

Before yesterday, Hill’s only other half-marathon was also over the Otago Harbour course a decade ago. He ran it with then-flatmate  Jeremy Medlin.

"We’d done a bit of running and thought we’d give it a bit of a crack," he said.

"We planned to run together, but it didn’t work out that way," he added of his initiation into the 21.1km distance. clocking a time of 1hr 52min.

His goal yesterday was to just finish and get a time close to what he recorded 10 years ago.

But weather, wind and age he said were deciding factors.He is keen to return for redemption and target such events as the Luxmore Grunt and Kepler Challenge.

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