Saturday, August 10, 2013

Beer is the secret to running 100 marathons

For Norman Chan, the secret to completing 100 marathons in six years is not about a strict diet or a rigid training plan - it is all about having a beer. The 53-year-old Christchurch wine salesman will become the fastest New Zealander to run 100 marathons on September 9 in Dunedin - six years, five months and eight days after his first one in April 2006. He will break the current record of nine years and two days held by Ingrid Frost, of Auckland, and will become the 37th member of the New Zealand 100 Marathon Club. Asked if he followed a training plan or ate special foods to keep him in top running shape, Chan said: "Hell no." His weekly intake features pies and hamburgers, up to a bottle of wine and at least five or six beers, and he runs casually between races. "Part of the way I look at it is have a beer, relax, enjoy the moment, and that's what I'm doing now. I'm not a typical marathon runner," he said. Chan began running marathons after completing the Coast to Coast and decided to set his sights on a new challenge. His first marathon took place on April Fool's Day. "I loved it. "I had a fabulous time," he said. His feats have included completing five marathons on five consecutive weekends and two marathons in one weekend. He has taken part in six ultra-marathons, including a 24-hour, 164-kilometre race. His fastest marathon was the Christchurch Marathon, which he ran in three hours 39 minutes, and the slowest was a trail marathon in Queenstown that he completed in nine hours 24 minutes. "That one was really, really hard." Chan no longer runs to beat times; he now uses his marathons to help other people. "I started off going for personal bests and then I started to realise that you're going to break down, you're not going to survive," he said. "Now I'm helping people. "I've decided to make myself a larger goal - pacing people, helping people with their goals." Although initially wanting to do more, he said the financial side of being a serial marathon runner was an obstacle. Chan reckoned he had spent well over $10,000 on travel and entry fees. Despite this, there is no slowing down for Chan, who has resolved to join the exclusive 200 club as well. "I just think it's really good fun and there are some fabulous people you meet. We do get called nutters, but that's what we are." - © Fairfax NZ News ASHLEIGH STEWART Last updated 05:00 31/08/2012

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