Fiordland runner selected for NZ team

Dwight Grieve has been selected for the New Zealand team heading to the World Mountain Running Championships. PHOTO: Photos4sale Ltd

Fiordland runner Dwight Grieve has achieved a life goal with his selection for the New Zealand team heading to the World Mountain Running Championships.

The Fiordland Athletics Club captain is the only athlete south of Christchurch to be selected to compete in the 2018 World Mountain Running Championships in Canillo, Andorra, this September.

Athletics New Zealand selected eight athletes to compete in the championships based on their performances at the Athletics New Zealand Mountain Running Championships held in Central Otago back in March.

The Senior Men competing are Dwight Grieve, Matthew Scott from Christchurch Avon, and Niam MacDonald and Harry Burnard from the Wellington Scottish club. The Senior Women are Sabrina Grogan from the University of Canterbury, Nancy Jiang of the Hamilton City Hawks, Sarah Douglas from Christchurch Avon and Sophie Smith from Athletics Nelson.

Mr Grieve said selection for the team was "pretty special."

"I'm sort of pinching myself. This is a full New Zealand selection, the tier below the Olympics and Commonwealth Games teams. It's right up there."

Mr Grieve said he had represented New Zealand at Masters tournaments, but they were all self-appointed. To be chosen for the New Zealand team he had to put in an application and do well enough to meet qualification standards. 

"I was pretty damn stoked. I only properly started running with a coach four years ago. The goal then was to be the best runner in Southland. To have the silver fern singlet is just going to be freaking awesome."

Mr Grieve said at 40 years of age he was "ancient" in running circles, and would be competing alongside his teammates who were between 20 and 22.

Mr Grieve has been training seven days a week for the past few years and will continue to do so in the build up to the event, but will adjust the base training before the race to what he requires. Included in training now would be little hills, runs across the golf course, and more time trials down the likes of Ramparts Road, he said.

Mr Grieve said the scary part was now having to raise $6000 and getting to Andorra. It is hoped that a GiveaLittle page will be set up to support Mr Grieve, as well as some fundraisers where he could give back to the community.

"I'm looking for a hand up, not a hand out."

Mr Grieve said he loved sharing what he was doing, so anyone keen in meeting up was more than welcome to join him.


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