Buoyed by two fine performances earlier this year, Queenstown marathon runner/triathlete Jason Hall kicks off his season with the Auckland Marathon at the end of this month.
The 26-year-old won the Tahiti-Mooera Marathon in March, then finished 14th in his first full ironman in Cairns, Australia, in June.
Hall was going to Tahiti for his mum’s 60th birthday when his dad found it coincided with the Tahiti marathon.
He says the race was amazing, including locals putting on a haka for him at an aid station and men beating drums on the back of a ute in front of him the whole way.
For first prize he not only won $1200 but a return flight to anywhere in the world with Air Tahiti.
For the week leading up to the Ironman Asia-Pacific Championship in Cairns, Hall trained with the eventual winner, Kiwi Braden Currie.
He was stoked to reach his target of under nine hours.
“I went to some dark places on the bike, but I was happy with it – it was just cool to get it done.”
Hall turned pro after winning his 18-to-24 age group two years ago at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Mooloolaba, Australia, but says he’s giving triathlons a miss this summer to concentrate on long-distance running.
“It takes over your life, and you miss out on a few of the fun things.”
After the Auckland Marathon on October 28, his main target will be the 60km Kepler Challenge in Fiordland on December 1.
“This will be my first long-distance trail run – I want to give that a good crack because it’s quite a runnable course.”
Later in the summer he’s keen to tackle the local Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon and the Motatapu marathon.
Between times, he’ll help out young Queenstown Athletic club runners.