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Marathon man: Chris Seymour left Queenstown on Thursday to run the Boston Marathon

By PHILIP CHANDLER

For his 24th marathon, a Queenstowner’s this month competing in the ‘holy grail’ of marathons — and also chasing his fastest time.

Chris Seymour’s running the 126th Boston Marathon in the United States, after  qualifying with a personal-best 3 hours 4 minutes in his home-city Houston Marathon, in the US, just before the Covid pandemic struck two years ago.

The 45-year-old, who’s had an Auckland-based coach put him through his paces, is targeting his first sub-3hr time on April 18.

‘‘In fact, with the way I’ve been running, my coach says I’ve still got a few more years to get faster.’’

Seymour got into marathons in 2015 when he started a charity challenge involving running marathons on seven continents to help fight a rare brain disease, MLD, which his niece had.

As a result, he’s run marathons as far apart as Antarctica and the Arctic, where Russian para troopers protected runners from polar bears.

He’s also run five of the six ‘world marathon majors’ — New York, London, Tokyo  (twice), Chicago and Berlin — leaving only Boston, which is the world’s oldest marathon.

This month it’s also celebrating the 50th anniversary since women were first allowed to run it.

In ’67, Kathrine Switzer, who now lives in Wellington, famously barged her way into the
event to protest its exclusion of women — she’s a special guest this time.

Seymour’s also using the event to fundraise for Cure MLD, a charity that helped his late niece’s family after they lost their home in Hurricane Harvey — the donation link’s via runovermld.com 

He also founded the Queenstown Parkrun — part of a worldwide movement of weekly 5km runs — almost four years ago, having ‘‘parkrun’’ in Sydney and moved here to find there wasn’t one.

‘‘Wānaka was then starting one, so I said if Wānaka starts one, we’ve got to start one in Queenstown.’’

He says he sometimes finds it harder to run a Parkrun, which is ‘‘just pedal to the metal’’, than a 42km marathon.

scoop@scene.co.nz