On the pace: Clint Williams competing in this year's Challenge Wanaka Half


A Queenstowner’s defied cancer to notch up an impressive sporting record.

Clint Williams, 34, has already endured two brain surgeries for cancerous tumours.

However, between times he’s run marathons and half marathons — he’s running the half marathon version of the New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty Queenstown Marathon tomorrow.

He’s also got into Ironman triathlons.

Last December, he completed Taupo Ironman 70.3.He then competed in Challenge Wanaka Half in February, finishing seventh in his age group and qualifying for the world champs in Slovenia.

Now he’s preparing for the pinnacle one-day endurance event — the full Taupo Ironman next March comprising a 3.8km swim, 180km bike leg and full marathon.

He’s currently training 15 to 18 hours a week, on top of working 49 hours a week as a joiner.

Williams has also launched a Givealittle page — ‘My journey with cancer’ — to raise money for the Cancer Society.

His purpose is to thank the Cancer Society for its support — ‘‘I will be eternally grateful for everything they did for me’’ — as well as inspiring those in the situation he was in.

‘‘You will get through it,’’ his page states, ‘‘and you can achieve anything you could before treatment, and more, with the right mindset.’’

Williams had his first brain surgery in 2013.

However, there wasn’t any follow-up treatment, and his tumour slowly grew back.

After his second surgery in 2018, he underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy, which wiped him out.

For the next six months he had to take chemotherapy tablets five times a month, but he elected not to carry on with that.

A breakthrough came when he took on a nutritionist.

His partner, Abi Barber, who’s running her first half marathon this Saturday, says ‘‘with going through this, we’ve shifted our priorities more than ever, and health and wellbeing and fitness is no.1’’.

Williams says he’s in the clear ‘‘but it is an incurable tumour, so it will grow back, but you never know’’.

Barber: ‘‘Whenever we talk to people about Clint, they’re like, ‘that’s mazing’.’

‘‘For us, we just take every day as it comes.’’

Williams also gives credit to his employer Formatt Bespoke Joinery Co. which he says has been very supportive.