The Enthusiast 001: Keep Moving In Front Of The Gravity.


It’s fair to say my input at GPR has dropped off over the last little while. I’ve been faced with the contradiction of being too busy running to document the process of running.

I wish I could be all things to all people, however there are only so many hours in a day and as I found my kilometres creeping up and my text message replies to Paul devolving from full sentences to barked cap lock statements (sample : I EAT GRAVEL. CHASE LIGHTNING. RUN 4 EVA) to emojis (mainly lightning) to just staring at his replies balefully (attempting to communicate telepathically) it rapidly became apparent that doing all the things would render me unable to remain healthy and authentic (and Married and employed). So it goes, but I’m back, and before I go on I have to thank El Petch for his patience and understanding. Yuck, enough with the mawkish sentiment, let’s roll on.. like a rubbish Peter Snell I have been keeping a training diary of entry of which I’d like to share with you now.

When a 39 year old white dude’s diary attacks:

“It is currently 6:20 am Friday November the 4th 2016. I’m sitting here typing this having been up for roughly an hour. I was woken by a perfect storm of Lily (our six year old), Eric (our sixteen year old cat) and Rebecca (my wife) all being in our bed at the same time. Waking up this early isn’t as bad as it seems as I’m a morning person and I’d gotten to sleep by nine pm, which is something that seldom happens. I’m sitting here drinking coffee, torn between the desire to use my foam roller whilst everyone is sleeping or to use this small gem of ‘me’ time to go on Youtube and watch Les Savy Fav concerts from 2003. I’ve already made the school lunches, so that’s cool”.


This gem was written the day before I ran the Taniwha trail marathon. It was to be the culmination of 12 months of training with James Kuegler as part of a series that I undertook for Kiwi Trail Runner Magazine. It pretty much ruled, and I did well, better than I ever thought I could do. In fact, if you told me four years ago when I made the goal to be be fitter every year than I was the last for the next five years, that I would have run a trail marathon  let alone done okay in one I would have laughed in your face. Whatevs, It was rad, and if you want to get a break down of the race you’ll have to read my article in the upcoming KTR (or if not, peep the James Kuegler Website Blog, where they are serialised in an unabridged manner).

What has me most peaked with excitement is my new monthly feature on Good People Run, titled The Enthusiast, whereby I will write about what I like and what gives me stoke. This will include topics including (although not limited to) : Running, racing, punk rock, books, family, being a race director, trying to go faster and being competitive, liking Strava, shoes, bags, art, and punk rock (I really like punk rock).

If you are thinking this sounds a bit odd, that I should “stick to running” I would say to you that we are all more than running, or runners. Sure, the art and structure  may define a part of our lives, but we’re more than the sum of our parts. To truly put across an authentic voice, I have to be inclusive of the other parts of my life. If I think about it, I could only portray myself like this:

Game face on game face on don't cry don't cry. Photo by Photos4sale

Game face on game face on don’t cry don’t cry. Photo by Photos4sale

When if I am honest, the majority of my time (especially currently) could be documented accurately like this:

It's 0800 Wednesday. I'm achieving

It’s 0800 Wednesday. I’m achieving. (Side note from Editor: What is seen cannot be unseen!).

There’s times in my life when I’ve done a bunch of this (to the exclusion of most other things in my life):

What about then, my fervent love for this person?

This is actually joke romance. We had like, 10000 children with us and I had pneumonia. But at least I’m wearing pants

This is actually joke romance. We had like, 10000 children with us and I had pneumonia. But at least I’m wearing pants

And these guys as a whole who are my fair wind and following sea?

My old mate, Duckface, Thom from Accounts and Lil Bastard

Running around the hills means shit if you have nothing to come home to

Which one of these photos is the truest indication of who I am?  all of them are. So buckle in, this is going to be a fun ride.

The person who laid down the template for my love of his type of documentation is a hessian by the name of Steve Smith, otherwise known by his nom de hesh Stevil Kinevil who I first became infatuated with when he appeared in Brian Vernor’s beautiful documentation of life as an employee at Santa Cruz bikes, We Just Work Here.

I’ve been following him ever since, even though bikes have long since taken a backseat in my life. To peep inside the mind of this gene-ee-yuss and spend and engaging 45 minutes listening to a quality podcast, then go here. I’m still wondering if he ever broke the seal on that Rocket from the Crypt 7 inch.

Rather be forgotten than remembered for giving in. Photo: Forrest Arakawa

Rather be forgotten than remembered for giving in. Photo: Forrest Arakawa

Adding “being on a running team” to the loooooong list of things that I never thought I’d say I’ve gotten myself into the good situation where I’ve scored an entry to Kepler, the lock-stock-and-two-smoking-barrels pinnacle of Aotearoa trail ultra marathon running. This happens in roughly three weeks. It was roughly a week ago that I ran Taniwha. I’m not sure this qualifies for a double but when I’ve had moments of wavering motivation to get moving due to a bit of residual tired I take solace in this little video here.

Giddy up indeed.

Two things before I go. As music pretty much soundtracks my entire life, to the point where sometimes it feels like I’m going mad, the only two times awake I don’t generally listen to music is when running and writing. I thought for your (and my) enjoyment I’m going to include a playlist each month of songs that have been floating my boat, I hope you find something you like as much like my inner thoughts my musical tastes are a hot mess.

Lastly, The trail running community recently lost a pillar our sport when Steve Neary died suddenly last week in a car accident. Cast a casual glance on social media and you’ll see that pretty much everything that needs to be said has been said. For my part, the last time I ever saw Steve I went on a three and half hour run with him and Vicki Wooley through Riverhead Forest. To get to run with two people whom I greatly admire was a treat in itself, however this time will now forever take on a much greater significance in my memory. Godspeed, Steve. This week I’ve felt you resonate through my home trails and I hope that doesn’t fade. Thank you for the adventure.

That lean, though... Photo: James Kuegler

That lean tho… Photo: James Kuegler

Matt Rayment

Matt Rayment

Family man, runner & editor with GOOD PEOPLE RUN.
Matt Rayment

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