‘Amazing’ to finally run marathon

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YVONNE O’HARA

yvonne.ohara@alliedpress.co.nz

Four hours, 42 minutes and 29 seconds.

That is not much time in the general scheme of things, but to Roxburgh personal trainer Sally Feinerman, it was the attainment of a significant goal to mark her 50th birthday.

She and about 50,000 other people ran the New York City Marathon on November 5.

“I was really happy with how I did,” Mrs Feinerman said.

“I wasn’t really there for the time. It was more to soak up the atmosphere and the energy of the event.

“It was incredibly amazing and everything I wanted it to be.”

She said people cheered her on all along the route, calling out her name, which she had printed on her shirt.

Although she had trained for about six months before the 42.2km marathon, with 5km to go she had begun to tire.

“I felt I had enough, but no way was I going to stop.”

This was her third attempt to do the marathon.

She wanted to do it in 2011, but during a qualifying event in Auckland she collapsed and later found she had a heart condition, which she said was genetic and similar to having a “faulty spark plug”.

She received a pacemaker and continued to train.

She earned a place in the 2012 event, but Hurricane Sandy blew that apart.

This year she was more determined than ever to run it.

“I am turning 50 this year and I thought it would be a good goal for me.

“I was excited about running it and the atmosphere and the energy really did keep me going.”

As she had a pacemaker and had completed other marathons, she was considered a “Global Hero”, a runner who benefited from medical technology.

She said she and another runner, who had type 1 diabetes and was also a Global Hero, had intended to meet before the race, but had not.

“He ran up behind (I had my name on my shirt) and we ran the last 5km together.

“We crossed the finish line together and that made it even more special.”

Now she has completed the New York event, she is happy to run shorter distances for fun.

She took part in the Queenstown Half Marathon last weekend.

“I haven’t let my pacemaker stop me achieving the goals I wanted to.

“I like to spread the message for the Heart Foundation about the importance of staying fit and healthy, and have worked quite closely with them.

“Whenever I can, I try to inspire other people to not let things get in their way of achieving their goals.”

Now she wishes to spend more time working on her personal training and health food business, and is looking forward to fitting exercise around other activities.

“When training for the marathon it was all-consuming for a period, but now it is nice to get things back in balance,” she said.