|Jane Haughey and Anna Foaese, of the South Island Alliance.|
A shared interest in running gave South Island Alliance colleagues Anna Foaese and Jane Haughey all the more drive and motivation to conquer one of New Zealand’s biggest road races. The pair joined over 14,000 people taking part in the 21km ASB Auckland Half Marathon in October – supporting and inspiring each other along the journey, from training to completion.
To train for the event, Anna and Jane both built on their usual routines of running three to four times a week. Anna, who joined the South Island Alliance a year ago as the Well Child Tamariki Ora Quality Improvement project manager, says it was great having support in the workplace. “We are both really keen runners and it helped to share stories, ideas and tips to prepare and motivate each other. While you’re rewarding yourself personally, it’s also really nice to share an achievement together.”
Running fits conveniently into Anna’s busy routine. “It’s especially important when you’re working indoors in a sedentary role,” she says. “Running after work is the perfect ‘time out’ and going for a run in the morning really helps set you up for the day. It gets your endorphins going and is great for your mental and physical wellbeing – you just feel so good afterwards.” Anna decided to run the Auckland race after a previous injury had stopped her from completing half marathons for 18 months. “Jane and I travelled to Auckland separately and thought the chances of coming across each other were quite slim amongst thousands of people. But at the starting point I turned around and Jane was right there – and we ended up running most of the race together.”
Beginning at Devonport, the race continued around the Bays and over the Harbour Bridge, finishing at Victoria Park. Both nursing injuries in the last few kilometres, Anna and Jane were elated to finish the half marathon – and to finish close to their goal times was a bonus. “I really had to dig deep during the last part of the race – it’s a real mental game,” says Jane. “The atmosphere was amazing, the whole city really gets behind it. It’s lovely having people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds enjoying the experience together.”
Jane, Child Health Service Level Alliance and Palliative Care Workstream facilitator, has been working for the South Island Alliance since mid-2014. Completing the Auckland half Marathon helped towards her goal to complete six half marathons in 12 months – next stop: Queenstown. Jane’s love of running began after she quit smoking in the 80s. “There was no support back then for giving up smoking, so I knew I had to do something. I started running and to begin with I was so unfit I could barely run to a lamppost from my home. It’s such an inexpensive sport and creates amazing endurance in daily living. When you are fitter and stronger, it makes everything in life better and easier.”
Jane likens long-distance running to her facilitator role. “It relates to my job in that you experience many peaks and troughs. Some days are a bit challenging with obstacles to overcome, but when you put in the work and commitment, you eventually achieve results. It relates really well to this particular working environment – it’s not about short term results.”