Terry Preddy’s penchant for running began 25 years ago as a tick box on his bucket list. Aged 48, he wanted to finish a marathon by his 50th birthday.
Fast forward to 2018, Terry, now 72, has checked that tick box over and over again, having successfully completed 71 half marathons and 20 full marathons. His next conquest is the NZ Sotheby’s International Realty Queenstown Half Marathon on November 17 – his 73rd birthday.
The renowned Queenstown event is a particularly special one for the Christchurch grandfather – he won his age group category last year and is determined to defend his title. He’s also acting as an athlete ambassador on behalf of the event’s sponsor, New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty.
“This year will be my fourth NZ Sotheby’s International Realty Queenstown Half Marathon,” he says. “I was surprised but delighted to win my age category last year as I was coming off an injury. I always run to be competitive, either against the clock or my running mates in the same age group. But as you get older the competition tends to drop off as age or injury forces retirement.”
Although Terry didn’t start running until later in life, he now describes himself as a “full-time” runner and enjoys travelling around New Zealand and overseas, competing in some of the world’s most spectacular running events.
“I’m motivated to keep running mainly to keep up a reasonable level of fitness and to see how long I can remain competitive,” he says. “A major bonus is being able to travel within New Zealand and overseas while enjoying a weekend or holiday away and meeting like-minded people.”
Terry says there are a few key points to remember when beginning to run marathons, whether you are in your teens or the golden years: start off slow, seek advice from fellow runners and take the time to enjoy it.
“The biggest commitment is putting on your running gear and getting outside,” he says. “You get a great feeling running in the rain, knowing others are tucked up inside.”