By Emma Sharplin – firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurinda Lewis may have taken up running only recently, but that has not stopped her from claiming gold at the World Masters Games recently.
The Pukekohe resident was up against 21 others in her age group, and while she had completed and placed in full marathons before, she found the task of competing in the World Masters Games a bit daunting.
"I didn't think I would be good enough and that I would look stupid against everyone else. So you can imagine my surprise when my family told me I was wining my age group," she laughs.
The 68 year old from Pukekohe won gold for her age category.
It has not been an easy road to this achievement. Laurinda's journey began three years ago, when she realised her health wasn't the best.
"I couldn't even run to the gate. I was overweight, and felt incredibly down and out about myself. I asked Ginny McArthur at Outlook for Life for help, and haven't looked back since."
Laurinda has lost 24 kilos from her 5ft 1" frame. She begam running after Ginny suggested she join them in half marathons.
"I became hooked, and just love it. I have never, ever run before, and it was awesome to have someone believe that you could do it."
In November last year, Laurinda took on the Auckland Marathon and won her age group. It was then she decided to give the World Masters Games a go.
"Everyone here at Outlook for Life has been so supportive of me, and I think that is why I have been so successful. That I am part of a like minded group who all look out for one another," says Laurinda.
Ginny believes Laurinda's secret to her success is due to the fact that she never misses a gym session.
"She has the best attitude, and has never missed a workout. She is a machine, and balances running with weights. Who would have though that you could pick up a new skill at 68? She has never have had an injury!" says Ginny.
Laurinda has now her sights on the Keri Keri half marathon in November. Her advice for those who would like to give running a go is simple.
"My favourite saying is argue that you have limitations, and they are yours. You know, there are always excuses, you are always too old, too young, too big or do not have enough time. Just get up and do it. There is no time like the present."
CAPTION: With the help from Ginny McArthur, Laurinda Lewis has claimed gold at the World Masters Games 2017.