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Blog 63: Caden Shields: life as a 2:15 marathoner!

Updated: Aug 12, 2019

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Post Gold Coast Blog


Thank you Dane for the opportunity to appear on your blog again.


Hi Run Culture followers,


Well it has been an amazing few weeks for me since the Gold Coast marathon. I was extremely emotional following my marathon at Gold Coast. My goal entering Gold Coast was to run with complete freedom and stay in the moment throughout the race, focusing on the process rather than the outcome. I was so happy to finish the race knowing I had achieved that whilst also running a time of 2 hours 15 mins and 36 secs which was a time that I truly believed I was capable of running.


📷The whole weekend on the GC was an amazing experience, running alongside such great athletes as Ben St Lawrence and Yuki Kawauchi was surreal. Both really pushed me along and helped me throughout the race, and I will be forever grateful for that.


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📷Crossing the line and being able to hug my fiancé Rachel and celebrate achieving a lifelong goal of qualifying for a global championship was amazing.


📷Rachel has had a significant influence on my running and overall quality of life.We met 5 years ago when I was a final year physio student and have grown a lot together in that time. Rachel has taught me a lot about myself and about life. She has helped me to become a much more well-rounded person and I wouldn’t have achieved the things in running I have in the last few years if it wasn’t for her influence. Sharing the moment of success together was amazing.


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Life changed quickly with the result of the race. Athletics NZ approached me within 3 hours of the race and offered me a spot on the Cyprus heat training camp to prepare for the world champs in Doha. I have not been officially selected for the NZ team for Doha as final selection announcements will occur in September, and at this stage I am the 4th fastest qualifier, however Cyprus was an opportunity I could not turn down. So within 10 days of the marathon I was on a plane to Cyprus.


📷I landed here this past Monday and have been trying to adapt to the heat. Athletics NZ has treated me amazingly well since I have been here. We have a great team of athletes and staff working together.


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The aim of Cyprus is to gain some heat adaptation and also to understand how my body responds in the heat to plan appropriately for Doha if I am selected. We are staying in a purpose-built performance centre and have access to a number of different training grounds.

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As mentioned in my last blog, my long runs in Christchurch have around 1200m of vertical gain over 44km, so Steve Willis and I went to scout the mountain area of Cyprus for an appropriate place to replicate these runs. We found a mountain with a 1600-year-oldmonastery on top which has a 5km climb at 10% gradient which we think will do the trick!

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Overall, Gold Coast truly was the experience I prepared for and wanted. To have achieved a performance that now places me in contention to represent my country feels extremely rewarding and I was pleased to be able to do it for all the people who have supported me throughout the years where I have struggled with injury, poor performance and disappointment.


Running can be a brutal sport, and I have experienced the highs and the lows enough to know that I need to saviour this moment. Despite achieving the world qualifier, the greatest moment for me following Gold Coast has been being able to share the feelings of joy and happiness with others.

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© 2019 by Dane Verwey