Running a Passion
By STEVE ARCHBOLD
SINCE he quit swimming as a 17-year-old schoolboy as it was taking up too much of his time, Canberra's Geoffrey Bruce developed a passion for distance running.
His win in the Sawtell Fun Run on Saturday continued an association with the event which stretches back to 1980 when he first started visiting the area for Christmas holidays.
Geoffrey has saluted in the Sawtell Fun Run eight times which has contributed to his overall count of 40 wins from 110 fun runs in the past 25 years.
The toughest event he has contested is the annual City to Surf which he has now run 21 times and the next challenge is to beat his previous best time.
Now 42, Geoffrey says his times are improving with age and what keeps him going is the challenge to stay competitive with younger runners.
At home in Canberra, Geoffrey clocks up around 110km each week and goes for a training run every day.
"Although I started mainly as a 1500 metres track runner you still have to do long distance training so I just stuck to that program as I went on," he said.
While Geoffrey is happy to run a half marathon, at this stage running marathons and doing ironman triathlons isn't something that really appeals to him.
"I have friends who have gone in marathons and ended up injured while training for triathlons takes up too much of your time doing the various disciplines involved and to reach the level I would like to achieve," he said.
Each year Geoffrey does six major running events and also takes in other smaller fun runs like the one in Sawtell.
As they changed the course slightly, Geoffrey is the new record holder and you can bet he will be back to defend his title next year.
"I have had a good training year where I have been relatively injury free and held my fitness so the past 12 months have been pretty good ? my times are getting better as I get older so I am turning back the clock a bit," Geoffrey said.At this stage Geoffrey's children aren't into the distance running scene although one of them did win their age group sprint race on Saturday.