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February 2022 Issue
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I’m doing it to climb a mountain

Photo: Laurie Kinaston

Laurie Kinaston is training to summit Taranaki Maunga.

When the country first went into lockdown in 2020, Taranaki school teacher Laurie Kinaston set herself a goal of walking 1000km by the end of the year.

“I decided I needed a goal for my mental health and to keep fit,” she says.

Kinaston had been a regular walker and had done a number of half marathons and the challenging Taranaki Around the Mountain Circuit. But with many events cancelled due to Covid-19, she says having personal fitness goals has been a good way to stay motivated.

After knocking off 1000km in 2020, she upped the challenge to 1500km in 2021 and had just 119km to go when she spoke to Wilderness in December. 

For those starting out on Walk1200km, she says it gets easier but it’s important to have a routine and to track your kilometres to stay motivated.

“Don’t worry about the weather, just get out there,” Kinaston says. “Even if it’s a grey or stormy day, it’s good to get outside. I find after a hard day in the classroom, it’s a nice way to unwind.”

She says having friends to walk with regularly is also a good way to stay on track. 

“Life gets busy and sometimes you don’t take time out to catch up with each other, but going for a walk together can have a social benefit.”

Laurie’s favourite walks are on Taranaki Maunga, where she’s training with friends to summit the mountain in February.

“Most weekends I catch up with a group of friends at East Egmont or Dawson Falls and we challenge ourselves with a walk for the day.”

Have you signed up to do the Walk1200km challenge? Do it now.