Run Risi, Run

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The 19-year-old is based with the sevens programme full time in Mt Maunganui but when lockdown was announced last month, she scrambled to find a flight to return home to Motueka in the Tasman region.

 

Home with her parents and two younger brothers, Pouri-Lane spent most of lockdown working around the house, with her mum and brother picking up work at a local kiwifruit packhouse when international workers left the country.

 

But in the last few weeks things have taken a turn for the more challenging. Inspired by former teammate Huia Harding, Pouri-Lane has set upon some extreme weekend training.

 

“Huia has been doing a few challenges and is training for a big run, I talked to Theresa (Fitzpatrick) about them and she was keen, so I couldn’t really back out,” said Pouri-Lane.

 

After both honouring the Anzacs at dawn on April 25, Pouri-Lane in Motueka, and Fitzpatrick in Auckland set about running one mile (1.6km) every hour, on the hour, for 10 hours.

 

And as if that wasn’t enough, they threw in a few arm-based circuits for good measure between runs.

 

“It was quite challenging because it was an awkward distance, I felt I was just warming up and then it was finished. I was already puffing and feeling fatigue after about the third or fourth run,” said Porui-Lane.

 

In between each run, it was about refuelling, recovering, and getting ready for the next run.

 

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“My legs were getting heavier and heavier, so it was about just getting yourself up again and I think the last run was probably my best.

 

“It sort of ended up being more of a mental challenge, when I look back it shows a lot of perspective about how powerful the mind can be in getting through pain barriers.”

 

With 19.2km completed in one day, Pouri-Lane then embarked on a second challenge, upping the ante somewhat in attempting two miles (3.2km) every two hours, over 10 hours across Saturday and Sunday.

 

“I prefer longer runs and longer rests but that first day it was pouring down and windy as, I could have gone home and got back in bed but I had a drive to do it, once I set my mind on it, I had to do it.

 

“My younger brother would join me on his bike, he could have been at home on the playstation so it was cool to have him, and on the Sunday my sister, who lives in Japan, did the challenge as well.

 

“The two miles every two hours felt more like a simulation of sevens, you go out and run and then have to recover and try get yourself in good shape to get yourself back up again. It’s a bit like when we play Regional Sevens and have to play six games in a day.

 

“A big part of what was getting me through on that second day was my faith, I was repeatedly telling the pain and negative things to go away, and it worked.”

 

Pouri-Lane believes there have been some learnings she will be able to take back to sevens when the team resumes training.

 

“We have talked a bit about how to implement some of the mentality into our training in terms of bringing those dark places into rugby and how it can relate to the roles we have to play on the field.”

 

“I’m not the fittest or fastest out there but I sort of thought if I could push through, it might inspire others with challenges they are facing.”

 

The challenges don’t end there, Pouri-Lane said she and Fitzpatrick are already planning their next epic weekend training session.

 

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