Adam Shinnick
Adam Shinnick Craig Warhurst

Tough challenge for Gympie teacher

RUNNING his first marathon recently was a tough battle for Gympie teacher Adam Shinnick.

The keen runner has done just about every gruelling physical challenge there is, and this year thought he would tackle the 42.2km Gold Coast Airport Marathon.

“The marathon was the hardest thing I had ever done. I got to the 30km mark and it nearly killed me,” he said.

But Shinnick is not one for quitting, so he kept going just so he could say he completed the whole course without stopping or walking.

“The consistent running physically took its toll. I could hardly walk the next day.”

This achievement is just another under his belt.

He has competed in a half iron man competition and came back with a time of less than five hours – a good effort, he said, for a 1900m swim, 90km cycle and 21.1km run.

Even though he has pushed his body to the limits, he said running for three hours and 27 minutes in the marathon was physically harder than anything else he had ever challenged himself to.

This is including walking the Kokoda track with his father – which is what has spurred him on to push himself every year.

He first became interested in Kokoda after watching a TV program about it.

He trained hard with his father, a Vietnam Veteran, to do the walk in 2007. T

he journey was important to the family as his great uncle was killed on the trail during WWII.

“I have trained since 2006,” he explained.

That regime each week sees him running 80 to 90km and cycling 60km, including running on Monday nights with the Hash House Harriers.

He has also competed in the City to Surf 14km run in Sydney.

“That was difficult.

"I finished in under an hour (56.30).

"It was probably the proudest moment I have had, it included ‘heartbreak hill’.”

Shinnick said running uphill was difficult, but his first marathon was harder.

After Kokoda he competed in the Noosa triathlon, then the Gold Coast Half Iron Man.

Last year he cycled 250km around Port Philip Bay.

That cycle took him seven hours and 45 minutes.

“I suppose you could say its addictive.

"If I don’t do it, I feel guilty about not putting in the effort,” he said of his challenges.

“Its something once you’ve done it, it makes you feel good during the day.

"The endorphin release sets your day up.”

Shinnick has three children; two of them are just as into sports as he is.

Yesterday his daughter made it into the Wide Bay athletics team for 800m running.

“You could say it’s rubbed off on them.”

Shinnick said he played sport from a young age, his father “carting” him off around country Victoria watching Aussie rules.

“My whole childhood was basically spent in the summer months playing cricket, and Aussie rules in the winter.”

He sees the importance in getting children involved in sport from a young age.

“I think its extremely important they lead an active lifestyle.

"We need to, with the levels of obesity and the lives we lead now with more time playing video games and less spent pursuing sporting events.

“But on the flip side, any parent would tell you it is very expensive.

"It’s unfortunate the costs are very high.”

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