If you have ever cared to look at photos of fellow runners on Instagram, you have probably already seen Ian (@ian.morgan), the guy with a prominent beard and athletic build who more often than not appears take on the trails without a shirt. Reading the lengthy captions and comments that accompany those characteristic photos will give you a good glimpse of a warm-hearted and humble person, who is all about being true to himself and inspiring others. In June we were happy to take his offer to catch up for a coffee on the day prior to the Wellington Marathon, while a at the beginning of July we met up again to share a post-race beer after a rainy and extremely chilly Taupo Half Marathon and Marathon. Ian is a seasoned runner who works hard to give his best at events, while he is also clear that running and racing is at least as much about connecting with others as about one’s own performance.
We are really grateful that he took the time to answer a few questions, allowing to get to know him a bit better.
RW: Where do you live currently and what do you call home?
Ian: I currently live in Christchurch which is also my home town.
RW: What do you do when you are not running?
Ian: Well, with 4 kids (3 still at home), I’ve got plenty to do. I also work from home doing various boring adult related work stuff to help fund my running. I frequently enjoy coffee and eating. I also like to watch the odd movie.
RW: What got you into running?
Ian: I ran as a kid and in high school. I got back into running after the earthquakes destroyed our home. I guess I needed an outlet for the stress of dealing with a natural disaster.
RW: Do you have a training routine? Do you follow a plan?
Ian: Yes I do, I follow a modified Arthur Lydiard training plan. Generally, my training will be geared towards an event rather than following a regular program. I also ask my local coaches for assistance to tweak things when required.
RW: What do you enjoy most about running?
Ian: It’s difficult to narrow it down to one thing. I guess it’s the simplicity of it.
RW: You are a popular Instagramer. How did that happen?
Ian: That’s an interesting question. I’m not really sure. I just started posting stuff about my day to day running. I also found that just by being myself, people were somehow interested in what I was doing. . . Oh, and I think the ability to have a laugh and not to take life too seriously; and a lot of shirtless running/leg pics certainly helped.
RW: Do you have a favourite run or running route?
Ian: Pretty much anything with trails and hills in it.
RW: You have recently run the Wellington Marathon. What did you think of the event?
Ian: I absolutely loved it. The event was well organised and the course was brilliant. Wellington is also an amazing city.
RW: Was there anything you particularly liked about Wellington?
Ian: The coffee, the food, the people!!!
RW: What is your next running goal?
Ian: Well I’ve just run the Taupo Marathon. So now I’m having a breather until a charity event in November which involves running a few legs of the length of the South Island. Then the Queenstown Marathon. I’m also hoping to squeeze in a trail race or ultra somewhere.
RW: What was your best/worst running experience?
Ian: Best running experience is usually smaller, local races as you get to meet the locals and I love the community feel. Worst running experience. . . Hmmm, I’ve had a few, however I guess collapsing at the Queenstown Marathon and ending up in Dunedin Hospital wasn’t my proudest moment.
RW: Any running achievement you are especially proud of?
Ian: Actually, I always thought it would be the big goal events that I’d achieved. However, it’s really the things like seeing my friends run their first race that I’m most proud of.
RW: Do you have an ultimate running goal?
Ian: To run some of my big bucket list races throughout the world such as Boston, Paris, Western States, and many others.
Follow Ian on Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/ian.morgan/