Nimble Noel’s ready to run

Noel Morriss on the start line, below: Noel with his medal haul from the 2020 South Island Master Games

Noel Morriss is yet to be beaten in a 400m race at the South Island Masters and he hopes to keep that record in tact when he runs this Sunday.

The 71-year-old is competing in the 70-75 age group category, and will run in the 100m, 200m and 400m events and has plenty of medals from previous games to inspire him.

He enjoyed his first South Island Masters running competition in 2010 when he raced in the 60-65 age group.

Noel has a spring in his stride and has also tackled long jump in the past.

He is of slight build, weighs just 54kg and is as fit as a flea.

Noel says he’s quick off the start line, but doesn’t like using starting blocks.

“I’ve always had a bit of dicky back, so I’m not convinced I can always get up and out of the blocks.”

From a standing start he can run 100m in 14 seconds, 200m in 29.9 seconds and 400m in a minute 14 seconds.

“I’ve always been a runner right back to my school days at Hampstead School,” he says.

“I also played masters football with the Mid Canterbury Fossils for 20-odd years until a few years ago.”

Noel is competitive and likes to win his races.

An injury kept him from running for a couple of years, but he bounced back last year and won all three of his races at the South Island Masters in Timaru.

He enjoys the camaraderie of the games.

“I see the same faces coming back year after year and I’ve made some friendships.”

He signed up for a 12 week membership at the EA Networks Centre gym as a build-up to the upcoming games and had been following his own training programme.

“I’m really looking forward to a road trip to Blenheim with my wife Kay and we’ll stay up there for a few days after the racing has finished,” he says.

Noel has competed at previous games in Nelson, Timaru and Dunedin.

The South Island Master Games runs from October 15-25.

-By Mick Jensen