Kiwi youngest ever to run Australian half-marathon

Kiwi youngest ever to run Australian half-marathon

This time next week a nine-year-old Waiuku student will become the youngest person ever to run the Australian Outback half-marathon.

Quinn Gardiner-Hall has already completed one half-marathon in Kerikeri last year when he was eight, and he is on a mission to convince other kids to get off their computer games and get outside.

When it comes to sport Quinn is always ready. That's not an issue. Quinn loves to run, and has done ever since he was a baby.

"I was doing the phantom mud, which is about eight kilometres, and my dad pushed me in a pram. Then when I was about five I actually started running by myself," says Quinn.

"I used to nag my mum and dad, and when I was about seven I started beating mum to the finish line."

Quinn is now nine. In a week he will become the youngest person to run the Australian Outback half-marathon, which is predominantly off-road, made up of bush trails, tracks and unsealed roads.

He plans to do it in two hours and 10 minutes.

From start to finish the temperature could rise from 3degC to 25degC. Watching from the sidelines will be kangaroos, camels, even snakes.

His motivation is simple.

"Well, I'm trying to get kids off the couch, get active and show them and even being little you can still do great things," says Quinn.

"It's good to see more kids actually doing stuff than in front of a computer all day."

He has already inspired some of his mates.

He completed his first half marathon in Kerikeri last year in two hours and seven minutes. He was eight. He beat his mum by 10 minutes.

"It took a lot of energy but five minutes after my race I had a lot of energy," says Quinn.

The downside is he is growing out of and wearing through his sneakers every few months.

Every day, usually before breakfast and after homework, he's pounding the pavement, running five kilometres around his hometown, Waiuku.

"We have never said to him, 'You should do this, you should do that.' He's just one of those Kiwi kids of the old times who have just got that good understanding [that] you can achieve great things if you put in the effort," says Quinn's mother, Kylie Hall.

He's a Kiwi kid on a mission – one he's not running away from.

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