This evening has been a little sad but it's a good sad if you can say that.
Jesse Gibbs who I coached for a long time has announced his retirement from competitive running. I started coaching Jesse as a high school student, he come to our Harrier Club and registered for the Christchurch 1/2 Marathon I offered to help him and our Athlete, Coach Relationship started from there, a week later Jesse come back and said he had decided to run the Marathon instead, that did not go down well with some old stalwarts and visionless people who tried to say it would be detrimental to him. My advice was it is tough but if he wanted to do it then I would help him. On race day Jesse's inexperience showed as with 500m to go he took a wrong turn and was quite delirious from Hypoglycemia ( Non Diabetics get this too ) even though he took a wrong turn he still managed to win the Christchurch Marathon in the Mens U21 age group and continued on to do this for another 3 years proving his dominance in Marathon Running. Jesse soon become an Elite Runner and was selected to be a member of the New Zealand Performance Potential Squad Gold Member, this was the cream of the crop and was for athletes who showed potential for the Rio Olympics and beyond. I was proud to have been part of a team that assisted him to reach this level. Jesse's ambition and dedication to training and sport also helped him academically, in his last year at Mountainview High School he was presented with the highest award at the school ; Most Memorable Mounty an award from his peers at the end of year prize giving. Jesse went onto study Tourism at Otago University, and was invited to join the Honours Programme by his Professor. Jesse went to Brock University, St Catherines, Canada on an exchange and completed his degree graduating with a Masters Degree in Tourism with Honours. While in Canada Jesse continued to show his dominance in Distance running winning numerous prestigious events in Canada and internationally. Last Year Jesse set a New Personal Best 1/2 Marathon time at the New Zealand 1/2 Marathon Championships 1:09.33. I am proud to have been a part of Jesse's Success. My link is to Jesse's Records and performances from Athletics New Zealand. Jesse Gibbs