At 40, Woman Takes Up Running In The Desert

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Nov. 8, 2011
  • Updated Nov. 8, 2011 at 11:26 AM UTC
Megan Stewart took up running at the age of 40. Photo: Taranaki Daily News

She decided to make some life changes.

Megan Stewart took up running at the age of 40. Photo: Taranaki Daily News

The number 40, age-wise, can force many people to look in the mirror and commit to doing something different with themselves. In the case of New Zealand native Megan Stewart, who, at the time, weighed 94 kilograms (207 pounds) this entailed taking up running.

Specifically, it meant running an ultramarathon the middle of the desert.

“I wasn’t happy within myself,” she recalls. “I was a busy mum doing two jobs. The days were long and there was no real time for me.”

After taking up running, Stewart lost a staggering 22 kilograms (nearly 49 pounds).

“I was overweight and unfit . . . and I didn’t want to be old, fat and miserable,” she says.

Stewart’s first race was the Taupo challenge, a 100K ultra that she walked to raise money for the charity Oxfam.

The concept of actually running an ultra came to her when she noticed an ultra runner, Lisa Tamati, training at a local gym. Lisa called Stewart and asked her to crew for her next event.

Crewing for the ultra meant learning how to run. “I’d never run, I’d always said I couldn’t and I had bad knees but it was because I was fat,” she says.

For More: Taranaki Daily News

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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