Athlete of the Month

Maree Greig 

Hometown: Newtownards, Northern Ireland

Favourite Post-Race Snack: Pizza 

Favourite Pre-Race Snack: Chinese 

Favourite Running Memory: Running New York marathon in 2014 with 52 000 participants. We had to arrive at Staten Island 3 hours before the start of the race, conditions were the worst in the history of the event, very cold and so windy that the wheelchair participants had to start in Brooklyn. My pre-race warm-up consisted of keeping warm in one of the many portaloos, and my time was 3 hrs and 52 minutes. It was my first and last marathon! 

Favourite DGRS Memory: First DGRS club trip to National Road Relay 2020 Feilding. We sent 3 teams – a senior women’s team, an over 50s men team, and a social team. We flew into Wellington and drove to Feilding via the liquorice factory. 

Favourite Race: Gold Coast half marathon 2012, winning my age group 50 to 54, and running a PB in 1.32.42. 

Words of Wisdom: Be patient and never give up. 

What did you want to be growing up? Nurse or policewoman. 

Mountain or sea person: Mountain. 

What is one thing you can share that none of us will know? Don proposed to me in 1980 on a trip to Europe. We decided to buy the engagement ring whilst in Europe but unfortunately for me, Don had run out of cash (pre credit cards). So I paid for my own engagement ring! Typical Male…. 

Fave music/song/artist: Group: Fleetwood Mac, Song: Dreams, Artist: Christine Mc Vie. 

DGRS Origin Story: Buller marathon 2014 post-race while having lunch in our motel Ants, Shane and Adam came in wearing the same t-shirt with this funny logo on the front. It took a while for Don to figure out it was his name. Six years later that DGRS became a registered club 

Samantha Benson-Pope

Hometown: Dunnaz! 

Nicknames: Samsters (on a piano), Sambo, SBP 

Favourite Post-Race Snack: Bagel with PB & J 

Favourite Pre-Race Dinner: Pasta 

Favourite Running Memory: There’s too many! 1. When I was faster than Anne 2. Followed a close second by a great visit/weekend of running in Dunnaz with Philly, Anne and Daniel last year 3. Also stellar morning runs with Hazza and my Wednesday (very early) morning runs with Alex. 

Favourite DGRS Memory: The return of Olympic Donny Greig at Molesworth 2020 (Editor’s note: Let the record state that Sammy is referring to Don as Donny, not the editor who respects how much Don hates that nickname) 

Favourite Race: Oooooo Buller or Molesworth 

Words of Wisdom: The real hero is the first person on the street to put out their wheelie bins. 

One thing that no one will know:  I think everyone knows everything about me. I’m an open book (and apparently I talk a lot). Mountain or sea person: Sea... I don’t like the cold. (Editor’s note: this is really perplexing logic). 

Fave music/song/artist: The Lumineers

DGRS Origin Story: I met Maree (also known as Donny’s better half) soon after I moved to Christchurch in 2012 – the rest is history. They are both bloody wonderful. 

Dinner around your table: ooooo probably a family get together with mum, dad and Henry and Sam (can’t beat it or dad’s cooking). (Editor’s note: trade out Dad and Sam for Phil and Anne plus some of Dave’s world famous gumbo and you’ve got her honest answer).