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Climbing every mountain

WITH one eye always on the future, Paul Clarke likes to set challenges for his son.
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TEAM: Paul Clarke and his son Jonathan will run together in Sunday’s Triple Top Mountain Run. Picture: Jason Hollister.

And one of the biggest challenges is the Triple Top Mountain Run.

Clarke will escort his son Jonathan on the gruelling 19.7-kilometre course when the starter’s gun fires in Kentish on Sunday.

Jonathan, 11, was born with a partially formed corpus callosum in his brain, a rare abnormality that causes difficulties with orientation.

Clarke is hoping the race will assist with his ongoing development.

“I felt like it would be a good thing for Jonathan to do to further himself,” Clarke said.

“I’m thinking ahead for him all the time because of the challenges he faces and I’m hoping I can just extend him perhaps a little bit ahead of time so he’s able to walk into more capacity for himself as his life unfolds.

“He’s had to, over time, develop neural pathways to carry out things that we take for granted, something as basic as swimming for instance.

“By practicing, focusing and by going slowly he’s been able to develop and is continuing to develop those neural pathways.

“I hope events like this one speed that development up.”

The duo will run side by side, accompanied by Clarke’s brother Stephen for the duration of the course, which starts on Round Mountain and traverses Mount Claude, Mount Van Dyke and Mount Roland before finishing at the Claude Road Hall.

Clarke, who moved to Tasmania from his native South Africa in 2009 with his family, has tackled the demanding race once before, but it will be a new experience for Stephen and Jonathan.

“If I was to put myself in their shoes I’d basically say that they should be cautiously optimistic throughout the event and just keep moving,” Clarke said.

“It is quite gruelling at times, I’ve been told it’s probably one of the most formidable mountain runs that you can do here, but there are points where you can recover.

“I think my main concern is that we get to the check point before the cut off.

“I think it’s pretty doable though, we’ve done a bit of practising.

“It will be a team effort.”

The walkers’ section begins at 9am on Sunday and runners at 10am.

Buses will leave Claude Road Hall half an hour prior to each event.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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