Who is this Craig Kirkwood guy?
Craig is clearly passionate about endurance sport and he has an enormous wealth of knowledge, but why does this make him a good coach?
In 1999 he moved to London and met two people (Alan Storey & Kim McDonald) who had a massive influence in making him believe what was possible. Alan became Craig's coach and pushed him to new levels; and Kim hired Craig to become an Athlete Services manager and Assiatant Coach. Kim managed and coached numerous World Record holders, World and Olympic Champions. Being exposed to these athletes had a profound effect on Craig’s running and made him realise what was possible….the ceiling was raised. Craig lifted his game and qualified for the 2002 Commonwealth Games after finishing 13th in 2:13.17 at the 2001 Chicago Marathon.
After moving back to New Zealand in 2002 due to serious injury Craig continued to run road races and the odd Mountain Running Race. In 2006 he went to World Mountain Running Championships and in 2007 he won both Rotorua and Christchurch Marathons. In 2008 after admitting that his days for fast running were over he found a new challenge; IRONMAN.
After buying a bike and a pair of speedos, he set about training for the new challenge. After finishing 4th in his first ever triathlon (2008 Rotorua Half Ironman), Craig went on to be first age grouper home at the 2009 Ironman NZ in 9:09 and qualifiying for Kona. Since then he has done the Hawaiian Ironman twice, Ironman NZ twice more, and Ironman Melbourne.
Over the years Craig has posted some impressive performances, below are some of the highlights.
2018 ITU World Championships 9th in Age Group
2018 NZ TriNZ Sprint Distance Champs - 2nd in Age Group
2018 NZ TriNZ Standard Distance Champs - 3rd in Age Group
2017 102km Tarawera Ultra Marathon 9th place
2016 Fujisan Marathon, Japan 12th Place
2016 Tarawera 50km Ultra 4th place
2016 Auckland Marathon 5th
2015 1st Rotorua Running Festival 1h11
2015 IRONMAN World Championships 9h45 - 23rd age group, 2nd kiwi home
2015 1st Mount Half Marathon 1h112015 4th Rotorua Half Marathon 1h09
2015 NZ Ironman 9h12 - 1st Age Group & 17th Overall. New Zealand Ultra Long Distance Champion
2015 New Zealand Half Ironman Age Group Champion
2001 London Marathon 2:16 (Debut - 16th overall)