Taupo Half Marathon – one word, Brrrrrrrrrr!
As I am still a newbie to this running activity, I was a bit concerned to the eyebrow movements when I mentioned running in Taupo on August 1st despite it being just 5 weeks after the last half marathon in Wellington.
So riding high on the euphoria of completing my first event, the trusty red rucksack was packed again with kit, spare kit and after a little more research, warmer layers…
We arrived late in the day (as usual) and I have clearly, after 10 years, acclimatised to the subtropical temperatures of the North of the North Island as Taupo was freezing cold with frost on the ground and the nip in the air took my breath away.
After checking into the hotel, the first essential was to check that I had packed my gloves and bobble hat this time as these were to be glued to me for the next two days – running is not, and never will be for me, a fashion competition.
Alarm blares at the crack of dawn, kit on, bag packed, carb and protein fuel eaten, race number attached after stabbing myself with the safety (safety yeah right) pins as my hands were so cold.
I have to remind myself that this is now month 7 with the final event being run in April 2016 and it has gone so fast.
At the race start (after nervous wee number 8) decked in my bobble hat, scarf and gloves, I am stood under a tree watching the sky turning black, only to be soaked by a massive deluge of rain. I honestly marvel at some of the chaps who are in singlets, shorts, serious running cramp socks who warm up with unimaginable exercises that make you wince at the thought of trying their activity.
Anyway, I digress, back to the race off we go. My last time was a few seconds off 3 hours so the aim is always to finish and secondly, to try to shave a little time off my initial event. This is my PB (sounding like a runner again Alison).
I purposely do not study the route map before I set off knowing that there will be water stations, toilets and a finish line on the way. I have treated each event this year as an opportunity to discover what is around me and really see new places.
Well, I should have studied the map and had an e-tour of the route as it was so cold and windy my head was down most of the time to prevent icicles on my nose and to prevent me looking at the long steep hills ahead. I am a Capricorn but am not built like a goat, hence I have issues with steep hills.
The half marathon was an out and back course and I was glad to see the 11km marker and know I was half way home. As is now my tradition, I kissed the cone showing the half way marker and carried on with a spring in my stride. The run back was along the lakefront rather than on road and so was really lovely although the wind coming off the lake was still nippy.
The event was well attended and marathon Mike from the TV News show went the whole hog and tandem skydived, had a jet boat ride and ran the marathon all in the same morning!
This was seriously a head down event for me and I was determined to better my last time even though hills were involved with the mantra of ‘I promise to study the next course before I run it’ going through my head.
Positive: Result was awesome, I completed the event in 2 hours 54 minutes; so 6 minutes shaved off my time.
Negative: I’m booked for Dunedin on 13th September and I have now studied the HILLY course and researched average temperatures and hope it will at least be a positive figure and not rained off!
I never thought I would ever write about the basics of running and in a way it is about being accountable but also to share some of the fun and surprises along the way for anyone thinking about starting a new activity. So when I feel grumpy, or moan about frozen hands and silly o’clock starts, I remind myself I am doing this for charity culminating in the big Kahuna in April 2016.
Next on our list:
Alison Gill – Dunedin 13th September, Half Marathon
Team edenfx – Rotorua Ekiden, 10th October – 6 of the edenfx ladies will be completing the 42km legendary course – Sarah Brydon, Mareece Pomare, Lynda Poole, Amanda Stringer, Suzanne Peden and Alison Gill
Alison Gill – Auckland 1st November, Half Marathon
Alison Gill – Paris 3rd April 2016, Full Marathon
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So thanks for reading, and your continued support. Until next time…