Rotorua Marathon May 2015 – The Wind of Change

Onto event number 3 which is known as the iconic Rotorua (at altitude) Marathon. Following the success of completing both Round the Bays and the Orewa events, I am feeling fine and dandy about the Rotorua run.

Travelling down to Rotorua the day before the event I realise that those of us who sit at our desks, sometimes forget to admire the views and landscapes of New Zealand and I must really make more of a conscious effort to appreciate these things. The Waikato is lovely and this is one of the reasons I am enjoying running around NZ as I am seeing places I either have not seen before, or have not seen in a few years.

Today is a special event at Rotorua as although it is their 51st Marathon, one was cancelled years ago due to bad weather so really this is the 50th actual event. One 92 year old chap, who puts most of us to shame is completing his 50th Rotorua Marathon – no not the little 10.5k that I am doing but the full monty!

Those of you who know of or have visited Rotorua will be aware of the associated aroma and those that don’t, well let’s just say it is unique and akin to striking a match and sniffing the funny eggy smell.

There is something quite spiritual about the location and when there is a blessing before the race start it sends goosebumps up your arms and puts a lump in your throat (bit like the first nativity play your child may have been in while you chomp on a hard boiled sweet and wipe away a tear).

So waiting in anticipation at the start line again and really enjoying my “back of the pack” position. This realistically means I can start to jog, yank up the trousers to suit, adjust the t shirt, re-site the ear plugs and get into a breathing groove without disturbing anyone else.

I had tried to research the route but being last minute billy I forgot the map and so nothing left to do but follow the hoards in front into the geothermal park. Luckily they all knew where they were going.

The wind was fairly kind to me, only blowing the steaming sulphur from the blow holes in the park every now and again causing me to have those involuntary head jerking forward movements. Luckily I had not eaten much and so all was good in the world.

The pace was fairly quick in my group and I was happy to do the walkity-jog to catch my breath when needed, no shame there – I now understand the altitude does impact on breathing. During these times, I was behind an avid supporter of the 80’s band Motley Crew as I can now recite all legs of the final Motley Crew Tour having trailed behind this person for a while.

The half and full marathon people were running a different course and so we met them as we came out of the geothermal park and onto the roads – some of these people are super serious about their running and totally dedicated (inspiring) and others just want to enjoy the event and have fun and get fit (equally inspiring). Not sure about rubbing Vaseline in strange areas in public mind.

After two laps of the park and back out onto the road, the end of the 10.5 k was in sight. I decided to up my pace and look like a professional runner towards the finish line (the photographer is always there to capture THAT moment) when another elderly gentleman overtook me with a big grin. He must have been mid eighties and so good on him J although he does appear in my photo slightly in front of me.

Rotorua – 1 hour 31 minutes and 14 minutes off my last time.

Ho Hum, three down, 7 more to go this year. Mount Manuganui in a couple of weeks.

Final note, the 92 year old, did finish the Marathon, all 42 K in 11 hours – spectacular!

Myself and team edenfx are running for Breast Cancer in 2015. Any donations, be it $1 or $10 is welcome. Please click on the link below to help us help others 🙂



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