Running Mt Maunganui – Quoting the Beach Boys, I get around (the Mount).

To start todays blog, a BIG thank you to everyone who has supported the running events so far this year and for the $1800 total donations received for Breast Cancer – this is truly remarkable so thank you.

This week’s event (#4) is at Mount Maunganui running along the beach, Marine Parade, Beach Road and around the Mount itself; this happens to be scheduled on the exact same day as Paihia event. The former, I have never visited and is a smaller event and Paihia is a widely recognised event but having visited many times on the tourist trail with our overseas visitors, I elected to run at the Mount.

Now, when will I learn that travelling out of Auckland on the Friday before a Public Holiday means at least a few cross words with self and husband in the car due to traffic, lots of tutting and grunting at others and beating myself up at not having left on time rather than taking just one more call for the day. Ho Hum…. Lesson One

So, given we left at 1.30pm on the Friday afternoon, the only saving grace is that we arrived on the same day, albeit 6 hours later in the dark – so much for admiring the views on the way. Friday night disappeared into an early start and exploration of the Bay of Plenty.

So, this was spent wandering around the Mount, taking in the hot salt pools and finding the local eateries that would not cause an upset stomach for the race morning. I just happen to adore Indian and Thai food, so really no hope for me. Lesson Two.

The 10km race was scheduled to start at 10am which is the most massive lie in ever and so watched the 8am Half Marathoners out of the window running in the pouring rain and foul wind and hoping for brighter weather to arrive.

10am came, kitted up in cold weather gear and really looking like I was about to embark to the North Pole. Serious runners were kitted up in shorts singlets coupled with running gloves and bobble hats (wicking ones of course). Boom, off went the gun and the short brigade were off like a shot and I happily walkity-jogged behind in the wind and ocean spray admiring the view along beach road leading to Papamoa.

Marine Parade Mount MaunganuiI am constantly amazed at the volunteers who give up their time freely to support family and friends or just give an encouraging yell to the back of the packers like me. I had downloaded some new tunes (ok, so not so banging tunes – see reference in previous blog) to my iPod so was happily jogging along to Good Vibrations and the Best of the Beach Boys – I reckon it takes away the pain a little, although not for those around me as I forget I can be heard when I have my headphones on.

Halfway marker in sight and this always makes me grin and speed up a little, all downhill (numbers wise) from here. A quick u turn back onto beach road and Marine Parade leading back to the start line – alas the track continued around the base of the Mount and slight inclines of 45m ahead.

The crowd was almost as big if not bigger than the participants and cheered the youngest to the oldest competitor along.

The actual run around the Mount was pretty as the rain had finally stopped and the views were just stunning – no time to stop and admire the view though – I was on for a personal best.

The winding paths were almost at an end and the finish line in sight. The final descent down the Mount and over the finish line was awesome although LESSON 3, do not try to smile at your husband while struggling for breath and increasing speed at the last minute while a camera is in hand for lasting evidence. The photos look as if my lips have fallen off and stuck to my gums somewhat devoid of spittle and a manic grin on my face. I’m sure you know what I mean….

Alison Gill Mount MaunganuiSo the outcome, a brilliant local event, totally well organised and the $1,000 spot prize went to a young girl who had decided a 5km run was better than watching TV on a Sunday morning – well done!
I managed a new personal best of 1:25 for the 10km and great to end on a positive note as the 10km’s are now a distant memory with the 22km looming next event in 4 weeks.

Thanks for reading, the next stop is Wellington 22km on 5th July, followed by Melbourne, Taupo, North Shore, Rotorua Ediken team challenge (go team edenfx HSE!), Queenstown, Auckland for 22km each all before November 2015 and then the BIG ONE.


Alison is running for Breast Cancer and to donate, gold coins welcome, please visit


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