The weekend started with the foot on the gas and that’s how it pretty much was until hitting the pit on Sunday night. We made our way down to Queenstown in good time, arriving at around 10.30. A routinely settle in cup of tea with John and Kate and lights out as we all had a massive day ahead of us! Alarm kicked off at half four and I awoke feeling like I had more than enough sleep to get me through the day.
Pre-race went so smoothly and I really thank Rose for driving on the morning. The drive over the crown was dark so we didn’t see much, well anything, and apart from getting trapped behind a bus and a little detour via Wanaka town ship, due to the AMP Show, we arrived with loads of time up our sleeve.
As Rose left me to fend for myself I lined for the bus to the Motatapu Station. This part was super-efficient and a real credit to the officials and organisers. Around the Station was a hub of activity but once again easy to get all of the things you needed before the race began.
Having wanted to compete in this marathon but not having the time due to various things I was pleased to be at the start line watching the sun’s rays’ caress the surrounding ranges. Not for too long though, as a rifle was blasted into the air by a young lad who seemed smaller than it, signalling the start. Right from the start Vajin Armstrong and I put a break on the field and that’s the way it stayed for the race. We ran together for nearly 30 km’s of the race. He was great to run with and we swapped stories and discussed upcoming races and previous ones. Vajin was a week out from the Tarawera Ultra, a race that has an amazing depth of quality runners this year, so he was always saving his legs for next weekend. As the last 12 km’s are mainly downhill I just strode out down these a put a little gap between us, a gap which I kept for the remainder of the race, coming home in 2 hours and 55 minutes. I was really stoked with this time as it was around where I was hoping to run and of course getting first was just the icing on the cake and hopefully will be the catalyst for the year!
I would fully recommend this race to anyone of any ability. The climbing is in short sharp bursts so you don’t really notice that you’ve climbed to where you have. Loads of people too, so the finish area is very social and the views throughout the race are very impressive, they can make you feel very small. John did the Mountain Bike in a very impressive time of 2 hours 20. Although due to the bike numbers being so large the start is staggered at 4 minute intervals. You are grouped according to your entry date, I understand the significance of getting numbers early but feel this could be changed to time or previous time from the following year but if it’s your first race that’s when it gets slightly tricky. Nonetheless with the numbers that this weekend attracts across the board why change such a good thing!
Slightly less mileage this week, look for some more over the next couple of weeks
Avg Distance:17.64 km
Avg Time:1:20:15 h:m:s
Elevation Gain:2,712 m
Avg HR:143 bpm
Max HR:197 bpm
Avg Elevation Gain:301 m
Max Time:2:55:14 h:m:s
Once again plenty to keep you busy this upcoming week around the region:
Ellesmere Wednesday Road Runners, Leeston
Surf and Turf Series, Corsair Bay
The Rock Race, Rolleston. Meet at the Rolleston Community Centre with registration at 6.15pm and the event starting at 6.30pm.
Another big weekend for me up in Kaiteriteri for the half marathon with plenty of driving. Shall be great though fingers crossed for some of that Tasman sunshine!
Enjoy these autumn training days