Monday, 30 April 2012

Post Rotorua

Did I do justice to the training I’ve put in? I’ve rephrased my statement from the last entry into this question and my answer is, ultimately, yes!
This was the first marathon I feel I raced from start to finish.  Taking just over 4 minutes off my previous best time justifies the work gone in. It’s also great to get under the 2 hour and 30 minute mark. Deep down there’s still a large part of me which burns to go over the final 10kms again but I cannot do that so I’m looking forward to the next challenge. It’s a big learning experience running any type of event, whether you’re out to finish well or just finish, at the end you always walk away better for the experience. From Saturday I have done so!

For my first time Rotorua experience I was really taken aback by the history of the race which was shown in a brilliant display in the foyer of the expo. Large posters giving detailed information about each running of the event since its original in 1965. Hours worth of inspiring images, statistics and stories!

What to put on those drink tables?

Rotorun Marathon Expo


Race day is a later than usual start, 9.30am. A real treat, especially as most of the races I’ve completed this year have had me up around 4 in the morning. We were staying on the shores of Lake Tarawera, so a leisurely breakfast with views calmed all nerves and built the excitement levels nicely. 
Not long now

The start to the race was quite relaxed as we settled into a group of 4 at a pace that wasn’t setting the world on fire.  Kms clicked over and over and I felt relaxed and really enjoying the moment. I’m not sure how far into the race it was, maybe 15km??? Before I go on let me explain that in front of us there were a couple of mountain bikers, around 50 or 60 metres ahead and their job was to keep the walkers to the right and generally warn people and cars that we were on our way past. Anyway suddenly this red truck, well a ute, pulls across the lane and in front of one of the lead cyclists giving him what looks to be an earful. No idea why. I could only imagine he objected in some way to being told what to do? Nonetheless, he had finished this by the time the 4 of us went by and decided to pull out carelessly, nearly taking Dale Warrender with him in the process. Don’t know what it is about some of us ‘ kiwi nutters’ when we have this worldwide reputation of being ‘relaxed’ and ‘laid back’ many seem to forget this on the roads? Sweeping generalisation I know, but not far from the truth.

This aside we zipped along together until around the 23 km mark where Nick Portas slipped back off the pace leaving myself with Phil Costley and Dale Warrender. Trying not to feel out of place, I was happy to keep being pushed along and make some of the pace myself.  Not long after this Dale slipped off the back and seemed to be in some discomfort. Later we got word that he had pulled out with a heel injury similar to that which struck him in the Auckland Marathon, albeit at a much later stage of the race. Sometimes there isn’t much justice in running and for him to be pulled by an injury, especially in a good position gunning for a 6th title is quite sad. However I’m sure he’ll be back, which is great for the sport. 

So it was Phil and I left. Now we headed around the back end of the course. The top of the lake section was great. Around the back was slightly different. A strong head wind and heavy traffic flows made you work slightly harder. I always find that the marathon goes really quickly and Saturday was no exception. The last ten kms was exhausting but bloody great! Surges and counter surges - I haven’t experienced anything like it in my short running career. I wish every race could be like it! It’s why I get up at silly times in the morning to get my mileage up and put on a head torch on in winter to light the trails below. But with many things there is a winner and this time it was not me! Congratulations Phil, a great run! But I’ll take the second, hopefully just for now! Cheers Rotorua, great times!

Shot c/o Sarah Biss

Shot c/o Lake City Athhletics Club

Few other things and people I want to mention. Steve Day on his first 42 coming home in 4th with a time of 2.38! Easy!
Some ‘STC’ runners, Brad Henderson, currently in Melbourne, smashing it out in 2.52 and Mark Toplis in 2.58. I went to school with these guys and I’m not sure how much running we did then but I think it’s fair to say that we’re going ok! Keep it up lads!
Shaun (my bro) chalks up another 42, could be his 20th depending what he’s counting! Made it look pretty easy up the home straight. Congrats to Clifford for his first time, wicked blisters tagged the occasion. Great work to Shand and Candice for finishing the half in excellent times!
Thanks I must also say to Rose, Claire and Ollie for all of the encouraging/cheering/supporting. Always makes a massive difference!

Really want to thank Adidas NZ for their support and making life just that little bit easier. I am very fortunate!

Upcoming stuff for the week and weekend! Firstly if you are in Christchurch get on down to North Hagley Park on Sunday and support the 100km National Champs. This is going to be great watching, especially in the park. Picnic/chairs bring it all down and support these amazing athletes. Here are the details:

Starts at 7am and will be going on into the afternoon. There is also a 50km and 50 mile racing option. The 100km has the National Champs tag! SO that’s this Sunday, the 6th of May North Hagley Park.

Leeston Wednesday Night Road Runners, Leeston, Canterbury.
Iconic Canterbury day trip ½ marathon at Hanmer. This is a great off road ½ that is challenging but very rewarding.

New Balance 15km Road Race
Always a good hit out but for all people too. They have a variety of entering options to suits all of your running needs.

Enjoy your running, I know I’ll be!


  1. I'm glad to read this coz I was keen to know what was happening up front! That last 15km sounds like it would have been an awesome race. Congrats - that's a massive PB on what is reputedly a slow course!

    1. Cheers Steve, good to see you up there!