Normally I would write a race report quite soon after a race. This time I decided to wait a week before writing.
I left school about 2pm (one good thing about being the principal is that I just asked myself if I could leave early !) and headed up to Havelock North. It was great to stay the night at Paul and Chrstine’s. Paul is an old friend from Teacher’s College and it was great to catch up from the last 20 or so years.
Race day dawned brilliantly – a frost with no wind and you could tell it was going to be a gorgeous day. Race preparations went well – we walked down to the start line and with number and transponder in place we were off on time at 8.30am. I started gently and soon we had run 4 kms. I found myself chatting with Chris from Napier and enjoyed his company for several kms. My aim was to run somewhere around the four hour mark and at about 15kms this plan was unfolding nicely.
Having run the Palmy half marathon the Sunday before my legs were still a little weary and begn to feel a little heavy around the 18km marker. I kept to my usual plan of walking through the drinks stations and taking some peak fuel on board with each drink. I reached half way after about 1 hour 55 minutes and felt ok. The first half of this run is easy – the second half has several climbs of various sizes. I was beginning to catch a few of the walkers and this is always a good boost. I try to say things like “You are powering along”, and “You’re doing well”, and invariably it gives you a boost too. One runner I passed was complaining about the hill we were on and the ones coming up – I believe that if you think like that while you are running a marathon you have to seriously question what you are running for !
I was carrying my ipod shuffle and had planned to use it from 30kms on. One reason I run is to get some peace into my life so I don’t always run with music but when I do use it there is a definite lift and it can help the last kms to go sweetly. So the shuffle came out of my pocket at 32kms just as we crossed the Tukituki river and I was feeling pretty good and began to sing the odd word as I climbed the two biggest hills of the course.
The last 4 kms are up Te Mata Rd heading back into Havelock North. There is a hill – it is a reasonable little climb and I noticed I was fast catching two runners who had been in sight off and on for the last few hours. I passed them two thirds of the way up the hill and then I finished quite strongly for a 4 hours and 5 minute finish. I was very pleased with that on the hilly course. I grabbed a shower at Paul’s and then headed off home. I was pretty tired so stopped just after Waipukurau for a nap !
Now usually after a marathon I have pretty sore legs – especially the second day after finishing. This time my legs were amazing – tired, yes – sore, not really – and I felt pretty good.
I must buy myself a small camera to take some photos while on these runs. A blog is better with photo !
I have decided to change my plans for the Sri Chinmoy 24 run and run the 12 hour race instead. My planning is going well for this event and I will hopefully have a big training weekend next weekend which will be the last really long runs before the event.