Manawatu Striders Super Seven Series #2 (25 January 2011)

Gerry decided to treat this one as a time-trial to see what he is capable of when he’s not trotting along with me. So, for the first time in about eight years, we ran separately.

And how strange it was! I am so used to having someone to chat to on every run that I could hear myself talking to myself in my head (I am a gemini, after all!). Every now and then I would look around to see if someone heard me mumbling something in my head.

And it turned out quite well and an interesting exercise. Gerry managed a 33:45 and I, 41:08 for the 7km. Taking into account that he never ever get to run faster than my 6 or 7min/km pace, he did very well, I think!

He would obviously be able to shave off some more minutes if he starts training according to his own capabilities.

But it would be a bit sad if I loose a running partner …

Manawatu Striders Super Seven Series – #1 (18 January 2011)

The Manawatu Striders, in association with Vautier Pharmacy, hosts the Super Seven Series. This is a series of 7 events over 7 consecutive weeks (each Tuesday), each 7km long.


T-shirt, socks and “permanent” number for all 7 events.

After reading the severe weather warnings on the MetService website (amongst others, the after-effect of a Oz tropical cyclone heading our way) we briefly considered doing our daily run before the onslaught of the predicted gusts and rainstorms. The unbearable heat during the “quiet before the storm” period was something else. But apart from the extremely hot and humid temperature, the weather seemed to be holding up and we ended up entering for the whole series of 7 runs, including an event T-shirt, for only $35. Continue reading

Manawatu Striders – Tuesday club run & walk (11 January 2011)

Had a jolly nice 8km run with Alister (Chairperson of the Manawatu Striders) tonight! He was looking after us not-so-fit/fast newcomers to make sure we find our way around the course. Thanks Al! The club currently seems to boast more walkers than runners. They gather twice weekly for runners (Tuesdays and Sunday) and three times a week for the walkers (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays).

Unlike SA clubs that normally caters for all levels of speed, you have to be quite fast here to keep up with the group, who seems to be going at about a 5min/km pace. Could this maybe contribute to the lower number of runners at the club? If you’re new to running, a 5min/km pace is quite daunting, me thinks. Being a bit of a slow poke, it’s daunting to me who’s been running for 10+ years, last managing a 5min/km pace in 2003!


HHH – Hash House Harriers (10 January 2011)

Gerry and I did our very first Hash today with the Palmerston North Hash House Harriers. Some of the blokes have managed over a 1000 hashes! Very impressive indeed.

Those who don’t know what this is, it is often jokingly referred to as “a drinking club with a running problem”. It is a worldwide tradition which, in short, is described as follows: “At a Hash, one or more members (Hares) lay a trail, which is then followed by the remainder of the group (the Pack or Hounds). The trail often includes false trails, short cuts, dead ends, and splits. These features are designed to keep the pack together regardless of fitness level or running speed, as front-runners are forced to slow down to find the “true” trail, allowing stragglers to catch up”. ” Apart from the excitement of chasing the hare and finding the trail, harriers reaching the end of the trail would be rewarded with beer, ginger beer and cigarettes.” – Wikipedia.

Had a lovely BBQ afterwards.


Tongariro Northern Circuit – 30 December 2010 to 2 January 2011

Having done many hikes in South Africa, I always tended to measure the difficulty rating (extremity) according to, first of all, the distance you walk per day and secondly the altitude, eg 3000+ metres above sea level (often with corresponding low temperatures). But with a pair of shorts and tekkies you can do almost any hike with the exception of the Drakensberg in winter and at night. The temperature drops below freezing so you have to be prepared. While there’s the odd rare bit of rain sometimes and some hail now and then, you hardly ever get to experience rain-storms, blizzards, wind, snow or any other alpine weather conditions in SA. Neither would you ever need crampons or ice picks. However, in New Zealand, alpine conditions seem to kick in at much lower altitudes, making elevation and weather more important difficulty-factors than distance.

Not sure what to expect of NZ hikes, we decided on the Tongariro Northern Circuit as our introduction. We were keen to get out of the city and into nature over the new year and the Tongariro National Park seems to be a biggie (at least as far as the North Island is concerned) – popping up in conversations and magazines quite often. Continue reading