After our 10km trot with friends the day before, Gerry and I had a lovely breakfast with Deon and Henriette in town, while the organisers were getting ready for the big events the next day: the inaugural Wells Half Ironman and the Frontrunner 21.1km run (always very exciting and special to do the first edition of what will hopefully become a regular event for many many years to come). The half marathon was a great addition to the triathlon for us runners. Also starting at Port Taranaki, which would be the registration and transition area for the Half Ironman, the run takes you all the way along the Coastal Walkway up to Bell Block and back.
Happy birthday, dear Gerry, happy birthday to you!
Most people will probably think “hey, it’s my birhtday, I’m not doing anything”. But we decided that a nice picnic by the river wouldn’t do no harm, especially with a little run to get us there.
Shortly before lunch on a windy Saturday morning, we packed some cheese, ham, buns and chilli olives, plus the usual jelly babies and water, before heading off to the river.
The Manawatu River is fairly dry at the moment, as is the whole Manawatu (and other parts of the country), but the walkway is always a nice playground away from traffic. We parked at the holiday park side and trotted along for about 4kms when we spotted a nice area on some rocks next to the river. Good enough to cut our 7km run short there and then, so we settled down and unpacked our spread.
Sitting quietly next to the river amongst trees, I can barely imagine a previous life where the closest nature and peace was some distance away from home through hideous traffic – enough to make you stay at home.
After a lovely picnic, we walked the 4kms back to the car, having the rest of the day ahead for more celebrations.
At seven thirty on a lovely Saturday morning, six of us were outside Henriette’s house in New Plymouth for a casual jog down the Te Henui Walkway and onto the Coastal Walkway to the impressive new Te Rewa Rewa footbridge by the sea.
(by Gerry le Roux)
I’ll never forget, years ago, chatting to a good friend (lets call him Pete) while running with the back-of-the-pack gang at one of those massive Johannesburg summer races, when the subject turned to eating on the run.
Pete had a very amusing “principle” on the subject: it’s rude to say no when a friendly spectator or helper offers you something to eat during a race. As a result, he obviously had his share of weird eat-and-run anecdotes – fish and chips (offered by a spectator with a huge toothless grin) on the Cape Flats, home-brewed beer from a shebeen in Soweto, church-bazaar fudge in a small Karoo town, and a generous helping of Old Brown Sherry presented by a group of very jolly, scantily-clad students during the sub-zero temperature Rhodes Run. Luckily for Pete, he had a strong constitution, and most of these culinary delights were handled without any adverse consequences.
After our little stint through the Manawatu Gorge on Sunday, my muscles were (as expected) extremely tender. So much so, that I battled to go down stairs or anything that required using my quads. In fact, just plain walking required a whole amount of courage and clenching my teeth to try and overcome the overwhelmingly sore leg muscles. And having rested altogether for a day didn’t seem to help any!
But, crazy as only “runners” can be, we found ourselves at the start of the third SSS event. Again a huge field of over 1500 participants showed up. Anybody and everybody that moves in Palmy seems to be pitching up for these 7km run/walks. Continue reading