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.
Al counted down and we were off. Over the sports grounds, congestion where we reach the gate that takes you through to the Victoria Esplanade and onto the walkway. The first few kilometres are a bit of a battle to fight your way through the masses. Although there is a separate start for the walkers, a whole lot of them seem to be of the opinion that it is better to start with the runners, kill yourself for the first half a kilometre and then start to walk. This gives you a bit of a head-start over the rest of the walkers, but it doesn’t help it there’s already too many people on the narrow path to have someone seemingly running at a good pace, just to suddenly stop right in front of you! And that happens quite a lot in the first kilometre or so of the race.
Is it our competitive streak that makes some walkers so adamant to start ahead of other walkers? It is also surprising to me that participants haven’t learned the age-old courtesy rule that you start more or less according to your capability and where you will be running/walking in the field. Therefore, if you plan on winning, please start right in the front, but if you’re a walker, don’t go clogging up the road by starting in the front!
I started off slowly and eventually manage a bit of a trot after a few hundred metres. Although my muscles “warmed up” a bit, it didn’t help much and I was still in agony. At about 1.5km I had to quickly make a pit-stop at the public loo on the route.
The run turned out to be one of those character building runs. One that is really painful, and all you want to do is sit with your feet up, but you know you have to “byt vas” and finish your daily training run.
The weather was playing along nicely. A cool wind, which was almost too strong on the way back next to the river, but the moment you enter the park you are protected from the wind between the trees and bushes. We finished in a slow-but-sure 44:20. As it turned out, the wind was just getting colder and we had to finish our sausage sizzle quickly to get out of the cold wind with our soaking wet clothes.
Still a great outing. Thanks Al and the Manawatu Striders!
[At our 4th running of the SSS, Gerry again made a time trial of the event and managed an impressive 31:33 for the 7km! My finish time was 41:57.]