Manawatu Striders – winter series (5km) – 12 June 2011

We took a little hiatus from running since the T42. I just felt like I was running myself unfit, going slower with every run, which resulted in discouragement and general lack of commitment. We have entered for the Auckland marathon, happening at the end of October, and knew that we must get on the road soon, but the motivation was next to nothing. And with winter in full swing; rain, wind and generally cold unpleasant weather, just the thought of running made me run for cover.

So help came in the form of our friends (let’s call them the Downhill Divas) agreeing to run a 21km race with us in two months time! Twenty one kilometres is quite manageable, and has always been my favourite distance for races. Long enough to give you a good workout and the feeling that you’ve accomplished something, while also short enough not to break the camel’s back.

We quickly drew up a training programme to get us to the 21km run and as part of it, we’ve included the Manawatu Striders’ winter series in the schedule. First on the agenda was this 5km run, just to kick-start us back into action. Then in three weeks time, we’ll cover the 10km event and another three weeks later, their 15km run. Three weeks from there, they also host a 21.1km run, which we will probably do, depending how the Mizuno 21.1km run in Taupo (the one we’re doing with the Divas) the week before goes.

On Sunday morning, we lined up with some 320-odd other runners to take part in either a 5km or 10km run or walk. It was a lovely morning for a run and at 9:30 we were off from the Manawaroa Pavilion in Ongley Park. Trotting through the park to get to the river walkway, we ran a few hundred metres next to the Manawatu River, passing under the Fitzherbert bridge, before heading into the suburb between houses. We ran a little loop until we reached Fitzherbert Avenue, turning left towards the bridge. After crossing the bridge, the turn-around point was clearly marked on a traffic cone, but someone decided to go straight past it for a few more metres to pass underneath the bridge to the south side, and like sheep, we all followed! As a result, we missed the markers which should have directed us back through the park, and instead carried on down Firzherbert Avenue and back to the finish via Manawaroa Road, making our run short by about 400m – thus we only ran about 4.6km in total …

A great event at a very good price ($5 pp) which encourages community participation, even on a chilly winter morning. Hats off to the Manawatu Striders who present a number of wonderful events throughout the year, at very reasonable entry fees. Enough to get anyone going!

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