Manawatu Striders Half Marathon – 14 August 2011

“Ohhh, it’s raaaaining again, too bad I’m looooooosing a friend”. That is just the way it is. Don’t ever think you will have a dry run in NZ.

Gerry and I were thinking of doing this half, ever since we had to miss it last year. But after the wet and cold Mizuno/Taupo Half, as well as being out of town, we postponed entering (actually forgot to!) until pre-entries were closed and we had to pay the late entry penalty fee which is $10 more per person. So, to run 21.1km, we paid $50 per person … and then our South African friends complain when they have to pay R50 for a half marathon.

A very cold Antarctic blast was predicted to hit the country by Saturday night, bringing with it very cold conditions, snow, sleet and heavy rains, which were expected to reach Palmy by the Sunday – race day. We almost had second thoughts about entering, but the Manawatu events are all so very nice and well organised (there’s just something “homely” about them) that we made the trip to Sterling Sports shop in town on the Saturday afternoon to enter. The Striders had a table in the back, also selling the event T’s, which we would love to have, but just couldn’t afford on top of the entry. Maybe next time. Continue reading

Mizuno Half Marathon (Taupo) – 7 August 2011

While paging through the Runner’s World one day, I stumbled upon an advertisement for this event. Realising that it boast fields of 3000+ participants, including a huge walking contingent, this seemed like a perfect first 21.1km event for a novice. You could easily disappear in the crowds without running the risk of being dead last or drawing a lot of unwanted attention to yourself. I therefore proposed this to the Downhill Demons (we dubbed a group of lady friends who live in a hilly town, and who sometimes run from the upper parts of town mainly downhill towards the sea, the Downhill Demons) and am glad to say that they decided to join us. Continue reading

Manawatu Striders – winter series (15km) – 24 July 2011

Another cool morning with an on and off drizzle, saw the third event in the Winter Series of the Striders – again a 5km and 10km event, but this time also including a 15km, which we decided to do as built up for the Mizuno Half in two weeks time.

The route follows the same basic course for all the events, but for each distance some extra loops and out and back sections are introduced to make up the distance. The additional kilometres are all run on the quiet roads of the Massey campus as well as the Science Centres’ site. Therefore another great event off the main roads, making it a quiet and comfortable outing spared from too much traffic.

We managed close to a 6min/km pace to finish in 1:33. Impressed with our attempt, especially taking into account our little less than desirable training routine, we returned home for a hearty bacon and egg breakfast.