Back-to-back 21s #2: Pahiatua Bush Harrier Half Marathon

Date: 22 March 2015
Distance: 21.0
Time: 2:13.11

The weather for our second back-to-back 21 could again not have been better. No wind, fairly warm, but rather humid. The start and finish for this mainly fast and flat run, is at the Pahiatua stadium. Organised by the Bush Harriers, the highlight of the day is probably the amount of spot prizes. You know there’s no shortage when every single participant receives something. And then the club president would still request anybody who has not received something, to put their hand up. And even after that, there was still a box full of prizes left over for next time!

The course runs through the residential part of town before heading north on SH2 towards Hawkes Bay. Just before the 5km mark, you leave the main road to run past the famous Tui Brewery HQ heading east between farms. Nice and quiet roads with great weather made for a comfortable easy long run.

At about 9km, a short section of about 2km is run on a gravel farm road. We were happily trotting along, and started to pass a walker here and there before the route gradually started on an incline from about the 15km mark. And with 2km to go, a proper 700 metre long hill reduced most runners to a walk. But once over the crest, it is downhill and flat to the finish.

Sausage sizzles and beer were for sale. Tea and coffee were on the house. As it was the 30th anniversary of this event, lovely moist chocolate cake was also passed around to everybody.

A nice run in the country, well worth the outing. Water stations at about 6.5, 12, 16 and 18km. A good course also for walkers as it is mainly flat easy terrain. Since this event is in our neck of the woods, a lot of familiar faces were out and about. Great to see so many of our own club members and also starting to recognise a few from neighbouring town clubs. Unless anything critical comes up, we’ll most probably be back next year.

Back-to-back 21s #1: Taihape Half Marathon

Date: 21 March 2015
Distance: 21.5
Time: 2:18.45

Taihape is a bit of a drive for us, but we needed the training and truth be told, if we tried to run back-to-back 21’s on our own, it probably wouldn’t have happened. Besides it’s so much more fun doing events, even if you are last and run most of the way on your own. You have support along the route and get to run on new roads, giving your mind and body a bit of a break from your usual training paths. Plus you support a local community, so why not? Continue reading

Bush Harriers Hansells 5k run/walk series – Pahiatua

Date: 11 March 2015
Distance: 5km
Time: 29.51

At our previous running of this event (2014), I couldn’t believe the average running speed. Where are all the slow runners? Well no surprises therefore to be just about last again. I find it very amusing that running is taken so seriously (even at a fun run). It is seemingly not something you do for fun, at an easy pace, just enjoying the fact that you’re out there being active.

We were prepared this time. In fact, I’ve made peace with being last at every event I enter into. So incase anybody worries about being last – don’t. I’ll always be the tail-end-Charles. 🙂

It is probably not worth the 28km drive across the hill to Pahiatua for this, but still nice to run in a different environment. As was the case last time, I again walked away with a spot prize! Bananas. Very practical and always useful.


Round the Vines

Date: 15 March 2015

Distance: 21.1km

Time: 2:13:43

This event is an absolute MUST on every runner, walker, crawler or otherwise breathing person’s calendar. It is the biggest jollification around with everybody dressing up and getting into the spirit of things, from the marshals to the drink stations, ushers and organisers. Words cannot describe the fun that is the Round the Vines. Continue reading

Mountain to Surf – New Plymouth

Date: 7 March 2015

Distance: 42.2

Time: 4:19.50

Mountain? There was a mountain? As is the case more often than not, Mt Taranaki was tucked in under a thick blanket of cloud all weekend. So much so, that it was hard to figure out where exactly the mountain is supposed to be on our drive to New Plymouth. If I hadn’t been there and seen Mt Taranaki at numerous previous occasions, I would never have thought there’s a beautiful 2518m high volcanic cone, dusted at the top with snow.

Since TUM we’ve cut back on our weekly kilometres quite a bit. Needless to say, the week after the 100km event saw only a couple of walks with one or so short attempt at a “run”. As we didn’t burn it both ends at the Tarawera, our recovery was quite fast. Not that I’m fully recovered one month after the Tarawera, but I’m not injured and okey to do a little bit of training/maintenance for our next ultra – the Two Oceans 56km in South Africa. Apart from sensitive feet on Gerry’s part and a general lack of energy and lethargy on my side, we are nearly back on track one month after the Tarawera. The Mountain to Surf was placed perfectly in the middle of our post-Tarawera build-up towards the Two Oceans. Continue reading