Many running books I’ve read talk about being passionate about running. How you can only be a dedicated, committed runner if you love running. And while I do love the idea of running and everything it represents, and without fail feel better after a run than before it, I must admit that I often have difficulty getting myself ready and out the door for a run. Once I’m out there, it’s great, but beforehand I often simply don’t feel up to it, and would much rather be doing something else.
But I can unequivocally state that I love running events, and never have difficulty finding the motivation to enter and take on an event. Whether it’s a small town get-together with 30 participants or a big city marathon, there’s something great about events, making it more special than “just a run”. So, when we heard that there’s a couple new marathons on the race calendar in our region in 2016, we were keen to do something about it. These upcoming inaugural marathons are the Hawkes Bay International Marathon in Napier on 14 May, and the Manawatu Striders Marathon in Palmerston North two weeks later on 29 May.
In addition to these exciting new events, the month of May also sees the running of the ever popular Rotorua Marathon – actually scheduled for 30 April this year, a week earlier than normal. And because of this earlier scheduling, it means that the T42 Trail Marathon scheduled for 7 May, which in previous years often clashed with Rotorua, also suddenly becomes a viable option again.
So, over a five week period starting at the end of April, there’s the Rotorua Marathon in week 1, the T42 in week 2, the Hawkes Bay Marathon in week 3, and the Striders Marathon in week 5. That’s starting to look a lot like a marathon running streak. Now if we could only find a marathon for the 4th week, it would get really exciting. We checked out all the running diaries, even asked around in case there was some obscure event not listed anywhere, but alas, nothing.
So what to do? Well, with all else failing, we created our own marathon for week 4! Dubbed the Lords of the Ring: Massey 21 Marathon, this will be a circuit marathon (to allow regular access to our race food and hydration without having to carry everything along), run around the Ring Road of our local Massey University campus.
And so the 5-in-5-in-5 Challenge was born – run five marathons over five consecutive weekends, finishing each in under five hours. While this challenge pales in comparison to many extreme running challenges out there (50 marathons over 50 days, continuous runs of hundreds of miles, etc), it is really more of a celebration, a goal to motivate ourselves. And something to scare us a little bit – we’ve never done five marathons races over a five week period before, so it might well prove tougher than we think!
Since dreaming up the idea, we’ve shared the Challenge, and our Lords of the Ring marathon, with friends, and so far we have 2 others joining us on the full five-week journey, and a few more looking to join us for a few laps of our circuit run. And who knows, as the word spreads, we may even get more on board – watch this space for more on our 5-in-5-in-5 marathon journey.