All photos by us, except where otherwise indicated.
The Hatuma Lime Half Marathon reminds me of a mini-Rotorua marathon: once you’ve done the first busy section through town (in this case, the short out-and-back stretch outside the race course), you head into the country where on a good weather day, you cannot ask for a better setting while you make your way around a lake (Lake Hatuma here). Great community support on country roads where you can just cruise along admiring the scenery, until you reach the final quarter of the event – the stretch from the airport (a small rural air strip in this instance) which takes you back through town, not as scenic and also the toughest part to the finish.
For August and September leading up to this event, we totaled 77 kilometres for the six weeks, which would usually be our weekly mileage. But with work commitments, not the flashiest weather and generally just being slack, we ended up toeing the line without much training. I thought I would try to jog the first half and walk the second half if needs be, but as it turns out, one does have a “running memory”. If you run lots, your legs somehow seem to know the way – just point them in the right direction.
Maybe it was the company and the fact that we could just chat away with Graeme who joined us for the run only one week after his 67km stint between Marton and Wanganui, or maybe it was the great weather and being outside in the country that helped keep my mind on the task at hand. Or maybe it was the fact that we were just cruising, not putting any pressure on ourselves apart from trying to get to the finish in one piece, but covering the distance felt infinitely easier than I anticipated.
And there’s just something about the Hatuma Lime events. Apart from it being just about the cheapest PLUS you get an event branded T-shirt if you enter early, and you can’t fault the organisation, it also has fertiliser as spot-prizes! That must be my favourite part – I love gardening and I love getting gardening-related stuff. Towards the end of prize-giving I overheard a girl saying that her number was called for a spot-prize, but she didn’t want fertiliser, so didn’t go up to get it. Whaaaaaat!!? That was all I wanted and the reason I stayed for prize-giving. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
The wind started to pick up with some spits of rain during prize-giving and we made it back to the car just in time, before the weather turned really nasty. After sharing a beer and fries with Graeme at a local pub, we headed our separate ways. Me rather pleased with the fact that I managed to complete the distance so fairly comfortably. It has to be said that I was quite sore in the last few kilometres, but that’s what you get for running on memory, instead of training.