Taihape Half

Date: 18 March 2017
Distance: 21.1km
Time: 2:29
Previous: 2015, 2016

After a long hiatus and battling to fully commit and get back into things, I thought participating in an event might help me find my running mojo, so we entered the Taihape Half. (Boy was I wrong – it’s been a week since, and I’ve managed one run …) Not having done the hard yards, I knew this kind of distance wasn’t the “right thing to do”, but throwing caution to the wind, I figured if I take it really easy I should be able to cover the distance. Even if it means having to walk most of the way.

We’ve done the Taihape Half twice before and each time I really liked the event. It might not be the biggest in the region, but I just like the vibe of this country event. With a nice goodie bag that includes a small bottle of Lindauer bubbly, at an entry fee of only $35, it is great value for money. Overall, it is just a lovely country event – one that will always be on my calendar, and one I will always try to do.

But in saying that, I also felt like something was amiss this year. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the “feel” was different. The gel/glue that holds things together felt missing. Maybe it was just the mood I was in? I was surprised to see the numbers have declined a bit in the half marathon (it dropped from 74 in 2016 to 59 participants this year). On the flip side the numbers in the 10km event more than doubled. A few fireman usually do the half marathon course, but they weren’t there this year. Maybe it is just a bit too far from the main centres? Or can it be because it’s the same weekend as the extremely popular and ever-growing Round the Vines? Really hope the dwindling numbers is not a sign of things to come.

A few familiar faces, and some Striders club mates took part, but the best was to have the 5-in-5-in-5 team together again. Graeme and Rob also came over for the half, and the cherry on the cake was having Rachael (our chief supporter, motivator, lap-counter, encourager and water girl for the Lords of the Ring marathon) at the finish with beers, chocolate and (again!) homemade cookies.

Although I thought I’ll never stay for prize-giving again, we ended up having such a good time relaxing with friends, that before we know it my name got called out for a spot-prize.

The volunteers and support on the course were good and friendly, as always. The turn-around point of the dog-leg stretch was in a different spot this year, resulting in a slighter shorter course. But to be fair, the course used to be on the long side of a half marathon, so this year ended up being quite accurate. The weather treated us well – although a bit on the cool side at the start, and it actually got colder as the morning went by so I was glad to be able to don my longs in the last few kilometres. I was going too slow to heat up! 😀

Glad we did it again. Not happy that I haven’t found my mojo yet …

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