The old Taranaki Daily News half marathon
We’ve done this event a couple times before, and for some unknown reason we’re usually on a downward spiral during our training cycle. Not that we have a formal “training cycle” in any form or shape, but somehow we’re always either injured or just plain unfit this time of year. But doing the event is always a good excuse to see friends who live in New Plymouth. They unfortunately have gone through some hardship recently, having lost a brother (and brother-in-law) to point-blank murder, so it was under very sad circumstances that we caught up with them. (Not to go into the details, but it was a good reminder of some of the reasons why we emigrated to New Zealand eight years ago.)
While Gerry is teaching short courses on weeknights and Saturdays, we could only make the trip to New Plymouth late Saturday afternoon once he finished work. It was a beautiful evening in New Plymouth and after a lovely dinner and catching up, we all retired to bed. During the night it rained (as it did on both previous occasions), but by the morning it was overcast and generally a lovely day.
It struck me how much of this run is through the suburbs of New Plymouth. The field seemed much smaller than when we did it the last time. Maybe this was due to the fact that there were no medals up for grabs this time? After a good few hills, we were in the countryside where we ambled along narrow roads. It was quite busy with supporter, sponsor and medic vehicles as well as the relay option with cars dropping off and picking up runners at the change-over point. And bear in mind we were not far from last, so most of the hustle and bustle was going on ahead of us.
At the second to last little hill, I managed to strain or pull something at the inside back of my left knee. Although rather painful, I managed to make it through the final 3km to the finish. Urgh, now I have another injury/niggle to worry about. I guess a few days off of running is in order.
After a shower and lunch, we started back on our trip to Palmy. Getting out of the car proved challenging, especially with my hip also taking a turn for the worse. More about this in a separate post.
Still a good event, and even though there’s not much in the way of traffic management (which gives me hope that runners can think for themselves and don’t need a million cones to keep them safe) on the course, there are a good few marshals, one on every corner or road crossing, which is always a great re-enforcement that you’re still on the right track. The amount of helpers on the course also helped make things more social, taking into account that the gaps between runners were quite large.