Footprints in the Sand – Foxton Beach inaugural half marathon
Date: 25 November 2017
Distance: 21.1km (we measured 21.8km)
“The way to do is to be.” (Lao Tzu)
Participants making their way to the start on the beach.
“There are only two mistakes one can make on the road to truth: not going all the way, and not starting.” (Buddha)
The turn-around on the first short out-and-back, with Kapiti Island in the back.
Margaret and John going strong.
“You only lose what you cling to.” (Buddha)
Water point #1 (and 7).
With only 17 participants in the half marathon, it is easy to have the whole beach to yourself.
“We cannot see our reflection in running water. It is only in still water that we can see.” (Zen proverb)
The jolly water point at the turn-around point at Himatangi Beach.
“Energy flows where my attention and intention goes.” (Gabrielle Bernstein)
“Obstacles do not block the path, they are the path.” (Zen proverb)
“Life is a series of thousands of tiny miracles. Notice them.” (Fight for life)
Approaching the finish line.
When we entered for this event on the morning before the start, little did we know that it was an inaugural. Whoop! Another one in the bag. To be fair, it can hardly count as an inaugural since this event is already in its fourth year. But, previous runnings were only twenty kilometres and 2017 marked the first year that it is an official half marathon. So, technically it IS an inaugural and mind you, I only realised now that the very first one we did back in 2014, was also an inaugural. 🙂 Continue reading
Date: 15 November 2014
The friendly helpers at one of the water points (at about 19 to go?) offered to take our pic.
Mist and blustery wind at the Miridian Energy wind farm.
Runners huddled up behind the bus.
Dave Franks explaining the route change.
A goat (?) skeleton in the deserted part of the country.
The new start in the road leading to Oteranga Bay.
Within the first kilometre we were in our usual position as the tail-end Charlies.
The start of the Mid Monty at Oteranga Bay.
Intense concentration to fight the gale force winds.
Tough going on the rocky terrain.
Gerry finding his way back to the “road” after being blown towards the sea.
With the strong tail wind we only needed to lift our feet and automatically be propelled forward.
Luckily the rain stayed away and the day turned out not as cold as anticipated.
Lots of time spent running in loose sand.
Rather technical terrain, especially with the wind shoving you along.
A few stream crossings. We could mostly get across dry-footed.
Friendly helpers at the most exposed water station offering bananas, Gu Brew, water and Coke.
A lighthouse out at sea.
More challenging terrain.
I was very grateful for the more solid surface of the 4×4 track underfoot.
There’s no use trying to run all the sandy parts.
And more sand.
Our scenery included distant views of snow capped mountains on the South Island.
Very tough terrain to try and run, especially for a slow-poke like myself.
Beautiful flowers lining the path to the next water point.
This water point had the privilege of a sheltered shed.
Making our way round the southern most tip of the North Island.
The sun came through turning the otherwise chilly and windy run into a warm affair.
Run bits, walk bits, you’ll get there.
How do you run this terrain?
Back in a residential area, but being a coastal challenge, we stuck to the beach rather than running along the easier sidewalk.
Some rock hopping.
With the various distance options, we encountered quite a few other participants along the way.
Nice scenery along the coast.
A detour on the sidewalk.
Looking back at the coast line we came along.
The finish at Queens Drive, about 500 metres short of Lyall Bay.
The Auckland North Shore Coastal Challenge has been a popular event on the Total Sport calendar for the past 13 years. Given its continued success, they decided to extend the event to a series (the Coastal Challenge Series), comprising the existing North Shore event as well as 2 new ones in Wellington and Tawharanui, respectively. Numerous distance options were available – the Full Monty (32km), Mid Monty (25km), Mini Monty (19km), Bay Scrambler (13km) and Beach Hopper (7km).
So this was yet another inaugural event for us, which is always exciting, but does mean that not a lot of info was available beforehand about the event. Total Sport described the series as a “run, walk, wade, scramble and rock-hop”, so we knew we were in for something special.
The start and finish of the event.
Gerry at the start with 20 other participants.
A few announcements before we were off.
The Surf Club disappearing in the back with two runners behind me.
Blue bottles in abundance.
Loved the informal water points operated off the back of people’s ute’s.
Overcast and a bit of wind, but quite pleasant.
Gerry donned his Manawatu Striders shirt, but we spotted no other club members around.
The perfectly straight, perfectly flat beach between Foxton and Himatangi.
Seven done, 13 to go.
The second water point.
Front runners on their way back.
A baby seal came to greet us.
The turn around point at 10km.
Gerry providing some entertainment along the way.
Footprints in the Sand. Apt name for the event.
The wide flat beach makes for some lovely reflections.
Third water point.
The end is near.
Prize-giving at the Foxton Beach Surf Club.
I guess if you battle with motivation to do long runs on your own, it’s always a good idea to join some other runners for an event somewhere. Even it there’s only 21 other participants.
The Foxton Beach run is organised by the local Lions Club in Foxton, a small town on the west coast of the North Island not far from where we stay. We stumbled upon the event earlier this year and decided to participate when the time comes. Then we overheard other runners saying that they weren’t sure whether it was still on and thought the race might be cancelled. But luckily I saw it listed in the Runner’s World so we reckoned it must be on. Continue reading