Date: 7 October 2017
Thanks to the early bus to the start, we had a lovely laid-back morning, awaiting the start of the marathon.
Looking a bit apprehensive at our start-line selfie.
An early ‘pinch’ in the road, as the race organiser called the little footpath near the start.
A short sharp uphill – not something we experienced too often on this very flat run.
Running along a pedestrian path between the road and the lagoon.
Having a laugh with Anita, with 40km to go!.
Following the trail of runners snaking along the edge of the lagoon.
The beautiful boardwalks of Tauranga.
Some scenic green stretches early on.
Look around too much and you risk falling into the wetland.
A tranquil park area in the middle of the city.
Crossing one of six railway lines. Just a few hundred metres after we crossed, a train came past.
Cheers to the 100 Marathon Club!
On the out-and-back stretch.
Little did I know that Ross was standing right behind me! He was supporting the 100 Marathon Club.
Nice to see Marian all smiles.
The turn-around point at the end of the out-and-back.
Some welcome sunshine at the water point on the out-and-back stretch.
Crossing the bridge on Chapel Road.
Mt Maunganui looming in the distance.
Crossing a little man-made ‘hill’.
Passing kilometre markers always gives you a bit of a boost.
Running through the industrial area.
Another ‘uphill’ towards the bridge
Mt Maunganui didn’t seem to get any closer.
Loved this spot! Even sunblock and vaseline.
Heavy traffic reminding us that this is a city marathon after all..
Passing a weekend market along the way.
Finally at the start of the loop around Mt Maunagui.
Gerry speeding to catch up with me, after taking his sweet time at the water point just before the Mount loop.
A few wee uphills around the Mount.
Even a set of stairs that was built to cross over a massive slip recently.
The loop around the Mount certainly lifted my spirits.
And Gerry enjoyed it just as much.
The loop around Mt Maunganui was my favourite part of the course.
Distant beach views.
Still smiling. 🙂
No time for picnic, Sir! Got to keep moving.
Back on the tarmac.
Buggered and still a long way to go. But two thirds down!
A very friendly water point.
A road closure truck ensuring our lane was free of traffic.
This is the inaugural Tauranga International Marathon.
Not far to go!
Finally – the finish is in sight.
Happy (and relieved!).
Oh, the pain. So much pain.
Gerry having both our beers (they ran out of ciders).
3:47am. The alarm was set to go off at 3:45, but for some reason didn’t. Unfortunately, luckily, neither Gerry or I slept much, and when Gerry checked for a second time what the time was it started sinking in that the alarm didn’t go off and that we are supposed to be getting up. Continue reading
Date: 29 May 2016
The Team: me, Gerry, Graeme and Rob at the start of our fifth marathon.
A quick selfie.
The field of marathon runners, wondering how long the rain is going to stay away.
Passing under Summerhill Drive.
The Bridle Track next to the Manawatu River.
Gerry at the first water point.
Evidence of the past couple of weeks’ rain.
Flooded paddocks around “Swamp City”.
Gerry with Patricia.
Higgins Aggregates yard.
Always nice to see Mike still going strong, after 500+ marathons.
Gerry, Karen, Norman and Charlotte.
High-five with Perry, and James.
Michelle with another red-and-black team member. 🙂 Don’t know who he is.
The turn-around point in Higgins property.
Rob heading out to the turn-around point, only a few minutes behind us.
Heading back towards town along the never ending Te Matai Road.
Nice to see the rain didn’t deter our usual bagpipe player at the Manawatu Striders annual event. It’s always great heading the sound of the bagpipes from a distance as you run along the river.
Gerry is clearly on a cruise.
John speeding through the last five kilometres.
“Jumping” puddles. Uhum, or whatever you call trying to sidestep puddles after 34km.
Photo by Cheryl Sturm.
With the final turn disappearing in the back, we’re on the home straight.
A nice little loop through Waitoetoe Park.
Heading back upstream. Photo by Cheryl Sturm.
Despite being very sick, Cheryl still braved the foul weather to come out and offer support.
Digging deep – only about 2kms to go.
Just up the hill and around the corner – less than 1km to go. Photo by Ian Porritt Photography.
Rob at the finish.
Graeme pushing a mate through the finish.
Showing our bling – Rob, me, Gerry and Graeme.
A few years ago, Gerry and I did an unsupported, 800km in 26 days walk through the Klein Karoo in the southern parts of South Africa, covering roughly 30+km every day. Day after day, we’d get up before sunrise, walk the whole day, sometimes up to 54km and other times until after dark, before cooking dinner, washing our only other set of clothes, going to sleep, to repeat it all the next day. We carried a tent, sleeping bags, a small camping stove, one set of extra clothes, including warm clothing and some basic emergency food and health care. For the rest, we bought food as we went, so had to be sure to make it to the next town in time to buy supplies. It was challenging at times (I suffered from severe blisters, we were sunburned despite thick slathers of sunblock, and sometimes had to endure temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius), but it was also great to spend each day all day long outside and being exposed to whatever nature throws at you – rain, wind, baking hot sun etc. And as the days got shorter during that Autumn month and our trip nearer the end, we were filled with mixed emotions. It was such a huge life changing experience which we didn’t want to end, but at the same time we were getting a bit tired of the mundane task, having to repeat everything each day for days on end. With the only change being the scenery, meeting new people along the way and the sun rising later and setting earlier each day. Continue reading
Date: 22 May 2016
On a chilly Sunday morning …
… a few friends embarked on a crazy adventure …
Bobbie and Graeme starting their first lap. [Photo supplied by Rachael]
Rob looking happy to start his first lap. [Photo supplied by Rachael]
Gerry, Pete and I on our first lap. [Photo supplied by Rachael]
Smiles all around, as if this would be a walk in the park. [Photo supplied by Rachael]
Sometimes the sun came through.
Our water point after 20 laps – we ransacked the table.
Cheeks still stuffed with food from our last stop.
Gerry in the wee redwood “forest”.
Rachael tending to supplies.
Our traffic management entailed cones at all road crossings.
Rob collecting cones afterwards, still with a spring in his step after 42kms.
Our lap counter and motivational board.
The 5 marathons team still smiling after our fourth event: me, Gerry, Graeme and Rob. [Photo by Rachael]
And just like that, it was winter. When Gerry and I woke up to get ourselves sorted and head over to Massey to do the set up for our run, it was three degrees Celcius. When we started at 8am, is was only five degrees and at the warmest point during the day, the temperature reached 13 degrees. As luck would have it, this day also marked the start of the first snowfall in our region. Continue reading
Date: 14 May 2016
Early morning with the sun just up over the sea.
The start banner up ahead and a sea of runners/walkers.
Wondering what is going to happen over the next five or so hours.
A lovely sunny day…
…with colourful streams of runners stretching out ahead and behind us.
Rob going strong.
Up on the first stop bank, being chased by Mr Farty-pants.
The stop bank went on for miles and miles.
There were quite a few spots where friends and family could support participants.
A percussion band made for some wonderful entertainment.
This little bridge bounced quite a bit – out of sync with your steps, which felt very weird.
Haven’t I seen this before somewhere? 😉
The halfway point and 21.1km start.
Gerry powering up one of the little hills.
The ‘pimped up’ Air New Zealand snack trolley.
Apple orchards all along the route.
A welcome sight after having no water points for a while.
Apple orchards …
And more apple orchards.
Some motivation on a shelter belt.
Yay! not far to go.
Finally the vineyards.
Extremely helpful volunteers – running backwards with me to fetch a jelly snake. Admittedly I might not have managed to get going again if I stopped at that point.
Running through the autumn vineyards provided a nice change of scenery.
What we thought was a water point, turned out to be a supporters area.
Passing a supporter areas, with Graeme’s family in the background.
Have I mentioned that I just love olive trees?
The end is in sight.
Great to finish in such a festive environment.
Happy to be finished!
Graeme just after he finished.
And Rob staggering in. 🙂
The 5-in-5-in-5 team: Graeme, Rob, me and Gerry.
Our third event in the five marathons challenge was snugly sandwiched between two full working days in Wellington. How’s that for luck. We left home before dawn on Friday morning, returning at around dusk, quickly unpacked camera equipment and repacked running gear, and dashed off to Napier to be in time for registration. Unfortunately, we were too late for the Expo. Continue reading
Date: 7 May 2016
Waiting for the race to start, with our usual mix of excitement and panic.
Some nasty little hills on the 2km loop through the paddocks at the start helped to quickly spread out competitors.
Meet Chris, in red behind me. We managed to stay within shouting distance from each other for the entire race.
Enjoying the early morning sun as we ran along the logging track.
Happiness is running through the trails on a crisp autumn day.
Slippery conditions early on when we could still spot some other participants.
Beautiful views over the Tongariro National Park.
Nothing like crossing a mountain stream to keep your feet fresh and frosty!
The downhills were great for making up time, but hammered our quads.
Some downhills definitely felt safer on foot than we would have felt on MTB’s.
Taking a cautious approach on one of the wider crossings.
What goes down usually goes up again, so after some major downhills it was back to slogging up some never-ending hills.
The rain of the preceding few days made for some very slippery downhills.
…and muddy uphills!
Despite all the mud, the stream crossings helped keep our shoes uncharacteristically clean.
It required concentration and fancy footwork to keep upright on some of the more slippery downs.
The aid stations were quite far apart, so after miles of non-stop climbing this was a very welcome sight.
Speeding through the stream to limit the time spent in the chilly water.
Whenever we saw these signs we knew there was some exciting obstacle ahead…
…in this case, another icy stream.
Some puddles could be avoided, even though I’m sure the speedy front-runners charged straight through.
Many parts of the route looked completely unfamiliar, including this bridge.
One of the official vehicles, transporting the bicycles of some unfortunate MTB participants.
Signage (including the familiar blue TotalSports ribbons) was excellent, and we never felt we might be on the wrong route.
Taking a photo-break about 3km from the finish. Thanks for offering to take the photo, Chris!
Our second event in the challenge turned out much better than I expected – great weather, good physical condition, and manageable terrain. After a not-so-nice experience at Rotorua, I feared that things can only get worse. I was still tired from the Rotorua marathon, and on top of everything I’ve picked up a couple of niggles. Continue reading