Manawatu Striders Half Marathon, Palmerston North

Date: 9 August 2015

Distance: 21.1km

Time: 1:40:46 (Gerry); 2:21:42 (Wouna)

If you do any significant amount of distance training, you invariably end up running out of new routes in your region. And most likely, to simplify your daily routine, you end up regularly re-running the same routes day after day. In our case, our daily runs usually include Massey University and/or the Bridle Track along the Manawatu River.

As a result, lining up at the start line of the Manawatu Striders Half Marathon which covers, you guessed it, Massey University and the Bridle Track, I was not exactly breathless with anticipation about the course. Which is not to say that it is not a nice route – we just get so used to it that we forget that it’s actually quite special. Spoiled ay? On the bright side, I was aiming to improve on my time from last year, so that will keep things interesting. Continue reading

In it for the long haul – Manawatu Striders Winter Series

Date: 26 July 2015

Distance: 15km

Time: 1:39

The weekend long-run is probably the most important item in your weekly schedule on your way to fitness. Without the long-run, your endurance will not improve. Especially for okes like us who like to go far and long.

Not wanting to miss out on the Manawatu Strider’s Winter Series 15km event (which was too short for our build-up to the Taupo marathon), our only option was to fit in another few kilometres before the start of the Striders’ event. Wanting to cover about 30km, we could either do the course twice, or just do our own thing on a different path. We opted for the latter, and at about 7:30 in the morning we started out from the race start-and-finish area, heading out west through the Esplanade, past the swimming pool, turning onto the Bridle track at the Holiday Park, and ran all the way to the far end of the track and back to where we started. From the Holiday Park to the end of the track is 7.5km, so out and back is a nice 15km run. Continue reading

Manawatu Striders Half Marathon

I think it’s fair to say that I’m not a very competitive animal. Or am I?

I run for fun. I would never be able to win an event, or be amongst the first 10, or 100 finishers (unless there’s only ten participants), so I don’t do fartleks, or hill repeats or speed work. I just run, for myself and the sense of achievement when completing the odd serious challenge. And for my health. When your doctor and your cardiologist plus your dietician all agree that you should run, you run boy. No questions asked. Every now and again, for whatever reason (wintery weather? laziness?), we take ‘breaks’, where we would completely stop running for a couple of months. But usually we get into again, not without lots of swearing and complaining for allowing ourselves to lose all our fitness and having to start right at the bottom again – what a pain! One great way to break out of an “off” streak, is to enter for an event that would border on the “crazy” side for most non-runners. I firmly believe one should do things that scares you a little. Life begins the moment you step out of your comfort zone, right? And that’s more or less the gist of our running regime for the past 14 years. Continue reading