Date: 26 June 2016
Previous: 2014, 2015
I think my arms aren’t long enough for selfies.
Drizzly and cold weather conditions at the start.
Gerry, me, Rachael and Kathleen (who ended up doing 7 of the 8 Half Marathons to support Rachael).
The field of half marathoners.
Making our way down the ramp from Westpac Stadium.
Some drumming entertainment en route.
Rachael and Kathleen looking strong.
Lovely jazz along the way. Pity we couldn’t listen to them all the way.
An entertaining marshal at the 10km turn-around point.
Being an out-and-back course, you get to see everybody on the course.
Gerry rounding the halfway point.
Even if someone paid me, I would not have taken the dive.
With only a couple of kilometres left, I couldn’t wait to get to the finish.
Rachael and Kathleen crossing the finish line shortly after us.
Wellington is just one of those events – the ones you do because everybody does. And, well, FOMO (fear of missing out). And since the major spot prize usually entails free entry and a trip to a big international marathon (this year it was the Paris marathon), we decided to do the event and be in for the lucky draw. Why not? At the very least, it forces one to do your weekend long run, which might otherwise have fallen by the wayside. Continue reading
Date: 5 July 2015
It’s been three months since our previous event. We took a couple of weeks off, travelled some, worked some more, winter rolled in, and with few events on the calendar as motivation or targets to work towards, we were very slack at trying to build up our fitness levels again. It’s not easy to get going again after a long lay off. I battled through every training run – the few we did manage to fit in between work and really crappy weather conditions.
Hard to imagine the Super 15 Rugby finals between the Hurricanes and Highlanders took place only a few hours prior to the start of this event. Everything was cleaned-up already.
Gerry and I shortly before the start. A bit of a nip in the air, but overall very good conditions.
Long shadows in the early morning sunlight.
Jazzy entertainment around the bays.
Gerry really having a walk in the park.
Hup hup hup. Need to get rid of some of that energy.
Look mom! The tooth fairy got hold of my tooth!
An out-and-back event, making it very social.
Are we there yet?
Finally Westpac Stadium, after the only “uphill” stretch, but then still a lap of despair to get the the finish.
Luckily the Wellington Half Marathon was on our calendar (not being ready for the 42 this time), forcing us to step out the door on occasions when you would much rather snuggle up in front of a fire. Unfortunately these occasions only happened few and far between, and for the most part laziness got the better of me. So with the minimum training and lots of trepidation, we headed south the night before. Friends had a house-warming party and what better way to carbo-load than with bubbly and pizza! Continue reading
Date: 30 November 2014
The two of us with Michael, who completed his 522nd marathon at this event.
The rather small field shortly before the start.
And away we fly!
In the streets of Upper Hutt.
HHH signage on the sidewalk.
The course took in some interesting urban features.
Water station #3.
It takes all sorts: a Kiwi doing his 178th, an ex-Saffer on 20 and a visiting Brit completing his second marathon.
A lovely little off road stretch next to the Hutt River.
Gerry making the most of the trail.
Enjoying the off-road stretch away from traffic.
Gerry still going strong at about the 19km mark.
For a city marathon, the race included quite a diverse range of scenery.
My favourite outfit!
High-fives all round.
Out of town into the farming area.
Having a laugh with other amazing runners – Mel being on 117 marathons.
We may be the rookies in this field, but we had loads of fun.
Another great outfit in the spirit of Michael’s trade-mark speedo.
Running into Michael on our way back for a quick hug.
Next to the river coming back.
More HHH signage both ways.
Look for trains!
Water station #1 (also the last one on the way back).
Only a few more metres.
The finish between the two cones, right where we started.
Gerry and I were both lucky draw winners!
A great idea to use recycled medals from the Dunedin marathon. 🙂
List of participants in the early start.
List of participants in the medium paced group.
The list of fast runners.
The Flying Pink marathon is the brainchild of Michael Stewart – the man who’s done the most marathons in the Southern Hemisphere.
After running into Michael at the Rotorua marathon earlier this year, I was curious to hear his story. His characteristic pink speedo and the sheepskin padding on his backpack is hard to miss. I’m sure there’s not a runner in NZ who doesn’t know of his achievements, but to me, he was (and still is, to a certain extent) a stranger. All I overheard in a short conversation with a fellow runner coming past, was that the Rotorua was his 515th or some such number marathon. I thought my hearing must have failed me during this bit of accidental eavesdropping as I could not believe that anyone could have achieved such a feat!
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.
Still fairly dark (and cold!) outside at the start of the marathon.
Westpac Stadium, start and finish venue for the race. Great to start a race at a venue with almost more toilets than participants! 🙂
From Westpac, down the ramp and onto the street. The low light made for some rather arty photos.
At about the 8km mark, still going strong.
The “W” of the Wellington sign was changed to a “V”, to coincide with the launch of a local vampire movie, “What we did in the Shadows”.
The whole run hugs the coastline.
The turn around point at Scorching Bay.
And the second time around, each time collecting a rubber band..
Beautiful rays of sunlight shining on the ferry for a brief moment.
Might not look like it, but a chilly wind was cutting around these exposed corners.
Gerry and Johann still going strong.
Only 12.2km to go! Fatigue and silliness starting to set in.
The busy walkway behind Te Papa in the last 3 kms.
A bit of sun for the final stretch. Gerry still smiling.
Up the ramp and only the final few hundred metres to the finish.
The three colours rubber bands you collect at every turn around point.
For the past four years since moving to Palmy, we’ve been keen on running the Wellington marathon as a birthday present to myself. I know, that might sound a bit odd to most people, but to treat yourself to something that’s healthy and good for your soul seems to me like a wonderful gift. Especially if you could make sure that you’re fit enough to enjoy the distance rather than it being torture. Continue reading