I think I’m developing an addiction to signing up for running events.
I was (quite easily) convinced by two of my running buddies to join them for the Rotorua Marathon on Saturday 3rd May, which meant I could also have an excuse to switch from the half to the 8km at Coatesville. After training with the two girls through a few TempoFit seasons and being able to push each other through our speed workouts and long runs, I knew they would be good running company.
We finished up at work early on the Friday and made it to Rotorua in about 3 1/2 hours. I may have caused us to take a wrong turn through a slower route, but I’ll continue to blame this on my phone GPS! We visited the expo to collect our bibs and race packs, they keep this open until 9pm on a Friday which is really great for those coming out of town. By this point we were starving and needed to get some food into grumbling bellies. Our criteria for a restaurant was simple – pasta for the other two, and some form of potatoes or rice (gluten free) for me. Turns out that late on a Friday night in Rotorua this isn’t that easy.
We woke up to a really chilly morning, just 4 degrees. For us Auckland girls, this was COLD. I wasn’t sure what to do, I had packed 3/4 tights and singlet as my usual ‘colder’ running outfit, but ended up wearing two singlets. This was a good decision as we really didn’t warm up until about the 15km mark. Despite this being the Rotorua Marathon 50th anniversary, the start of the half marathon was a bit of a shambles. Knowing we were all targeting just under two hours we lined up between the 1:45 and 2:00 markers. The first kilometre was spent dodging recreational walkers who were blocking the whole path. There were many angry runners around us and my Garmin data really showed it!
We kept ourselves on a good pace and managed to get on track for a two hour finish if we could keep pushing. I took my Horleys Replace gels a bit later than I expected (water stops weren’t quite where we thought) but they worked well and I felt good. With it being much cooler than I am used to running in, it meant that I didn’t need to take on as much water as usual. At about the 15km mark we started increasing our pace to get our goal time. Unfortunately I was hit with some bad stomach cramps near the end (unsure whether this was dinner or the pace or the gels??) and had to stop for a moment, then walk-run. Sadly this meant I dropped right back, finishing in 2:02:30. This was still a PB but I was pretty disappointed after how well it had gone. My running buddies finished in 2:00:30 and 2:01:30, which were both PB’s as well but knowing the start we had it was three frustrated girls who got in the car to head home!