As part of my training for my half marathon, I thought I’d take part in a smaller 10 km run, as a build up to it. This run was called the Mt Runners and Walkers Half Marathon, but it had 10 km and 5 km options as well.
I arrived early on a Sunday winters morning at the beach in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga. It was sunny, but the cold sea breezes were a bit much for my cold runners’ attire. I knew that I would warm up once the race started though – be patient, I told myself. After pacing back and forth for what felt like an eternity, we all assembled on the road for the run to start, and then it began.
The run started near the surf club and followed the road alongside the beach for a few km, before turning around in the opposite direction. Past the surf club, you then ran clockwise around Mount Maunganui, before finishing near the start line. That was my 10 km run. The half marathon essentially does the whole thing twice, but with a little extra road running time.
So how did it feel?
Since I am training for a half marathon, and I had started in March, I had already run 10 km a few times before. So this should be a piece of cake right? Not so. After the first couple of km, I was starting to breathe quite heavily, and was wondering why I chose to put myself through this. This part of the track was flat too. But I persisted. I think the first part of the course wasn’t very interesting though, so maybe that was why I wasn’t enjoying myself very much.
After about 3 km, we past the first checkpoint. At this point, I felt a bit more motivated, and the kilometres seemed to tick by faster and faster as I went on. 4 km, then 5, then 6! It was cool to have people cheering you on and run by a band that was playing drums and dancing just for you.
All of a sudden I hit 7 km. Here I was thinking this race isn’t so hard after all. But the more difficult part was yet to come. At this point, you start running around the Mount, and the track goes from a smooth road to a constantly undulating track. Walking it isn’t hard, but running? You really notice the difference. Also, at one point the track was closed due to a land slip, so you had to run on this alternative part up these steep steps instead. You could say that the second part of the trip was more difficult, but much more interesting to run on as well. Here you are running through beautiful Pohutukawa trees with the sea on your left side and the mountain to your right. On a sunny day, you couldn’t wish for a nicer place to run.
I eventually made it, one guy seemed to be racing me just before the finish, and we both progressively got faster, but I beat him in the end haha. All up, I got a time of 59 minutes 41 seconds. I was aiming for under an hour, so I was pleased with that. Check out some of the photos of where I ran. Bring on the half marathon in August!