Monday, October 12, 2009

Masterton Country Marathon - Half Marathon Report

Firstly - I did it! ... a year ago I hadn't even started running - I could walk 10k, and I could sit on my bike and do my delivering for a few hours, but I hadn't started running yet - amazing, 11mths after starting to run, I've run a half marathon ... and enjoyed it!

Official time: 2:12:38
Whole field: 112/133
Age Group: 16/23

(I did say little 'ole NZ has a lot less people in their races than the big ones I read about overseas!)

Nitty Gritty Details

As I'd said, the weather had been horrendous for about a week before the race, Masterton is known for being either really really hot, or really really cold. Saturday, it was freezing ... and here is what we woke up to on Sunday morning - look at the snow on the hills! We were sure that wasn't there when we went to sleep the night before.

But, Sunday was perfect. The sky cleared, it was still a bit cool, but not nearly as cold as it had been, the wind died down - perfect running weather - yay!

We got there about 45min before the start, after going on Saturday to collect our numbers and bag of goodies, Georgie was official key holder and bag/jacket put-awayer as her 10k started 30min after Julie and I started the half, it was nice not to have to worry about any of that.

We lined up at the start line, made sure we were towards the back (the walkers had started an hour before, yay, no trying to run around the walkers who always seem to start up front - one of my new pet hates in life) ... and off we went, at a nice steady pace. It was all pretty uneventful really - We got to the first 5km and I checked our time, 30:40, I was aiming for 32:00 - I said to Julie we're going too fast, I don't want to burn out! She assured me that if it felt good, don't worry about it just keep going where I felt comfortable ... okkkkayyyy, turns out she was right because we really did run that same pace the whole way. Between 10 and 15k it got rolling hill hilly, which I wasn't expecting at all - I thought it was all going to be flat, I train on the very flat, and the few 10k's I've done that have got even little hills usually really throw me, but even the hills yesterday weren't going to ruin it - just as we got to the top of them all, we hit the 15k drink station, just the right time to stop have a drink, a gel, and carry on. When we hit about 19k we both said, okay now it's getting tougher, but we dug in and kept it up right to the end - perfect, perfect run ... gosh if they could all go like that, life would be pretty darn good.

Interestingly, I said to Julie at the start, I'm going to stop and walk through all the drink stops (every 5km), take a gel at 10k and 15k. She said, that's okay I'll just run on the spot and wait - she is "old school", couldn't possibly stop running, no way she could start again. Afterwards, when she did stop through the drink stations she said she was amazed at how easy it was to go straight back into running the same pace and how it really didn't affect the running at all - nothing like teaching an "expert" something :)

Another highlight was that we were never passed by anyone, actually, we were by one lady quite early on, but we passed her towards the end. We passed probably about 10 runners along the way ... just sticking at our steady easy pace, it was a good feeling.

So all in all, a great race ... and nice to know that following a training programme really does work!

Here we are before the race, I'm the one looking goofy, Julie is in the glasses.

Oh, and today (Monday) the next day, I'm hardly sore at all! I'm a bit stiff, and one ankle feels a bit tender - but I walked the girls to school and definitely no limping, I'll be off on my bike soon which should be good to really loosen those muscles.


  1. Congratulations!!!! That's a great time... you must be very happy with it!

    It's scary how similar our running experiences are. I ran my first half marathon about 10-11 months after I started running too. Up until then, I was just doing whatever cardio I felt like (elliptical, dvd's, short treadmill segments).

    I'm so glad you enjoyed it so much!

  2. Congrats- glad to hear it went so well!