18.4km - 1:45:27 (5:43/km)
Fun run - so no places :)
I love this run, off road - first 11k is up to the summit with a gradual incline the whole way, last 7km is down from 500m to 60m (I think, it is a really steep down!). It follows the old railway course, tracks are long gone, but the tunnels are still there and pretty cool to run through - if not pretty dark and worrying about twisting an ankle!
I even have photos - kind of. My two sisters walked it, they left 2hrs before me with the walkers and chatted, had fun, took photos ... kind of sounds like a better deal than running ;)
I left home at about 8am - a lot more relaxed after David realised on Friday that he wasn't actually working like he thought this weekend, so instead of worrying about kids getting to places on time and having the right people pick them up, and rushing back for other drop offs, I could just relax and enjoy the day off and let him worry about it. Got to the carpark at 9.00, got on one of buses to shuttle us to the start, picked up my number, trip to the toilet, and I was ready to go!
There was a misty rain the whole drive over, and still slightly misty wet when we started - bonus though, the wind was blowing the right way and for a point to point run, wind blowing the right way is a bonus!
Set off - I found I was puffing way too much, my body just didn't really feel in the groove, possibly tired - its been a busy week with a trip to Auckland, meetings, work, tonight will be the first evening I'm home for nearly two weeks or eating crap (although I tried hard not to and wasn't as bad as I could have been) for a few days in Auckland, then really not getting back to the good eating after we got back ... whatever, I felt sluggish. Groin muscle was soreish to start, but not too bad.
5km Drink stop - this is Julie ... just imagine it is two hours later and I'm running up to it! Ha Ha
I wanted to finish the run with a 5:40 pace, I started off pretty much bang on that and kept it there until about the 8th km when the incline gets steeper for the last 3k up to the top, I kept on slogging/jogging and felt pretty slow, but was passing people rather than being passed so I was probably doing fine. Got to the top absolutely stuffed and stopped at the waterstop and took my time having some water and a gel, brought my pace right up to nearly 6:00/km, but I knew the downhill would be lots faster!
Nearly at the summit!
Old remains of the train at the top
Crossed the creek slowly ;), went through a tunnel, again slowly ... finally set off down the hill and picked up speed, had to slow down again for the very stoney steep gully ... and then finally it was all down hill, with a couple of slow tunnels (slow because I didn't want to trip!).
One of the tunnels
Most of the downhill is spent looking down making sure you're not going to trip on any stones, or turn an ankle - but fun!
2.5km to Finish! Really?!
The advertising for this course says 17.5k, I knew it was more like 18k from last year, but even still, I thought I had about 1k to go when I reached the sign that said 2.5k to go! What! I was ready to be finished by then, and that 2.5k felt like a long long way. I ran this is 1:48 last year and thought I would blast that for a PB easily, but was getting a bit nervous that I would be slower. Ended up 3min faster - but really, thinking about it afterwards, I was definitely more sluggish than I would have liked ... probably the first time I've run a race where I just haven't run as well as I can, well, as well as I could on the day, but definitely not where I think my fitness is at.
Here I am, at last!
Nice thing about being the runner, not the walker, is that my sisters were there to cheer me in at the finish - poor things had to wait for an hour because they walk so fast! Julie's partner had nicely offered to come and pick us up at the finish end, so he did the patient wait as well. So, came in, stretched, hopped in the car, went and got some lunch - Les drove us over the hill where Georgie and I picked up our cars and I headed home.
Today my legs feel good - quads from running down that hill? Don't really hurt at all - that Maungatook training I do, plus all the biking must be good for something! Groin muscle is kind of sore, but not too bad considering it was a hard, long run the day before so hopefully it is on the mend.
Rest day today - I'm liking my switch to long run on Saturdays and a total rest/family day on the Sunday :)