Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Marathon 9

Marathon 9
Completed. 4hr 37min.

Wellington Marathon

It was fantastic to have the family accompany me to run the Wellington Marathon.

I had been sick (man flu) since Christchurch marathon and only had run once since then. So was  expecting a difficult run. I faired okay, until the 35km mark were fatigue set in, and a walked a bit. I saw some familiar marathon faces (Tago and Ross) and got some energy boosting five-highs as they passed me.   The marathon course was a nice way to see the Wellington waterfront. I've heard people say, nothing beats Wellington on a nice day - and for this run we were spoilt because the weather was fine (with a bit of an early chill to the air). The start and finish was at Westpac Stadium, we stayed at the Quality Hotel (in Cuba Street) and the bus to and from the start/finish left from right outside the hotel. A nice touch was the hotel offered runners a free late check out (2pm), so we could have a shower and a soak in the hotel pool before heading home.  -Will be back to run this one again.
Thanks again to the organizers for the entry.

9 down - 11 to go

Marathon 8

Marathon 8
Christchurch Marathon

Completed 4 hours 27 minutes

Well that is 8 marathons done, and 12 to go... yup, one year of marathons to go...

For those who are interested in supporting LIV Village (the charity behind the 20marathons) please donate by following this link 

I really enjoyed this marathon, the Christchurch Marathon, it had a bit of everything... First up was the airport panic (when Air NZ cancelled our connecting flight from Wellington to Christchurch).   Thankfully we managed to get on another flight down to Christchurch.  Sprinting through the airport to the departure gate -  felt like a scene from a movie.  Got to the hotel, dropped my bags off and headed into Christchurch CBD.  I had last visited the city to watch a Sharks vs. Crusaders game in 2009.  To see the damage from the earthquake was sobering, to see the resilience was inspiring. The temperature at the start was -4 degrees a the start. The puddles on the side of the road were frozen, and in sections there was ice on the road... my mantra for that stretch of road - don't fall don't fall don't fall... this was a new experience. and I did not fall.  

Next years event will be returning to the Christchurch City CBD and I love to return to run this event again.  But next year (fingers crossed) I will be lining up for Marathon 20 - the 2015 Comrades Marathon in South Africa...
thank you to the organizers for the entry.  

Roll on Wellington Marathon  - number 9.

I found a taste of South Africa in Christchurch...
Early morning start from Napier - to Wellington, then on to Christchurch
View from a drone camera of the start.
LIV Village bracelet peeking out of the layers...

Posing with a Bagpiper, Bagpipe player, Bagpipe-ist (don't know the official name of these musicians... but I love the sound) 

Frozen puddles...




Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Marathon 7

Marathon 7
Rotorua Marathon

Completed 4hours 29minutes

This year was the 50th running on the Rotorua Marathon. The Rotorua Marathon is special one for me - it was my first ever marathon back in 2011.

We arrived in Rotorua on the Friday, picked up the race numbers and a few bargains at the Expo before settling into our hotel for the night.

It was a chilly start to the day, and for some reason I felt really nervous for this one.  I was focussing on wanting to enjoy this event. After a rousing Haka, the race began.  I saw a guy running in a wetsuit, another guy in a leopard print speedo (and gold chains and an awesome afro wig).  At champagne corner we were greeted by  spectators dressed up, drinking champagne with "Chariots of Fire" belting out on speakers.   I could not help but think of the Comrades Marathon (Chariots of Fire is played at the start of Comrades). The support from spectator was amazing, random folks calling out your name (printed on your race number), bagpipes and drummers all added to the atmosphere - also reminded me of Comrades.  
It was good to see some familiar faces on the course, Ross and Ganeshji. And Tago dishing out perfectly timed high-fives near the finish. I met another runner wearing a Comrades marathon cap, Gary, we exchanged Comrades stories and vowed to keep in touch. I sure have met some amazing people while running.
With events like the Tarawera ultra and the Rotorua Marathon - Rotorua can certainly expect to see many runners returning, again and again and again... I will be back (not to be read in an Arnold Scharzenegger accent - couldn't do it could you)
Thank you to Jenny and the ASICS team for sponsoring the race entry! The ASICS Gel DS Racers worked a treat!
Release of 50 balloons, representing the 50th year of the Rotorua Marathon

Gathering for the start...

Leopard print legend.

Champagne Corner

There will be a day when I can no longer do this. That is NOt today

LIV Bracelet. The pink hair band and Micky Mouse Band-Aid were good luck charms from my kids...

To make a Donation to LIV Village follow this link -

Next Marathon - Chirstchurch Marathon - Marathon number 8.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Marathon 6

Marathon 6
Great Forest Marathon 

Completed - 4hours 38minutes

Three hour drive, run a marathon, three hour drive home... This was set to be a tough day. Waking up at 3am, I set out from Napier for the three hour drive to Levin for Marathon 6, The Great Forest Marathon. I arrived at the start with plenty of time to go through my usual pre-race routine. The application of Vaseline and Band-Aids to various body parts.

The course was two 21km laps though forestry roads. Pretty flat and cushiony trials. It was great to see some familiar faces at the start line. It was a comfortable day and heading out a little too quick on the first lap - and suffered on the second lap. I met Ganeshji, he runs marathons and runs his own business. Me: "So what business you in?" Ganeshji: "I sell headstones".  They way my legs were feelings, perhaps I was speaking to the right man...  He was great company, we shared a few stories and that helped the km's pass. He will be off to climb Mt Kilimanjaro in a few months for a charity in Africa - inspirational.

After the event I shoved the following into my face - a paua fritter, a hot dog, a bacon and egg wrap and a black coffee (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream). Yip, there were some pretty awesome food stalls.  After prize-giving I headed off for the drive home. Thank you to the event organisers for sponsoring the entry.

Next marathon: Rotorua Marathon (Marathon number 7)

A welcomed sign!

Fuel for the 3 hour drive home

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Marathon 5

Marathon 5
Tarawera Ultra Marathon

Completed (60km) - 9hours 36minutes
We are one quarter of the way there. 5 marathons down, 15 to go - all for LIV Village.  I have heard that as the original LIV Village continues to expand (with a community hall and clinic being built) there are plans to open a second LIV Village (thanks to inspirational Lara Kruiskamp) in a different region of South Africa.  This is amazing news and is very encouraging as we head into the second quarter of the 20 marathons.  
the 5th marathon was a 60km ultra marathon, the Tarawera Ultra Marathon. This years event had a last minute course change due to the expected arrival of Cyclone Lusi. The 100km and 85km events were changed to a 75km run and for us 60km runners, the distance remained the same, but the course was  an out and back run (I.e. More hills).  What was initially mild, actually perfect, running weather soon turned to muddy, wet and windy. Either way a fun day. I met and ran almost the entire course with Roger (a school teacher from Tauranga) - we shared a few laughs and the time flew past - Thanks Roger. We shuffled along at a steady pace, no racing, just plodding. The first 45km were pretty comfortable, but I did struggle the last 15km, thanks to a mean uphill and just damn tired legs. I will add that Roger had a GPS, and we were counting down to the 60km mark - and had that heart-sinking moment when you realize that the course is about 3km longer than you expected. With sunken-hearts and smiles on our faces we shuffled on, recognizing the terrain as close enough to the finish. I crossed the finish line with Roger and my daughter Jaimie. No blisters or hot spots my ASICS Fuji Racers were perfect over this wet 60km course. 
Here is the link to the donations page:  With the current exchange rate, foreign curacy donations go a long way in terms of South African Rand (just saying)
Upcoming event: Marathon 6 - 12 April 2014 - Great Forest Marathon
And we're off...
Before the start with the Managing Director of my support crew (Kellie, my wife).
Pretty amazing scenery

Things got wet and muddy.

Finishing a great day with my daughter Jaimie and new buddy Roger
Two awesome cheerleaders, Jaimie and Maddy - thanks for the support!

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Marathon 4

Marathon 4

Colville Connection Trail Marathon

Completed - 5hours 38minutes

My family and I made the 6 hour journey from Napier to Colville for a weekend away. What an awesome part of New Zealand. I think most of the New Zealand postcards were photographed up there.  What a pleasure to visit.

Once the race was under way, the family headed off to Waitete Bay and I settled into my pace for the day. It was a warm, humid, muddy day. Colville Connection is a trail run and a mountain bike event, so the mud was churned up quite a bit and made for slow progress. Walking the up hills, running the flats and sliding/ skiing the down hills like a Sochi cross country skier.  Man, big respect to those mountain bikers!

Met and ran with Mike, a Canadian Navy Diver for a bit of the race. This guy was tough, no real marathon training, but obviously fit from Navy service. We shared a few stories and wished him luck and he was off... (I saw him again at the finish, so no I wasn't hallucinating) :)  

I'm am looking forward to the next run, and catching up again with Tago and Ross, some like minded running buddies. Great to see Tanya and Colin at the finish (Congrats Colin for finishing the 70km mountain bike event, legend!).

Finished with no injuries. This was my third marathon with my ASICS Fuji Racers, these shoes have been good to me. Some proper calf cramps at 40km mark, probably from trying to run a bit too hard towards the end. Good lesson for Marathon 5, take it easy!  All in all, a good day.  Thank you Colville Connection Organizers.
Getting ready for the start

Mike in the mist

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Marathon 3

Marathon 3

Hutt River Trail Marathon

Completed - 4hours 01minutes

It had been 5 weeks since marathon number 2, I felt very well rested, perhaps a little too rested after  Christmas holidays. Rested but confident.  I had managed to keep my training up over this tempting period - sticking to a light training schedule, running 3-4 days a week (more often 3 rather than 4).  To avoid injury I kept most runs between 30 - 60 minutes, with just one longer (2 hour) run about 2 weeks out from this marathon.

I made the trip to Lower Hutt without the family for this one. The plan was for me to drive down on the Friday, run the marathon on the Saturday morning and drive back Saturday afternoon.


There was an ultra option (a 60km) for this event, I stuck to the standard marathon distance. The course ran from Upper Hutt to Lower Hutt, meandering along the river.  Pretty flat and not very technical, very enjoyable run. Thank you Aurora Harriers for a great event.

There was a very interesting feature on this course, going through  this tunnel.  You couldn't see your feet and the end looked like a speck - I'm not sure how long the tunnel was, probably only a few hundred metres, but that was a surreal experience.

Heading into the tunnel

I met two legends, Mike Tennent and Ross Steele. Mike is running 52 half marathons in 52 weeks for Hospice. And Ross has run 60+ marathons and has run a marathon on every continent! Ross was great company and I look forward to catching up with him again - turns out as we compared upcoming race schedules that we will be meeting again at the start line on the next few events. You can read Ross' race report here:

 Marathon completed with no injuries and the a few more running friends. Three down and 17 to go.

NZ Herald article:
20marathons20months got another mention in New Zealand Herald. if you haven't seen the article, here is the link below - we are honoured to be mentioned along side some inspirational people:
21/12/2013 "Marathon efforts all made for others"  -by Peter Thornton

To Donate:
To support the 20marathons20months for LIV Village - Here is a link to the donation page: