It’s time to write my journey, so I thought I’d focus on the first of the 8 events I am to complete as part of the Cameron Brown Award which I have culminated with the IronMaori / Port of Tauranga Legend Series, this being the Taupo Half Marathon which was held on 4 August 2018.
Unfortunately I simply couldn’t get away from work early on the Friday, so I phoned a friend to uplift my race pack to avoid a rush around on the Saturday morning, as I arrived in Taupo at approximately 2200 hours (10 PM). Once up in the morning, I conducted my usual routine of an early breakfast, which allows the food to settle so as not to hinder you, but not too soon so that you are wanting more. For a big event like a Marathon or an Ironman, I would soak up poached eggs on toast, cereal, peanut butter and honey on toast and coffee (being an insomniac I normally avoid coffee, but I do have it for events). For a Half Marathon distance, etc I would not have the eggs.
I wandered down to the event and started some slow stretching awaiting the race officials to conduct their brief, and I always give Coach Ray a text or call if I haven’t managed it the previous day. This allows some guidance from Coach Ray, but more importantly to reaffirm my race pace or any other pondering questions I may have. Coach Rays advice was 9/1 5:20-5:40. What that means for me is run 9 minutes and walk 1 minute throughout and try and stay within a running race pace of 5 minutes 20 seconds to 5 minutes 40 seconds per km. Historically I used to frequently blow a calf with a strain and more recently ended up with sore Achilles. This is most likely because I used to think I was still 21 and stretching was overrated. Once I started religiously stretching, primarily after events, I stopped straining my calves, which the 9/1 – run/walk helped. When I started getting sore Achilles, Coach Ray continued with the regime of 9/1 and it works for me.
After the race brief, the hooter went off and I started my Garmin as I crossed the transponder mat. Down the hill and running with my Garmin alerts going to town, as it normally takes the first km for the runners to spreadout so I can find my groove. The pace went well and I glanced over my shoulder when I got my first 1 minute walk so I don’t stop or cause chaos for other runners on my heels. The weather in Taupo was amazing and great for a run with a slight August chill to start the day with.
I found I was passing people when running and they would catch me when walking, so it was very much cat and mouse the whole way round with faces that became familiar. The course is more or less 10 and a half kilometres out along the town roads heading south and then 10 and a half kilometres back in along the lake. It is a beautiful course with an amazing view that one can never dislike, although there is a slight hill at the end just to make sure you know it is an event.
I came across a few people I knew in the event and spectators alike. Coach Ray’s formula of 9/1 and 5:20 to 5:40 worked a treat and I came in with a sub-2 hour time of 1:58:19. A lady I was playing cat and mouse with asked me at the finish line what my running/walking ratio was, as she was intrigued I was keeping up with the runners and looking relatively fresh (maybe she needed to go to Specsavers lol), but when I explained it to her she was keen to try it at her next event. I picked up a couple of blisters, but was relatively happy with the day. Of course I stayed for prize-giving, as Murphy’s Law if you’re not there you win the prizes, if you are there you don’t, and the rain arrived right on cue at prize-giving to remind us it is still winter.
Take care team and I’ll keep you posted of how the training goes, of which I’ll be training overseas on holiday soon with a bit of heat to add to the mix, building to the second event of the Cameron Brown Award and IronMaori/Port of Tauranga Legend Series which is the IronMaori Quarter Ironman.
Humps will be writing weekly as he continues his journey raising funds for the Fallen Hero’s Trust
Read Humps’ article from last week here:
And all his previous articles are stored here: