Sunday, 28 June 2009

Wellington Marathon 10km walk

In February, I entered the Wellington Round The Bays and managed to walk 7km in a time of 1 hour and 6 minutes. Today, I upped the stakes slightly and finished the Wellington Marathon 10km walk. I was aiming to complete the walk in 1 hour and 30 minutes, or nine minutes per kilometre, but somehow managed to hurt my back a week ago - not to worry, some strong drugs and my iPod would see me through. I decided to reset my time goal to 1 hour 45 minutes, then as my back progressively got worse I thought I'd forget about times altogether and just aim to finish the course.

The weather conditions were perfect: overcast and cool with a slight breeze. My brother ran the full marathon in 2005 to southerly gales and icy rain with waves breaking over onto the road, soaking the runners. NOT something I would be keen to try for myself!

My unofficial time was 1 hour and 42 minutes. Considering how sore my back has been lately, I'm pleased with the result. I started out ok with my first kilometre just on the 10 minute mark, but slowed down to 13 minutes for the next km. That's when I decided to just keep on walking and not worry about the clock at all. Well, of course I sneaked a peak at the time on my iPod at every race marker, but surely that's only natural?

The Wellington Marathon starts and finishes at Westpac Stadium. The course winds around the waterfront and bays with various turnaround points for the 10km walk, half marathon, and full marathon. With 4700+ athletes (and me!) out there on the streets, the event was well marshalled but inevitably there were times when runners were required to run through groups of walkers on their return to the stadium. As Wellington is such a hilly city, I'd imagine it would be difficult to plot an alternative course on flat land. Walkers were expected to let runners pass them, especially those running the marathon and half marathon. Still, it wouldn't have been easy to negotiate your way through some of the bigger groups, or those strolling along with dual walking poles!

I have just had a hot bath and am going in search of coffee now to wash down another dose of painkillers. I'll see what the doctor has to say about my back tomorrow, but I'm certain the race hasn't aggravated it. Regardless, I was determined to achieve goal #6 - Complete Wellington Marathon 10km walk and now feel very proud of myself. Maybe next year I'll finish with a time of 90 minutes.


Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Well done Café Chick!

Believe it or not, I am a founder member of The Wellington Marathon Clinic - started 1979 at Rongotai College. I designed the logo, which apart from some coaching was my contribution to the clinic.

Thanks for the memories, as it were :)

Catchya later

Café Chick said...

Gosh, I had no idea! I think the clinic does a fabulous job of promoting exercise across a broad spectrum of people. For a non-runner like me, I'm just glad that I could be involved in such a great event and that there are several options available to cater for different fitness levels. I'm certainly keen to try again next year.

Sab said...

WooHOo!! I would LOVE to do something like that! I wonder if we have anything going on in our neck-of-the-woods!?

Way to go with your time even with the sore back!

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Café Chick

Yes indeed, that idea of catering to a broad spectrum of fitness is exactly how the W M Clinic started out. We had groups from geriatrics to people who were training to run their next marathon.

At that time I used to coach the middle distance group, about 10 to 15 kilometres. The geriatrics, believe it or not, were people who had been through recent heart surgery. A doctor (Alan ----, I forget his surname) who was also one of the founders, took care of this group. Some of them literally could not jog 20m when they started. The eventual goal was to get them to run a full marathon. Most of them did.

Catchya later

Kelly said...

O for awesome effort! Esp with bad back! I think you have well deserved a cup of tea and a lie down!