Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Round the Bays 2015

Wellington sure knows how to put on a good event. Sunday's Round the Bays is proof of that. I'm only a walker but there is something magical about being part of a big event that has such a positive focus on health and wellbeing. It's a great feeling approaching the start line in the middle of the bunch, then feeling the group pick up the pace and head off on their journeys. It's an even better feeling to cross the finish line.

I settled into my pace at around the 1.5 km mark. I seemed to fall in with a couple of joggers and our paths criss-crossed many times during the next hour and a half, with me striding along and them jogging at my walking pace. The weather was perfect: overcast with a light breeze. There were some hold-on-to-your-cap moments in a couple of notorious windy spots (Point Jerningham and Cobham Drive - I'm looking at you two) but otherwise the breeze was pleasant and welcome.

I always look forward to the entertainment along the way, usually in the form of a jazz band or music blasting from the houses around the eastern bays. This year, there was a great Strike ensemble percussion group at Balaena Bay. If I wasn't on such a mission, I'd have loved to stop and listen to them properly. The Kio Bay Fun Zone was in fine form and the residents were giving out jet plane lollies, although the only route to them seemed to be through a path of hoses and water pistols, so I passed up their offer this time.

I am convinced that Cobham Drive is longer as you head west than it is walking east. At least, it felt that way as the finish line seemed to stretch ever further in front of me. I was really pleased to trim about two minutes off my walk time, finishing 10 km in 1.27.17. I can also say that I'm never as happy to see someone holding out a banana and a water bottle as I am after crossing the finish line. And now, after a few days' recovery, I can once again wear shoes without my feet hurting and walk down stairs without hobbling. It's a great feeling to know that I've been part of this year's event and I'm already looking forward to next year's race.

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