Last weekend Sunday was the second of the Xterra trail running events in Wellington. The second race was held over in the Catchpool valley and Oronogorongo river located in the Rimutaka Forest Park just about 15kms from Wellington city. The park has some great trails and naturally was a great setting for race 2 of the Xterra event. To make things even better the day was just picture perfect. Just have a look at the photo below courtesy of Logan Ackers of the race start.
Xterra Race 2 Orongorongo – Photo Credit Xterra – Logan Ackers
Check out the Xterra Facebook page for more race day photos.
Anyways there is a great post over at Backcountry runner of how things went from the point of view from front of the pack.
After the “horn” went off (there was no gun) – I settled into mid pack with a couple of others from my club and we ran the first 5km or so at a steady pace. The trail was easy and undulating and after 5kms it was into a climb up an old 4WD track to the topmost point. I ran/walked parts of it and kept getting passed by a few people. Then it was some steady running along the ridge line. After the ridge line bit I got into my “downhill” mode and flew past a few people who overtook me on the climb. The next bit was technical and there were some roots to deal with and going got a bit slower then another 2km of look out for roots and protect your ankle. At the 15km point the trail became fairly even with a bit of slushy mud from the few days of rain we had the last few days. I ran this bit as fast as I could without getting too carried away. The total distance ended up being roughly about 19.6kms in 2hours 17mins according to my Garmin.
As it happened there was a ‘technical glitch’ and some of the timing chips had failed for about more than half of the runners who took part. The organising team worked really hard to figure out and hopefully fix this but in the end they could only officially provide only a handful of timings. In any case no one really cared – I didn’t anyways. I enjoyed the great day and the company of my fellow trail runners. Looking forward to the next event which will be a night run in a weeks time.
Enjoying a post race recap with fellow trail runners
At the Rotorua half marathon on Saturday May 04th I had a goal of running close to 1:35 which I figured was a good target given my previous half marathon times. I wanted to see if I’ve improved based on the training I’ve been doing. Now the fact is my training in the previous 8 weeks was purely focused on my upcoming marathon on 23rd of June. So I was 8 weeks into a 16 weeks marathon program and just the previous week I had just finished a massive week with a 34km run on the weekend.
So the lessons learned in no particular order:
- Don’t run a 35km (20miler) as your long run before a half marathon if you want to run a PB – in fact a few people told me this when they heard I was running Rotorua half the week after (yeah listening to others is a good thing, sometimes)
- If your legs are tired and half dead they are tired – no amount of Gels, Sugar, Carbs, Electrolytes aint gonna help!
- It will hurt bad after 12kms when you think you can sustain a faster km split when your legs are tired and you will want to just stop and lie down and quit
- Following a Marathon Training plan does not help you prepare for a fast half marathon time – in fact there were no half marathon pace speed sessions apart from a couple of tempos and an interval session in the previous 3 week build up – in contrast when I was training for the round the bays half I had plenty of ‘fast’ runs in my schedule at my HM goal pace
- Trust your gut when you feel ‘off’ don’t try and run negative splits, just relax and enjoy the run and forget about trying to run fast
Despite all that I enjoyed the Rotorua event. And my final finish time was 1:37:47 which in the grand scheme of things was just around the 4:30-35 per KM pace mark and I am happy with that. (Well just maybe..). The encouragement I got after the event was very helpful and some of the more experienced runners quite rightly pointed out that I am doing well in my Marathon training and should not be disappointed of this result.
Overall the 49th Rotorua Marathon Event was well organised with the event starting and finishing in the Government Gardens next to the Energy Events Centre. Inside the Events Centre was an expo with various vendors advertising and selling running related products. After registration you could wander through the hall and have a look around. What drew most people’s attention was an area where a series of posters highlighted the 49 years of the event with past winners and records. There were some names that I recognized from Wellington Scottish Athletics who have been part of Rotorua for many years. After the event there was a prize giving ceremony in the same hall. Here are some photos.
Registration – Rotorua Half Marathon
Prize Giving – Rotorua Half Marathon
49 Years of the Event – Rotorua Marathon
Rotorua Marathon – Start and Finish
I have another 6 weeks to go in my training for the Wellington Marathon and I’ll focus purely on that. Also I’m running a small competition so go check it out here and enter to win an awesome prize!