Even before starting my trip, I was checking all kind of run events in New Zealand. Since I participated to more then 10 runs in 2015, I hoped I can keep my fitness level with some runs I did while I was travelling.
The name for this event comes originally from the idea to create a mountain bike event, which covers a track which was not to hard but still offers the amazing views you get to see. People started to ask to run it, so they added the Marathon. Next to the Marathon there is also a 13km run along lake Wanaka and a incredible 100km run, which they actually call “Ultra Easy”.
A week before the race, I did some research about the race and as I was singing up, a Canadian guy (again somebody from Canada 🙂 asked my if I do the run. He (Matthew) registered also for the event, but he was going to run the 100km. We talked a while about the run, hiking in NZL and since I have a car, I picked him up for the registration the day before the event.
Note: Since the first 20km of the Marathon are in the mountains, it was mandatory to carry extra gear like long sleeves, gloves, waterproof jacket etc. Those are mostly for the case if you get injured, so you stay warm until you got help and picked up from the team.
The Marathon runners met at 9am to get a lift up the “Snow Farm Lodge” at about 1600km were the start was. Due to construction works the start was changed to this location, which added 5km to the distance (Yay).
With about 100 other runners, I started at 11am and had a nice gentle ascent for about 14km to Mount Pisa (1963m). It was possible to run most of the part but as it got steeper I decided to walk to same some energy for the long descent and flat section. Also it allowed me to enjoy more of the beautiful views.
At the top of Mt. Pisa was the second Aid station with water, electrolytes, oranges and some crackers. I refilled my 1,5l water bag and layered up with one more shirt. I was feeling still pretty good the first km but after a while I got problems with my inner groin of my right leg. I slowed down and walked most of the downhill but still felt some pain. I knew I have to change my running plan. Luckily, in the flatter parts, I didn’t had any problems so I knew I just have to get to the bottom.
As I arrived at the bottom, I took a longer break at the Aid station and stretched for a while. Regarding my condition, I was feeling still really good but the pain in the groins was still there a bit.
The last part of 13km was mostly flat with some short up and downs and goes along the “Clutha River-Mata-Au”. It was a beautiful track with some shade in the forrest and having the river on the right side. I had often the thought to just jump in but I knew I have to finish the run 🙂
The last km, more and more people were on the track and cheered up the runners. Finally, after 06:44:59 I finished the race and was really relieved. I knew, I was not in the best shape but this race was not to set any record. I was amazing being part of this small community of people who enjoy being active, felt in love with this area and be breath taken by the views.