Welcome to the May edition of the WMC Newsletter. Recently many members of the Clinic travelled up to Rotorua to participate in the 55th Rotorua Marathon. It is fantastic to see so many returning, doing their first marathon, doing Rotorua for the first time and those who did well in their age categories – congratulations to all! I hope you enjoy reading about their unique experiences. The first bus trip of the year is on Sunday. A reminder the room has not been booked. Thank you to Nazir for organising. The annual Movie Night has been booked for Saturday 29 June. A booking form will be sent out in due course. I’m certain you will not be disappointed. Thank you Gordon for organising. The Wellington Marathon will be here before we know it. I hope your training is going well. One of our members has kindly donated his Andy McNeill spot prize of a free entry for the Wellington Marathon. If you would like it there is more information on how to claim it further in this newsletter.
Sunday 19 May – Battle Hill Farm Bus Trip
Sunday 26 May – Fem’s Corrective Session
Sunday 16 June – Fem’s Corrective Session
Saturday 29 June – Time Cinema – Movie Night, 191 Sutherland Road, Lyall Bay. Registration form coming out soon
Sunday 30 June – Wellington Marathon. If you’re entering don’t forget to use the discount code exclusive to WMC members (emailed to you on 6/5/2019).
Sunday 21 July – Fem’s Corrective Session
Saturday 10 August – 40th Anniversary Dinner, The Pines, Houghton Bay. More information to come…
Sunday 18 August – Belmont Regional Park Bus Trip.
The 55th Rotorua Marathon was held on Saturday 4 May 2019. Wellington Marathon Clinic members who attended were: Marathon: Gordon, Roland, Mo, Aubrey, Alicia, Susan, Annie, Angelia and Persephone Half Marathon: Bice 10km: Nazir This is what they had to say after they took on the Lake…
Wendy and Gordy had our annual Rotorua road trip which we look forward to each year, this time we had an extra person with us (Mikey, for those that don’t realise, Gordy’s eldest son). We all had the goal of finishing which had the following results:
Mikey- first marathon, so no pressure, just gotta finish. Which he did with admiration from a proud dad. 4:23 great result Mikey!
Wendy-this is Rotorua number 13, with the goal of two more to make the survivors Club. All went to plan, run to 16k then walk the rest, finished in 6:06, bloody awesome considering she walked 26k!
Gordy-OK, Rotorua number 23, (61st in total) two more to get my 25 survivors club upgrade, so both Wendy and I will be up on stage together in 2021. I managed 4:01, 16th in age grade, on for 3:45 up to 30k faded to mixing up some walking from 34k onwards, lost 16mins in 2nd half, mainly in the last 8k. This is a classic Rotorua outcome, turned out to be my 2nd worst marathon time, but I have to learn to accept this as I get older if I want to keep on trucking, which, of course, is a no brainer. Here’s a positive spin on it, Saturday’s effort was 9mins slower than I ran on the same course 37 years ago in 1982 when I was 21. (I blew up that day too, but the results speak for themselves) It is now natural consequences time for all of us. Several days of stiff, lock kneed hobbling, joy! A big thank you for all the support from everyone, you are all champions in my book. Great to see all the Clinic members up there and doing well, only 362 days until it all happens again. Let’s see some more Clinic members up there next year achieving what the Clinic is all about.
Rotorua Revisited – Roland’s Marathon Anniversary (1994 – 2019) Well, I almost hadn’t celebrated this important milestone in my running life. Were it not for two wonderful friends, who entered me in the Rotorua Marathon half a year ago, and whom I felt I could not disappoint, health problems and work commitments would surely have convinced me that there was no point going. But go I did and I’m glad I did. Having done my first ever Marathon in Rotorua in 1994, this was my 25-year anniversary event. I had been back in 1999, when the race was cancelled 10 minutes before the start (and I have the T-shirt to show for it!) and in 2014 for the event’s 50th anniversary. This year I continued my tradition to carry my weather-proof compact camera (still using film!) to record some impressions from within the event. I shall share the pictures once they have been processed. Let’s get to the point. In the company of two other wonderful friends, I set off at a nice constant pace and we actually had quite a bit of fun despite some challenging inclines. After some 18-plus kilometres I found that I could no longer keep up with my buddies and slowly but surely dropped back and got passed by the 5-hours pace runners. At 25 km the 5:15-hours pacers left me behind. I thought, that’s OK, I just pick up the pace towards the finish. It didn’t quite work like that, though! Around 32 km I ran out of steam and had to settle for a walking interval. I never got back to a noteworthy pace after that. I alternated walks and jogs, with the walks getting longer and longer. Short before coming to the Princess Gate, again walking and not very fast I have to admit, I suddenly heard the encouraging voices of Dave and Rach, who had come down from Auckland. That gave me the needed boost to pick up my pace and to finish the race running, albeit slowly. It was great to see so many friends waiting for me at the finish line. And I am pleased that so many had special achievements that day, be it completing their first ever Marathon or impressive age-group placings. Congratulations to all of you! The event was perfectly run by the organisers, as we all come to expect. Will I go back next year? Well, … let’s wait and see …
As a seasoned marathon runner, I lined up for my 13th Rotorua Marathon, with both my brand new Garmin watch and running vest, filled with Powerade. I was prepared, or so I thought. It is a marathon after all. At the 7km mark I found myself alone in a bus shelter, taking off my supa warm merino top (took seven minutes of valuable running time). The first half I tried to run at a 6.40 pace, the third quarter I was doing 7.00 minutes kms, the last quarter with cramp was 8.00 min kms. I initially joined the 4.45 pace group, then the 5.00, eventually settling in with the 5.15 finishing at 5.17. Cramping and stretching consumed additional running time, but I will be working on that again, before next year. I only stopped for the cramps, ran otherwise constantly. I love the course around the lake, the scenery, the camaraderie and above all else, the crowd support. If you haven’t done this marathon, put it on your “MUST DO” list.
Why run a marathon? To test myself, if I can commit to regular training and rise to the challenge; and to be part of the conversation. I´ve heard so many stories about marathons and especially Rotorua. Now I can truly understand what it’s like. When I tell people I do long-distance running, I get a reaction of admiration and ´she´s a bit crazy`. The journey to running my first marathon was tough – a bit crazy even. I wondered many a time why I´m doing this (especially during heavy rain and gale force winds). The answer is simple, running is fun, the company is even better, and the feeling of accomplishment after reaching a personal goal is amazing. Everyone who is chasing their goals, regardless of distance or time, deserve admiration. Rotorua is certainly not an easy course for a first timer, but the crowds were amazing, and the thermal pools are an added bonus. I have learned a lot over the past couple weeks and during the race:
- Trust yourself! Our bodies can take a lot, and other forms of exercise can add significantly to our base fitness. (TRX and yoga for me)
- Let go of your ego! Sometimes it’s better to stop than push forward. One day I embarked on a 26km run realising my water bottle leaked, my backpack wasn´t well adjusted, I had packed my broken sunglasses, and it started raining. I stopped after 7km and felt much better for it. It´s not always mind over matter.
- Be in the moment. Don´t think about the kilometres you have completed or are ahead of you. Soak in the atmosphere, look at the landscape, notice the here and now. And remember that running is fun.
- Rely on your running buddies when it´s getting tough. Shared pain is half the pain ?? (thanks to everyone in WMC for their encouragement and support, couldn’t have done it without you!) Will I run another marathon? Probably. Will it be anytime soon? Probably not. My next challenge will be the Wellington half marathon in well under two hours.
The 2019 Rotorua Marathon had that elusive combination most entrants dream of. Near perfect weather conditions, highly efficient race organisation and great atmosphere that comes with an iconic event. However the most stand out difference that this course has over other New Zealand Marathons is their fanatical and highly dedicated local supporters that not only lined the route but moved strategically with it to cheer on their Runner/Walker and as a by-product, all the other increasingly familiar faces who pass them, including mine. It was these supporters, holding homemade colourful signs with Well Done Strangers and Use are All F@#ing Mental, offering lollies, bananas and cheers of encouragement that helped me convince my legs to keep driving up those hills and persuaded my mind that You (really) Can Do It! However it was one supporter in particular that stood out for me. Maybe because she reminded me of my mum, and was supporting her daughter, but after passing her the first 4 or 5 times (yup- dedicated!) she just seemed so excited for me “You’re doing SO well” “Keep going!” “You’re doing great” that I began to look for her with her mysterious sign “I am Running for Sascha”. Clearly she wasn’t running and Sascha was not the daughter doing the hard yards with me up and down all those rolling hills. And suddenly there she was at the end, 200m from the finish line, waiting for me to high five her as I yelled “Mum, I made it!” When she calls back “You did it!” I’m not sure who’s more excited, her or me. I did do it. And did it well. New PB and 5 mins off my last marathon time on a course that never fails to get a respectful nod from those in the know: “PB, hmmm, in Rotorua, not bad.” But it was this Mum who I saw in the aftermath, when I was salty, elated, relieved, frankly a little incredulous, when I thanked her for her encouragement, who finally revealed the truth about Sascha. Sascha was a marathon runner and her niece and she had died suddenly last week, in Souh Africa, on the eve of her next marathon. Her running gears were laid out on the bed, and Sascha it seemed, had gone to sleep at 50 years old, never to wake up. Grief-stricken this family had come together to celebrate Sascha’s life and passion for the marathon. And this is what keeps people coming back to the Rotorua Marathon year after year. It is this infectious passion and celebration that the local supporters bring to this event that really sets it apart and makes it the iconic New Zealand Marathon that it is.
In my own view Rotorua Marathon was well organised. Marathons promote people to give it a go regardless of their times. I saw marathon wardens out around 5pm still waiting on people to finish their event. Marathons challenge your body and mind. I kept thinking to myself “Am I there yet?” There might be a second attempt for me as I was not satisfied with my training leading up to the marathon. Next time around Rotorua Marathon I hope is my PB not PW.
The Rotorua Marathon was my fourth marathon and each one has been a totally different experience. Whilst waiting at the start line, well back I might add, an overwhelming sensation of nerves came over me and I thought what am I doing this is going to be one tough run. I looked beside me and Roland and Alicia were next to me and I thought actually I will be ok I’m with my friends. The three of us set off together, sometimes we were silent other times we were talking amongst ourselves and with other runners. Each time we made it to the next km we celebrated it. We cheered loudly initially but the further we got our cheers were laboured and by the end it was just in my head. Along the way we took in the stunning scenery and made it up the well discussed hills encouraging each other as we put each foot in front of the other. Along the entire duration of the course the supporters were amazing – friendly and encouraging, waving their signs and children high fiving us. With the last 3km I tried to stay with a runner who was slightly ahead of me. When we got close to the roundabout I saw him veer off in another direction and I thought where are you going? Turns out he was heading down the half marathoner’s lane and the marshal said you’re going the wrong way. So he made a joke out of it and went round the roundabout! Supporters standing by the barrier called out to me “don’t do that – you go girl you’re awesome”. At that stage I could only manage a smile and thumbs up in thanks and kept going. I crossed the 55th Rotorua Marathon finish line at 5:18:46 with nothing left in the tank. This is a new personal worse for me something I plan to rectify next year in Rotorua. Although I didn’t do the time I would have liked I’m very grateful I had the company of my friends to experience this iconic event with. Have I learnt from my mistakes? I sincerely hope so. Did I do enough training? I know I did, possibly too much. Did I eat and hydrate well enough during the week prior to the event? Yes. Have I allowed my body time to rest and recover during my months and months of training? No!. Something to work on for next time because next time is just around the corner at the Wellington Marathon. This is what Bice had to say after she completed the half marathon.
56th Rotorua Marathon: Saturday 2 May 2020!
Battle Hill Farm – Bus Trip – Sunday 19 May
Thank you for your support we have over 23 registered for the bus trip. If you are planning on coming but haven’t registered please check with a committee member if there is room on the bus. Battle Hill is located on Paekakariki Hill Road about 6.5km north of Pauatahanui Inlet, off State Highway 58. The park is named after Battle Hill, which was the site of a battle between Maori and colonial forces in 1846. The walking/running tracks range from easy to strenuous and provide walking times of fifteen minutes to four hours. Rising from the forested gullies, the tracks towards the summit of Battle Hill offer sweeping views down the valley to Pauatahanui Inlet. Here is a short but very informative video on it – check it out: https://youtu.be/aNhD7y9FAlk
A reminder of our trip plan:
- Bus starts from the front of ASB Centre at 8am – with pick-ups along the way:
- Railway Station 8:10am
- Ngauranga Gorge / Hutt Road 8:20am
- Battle Hill Farm 9am.
- Depart Battle Hill Farm about 11:30am and
- return to ASB Centre at approximately 12:30pm.
Time Cinema Movie Night
Saturday 29 June 2019, from 5:30pm. A registration form will be available soon. The Committee wishes to thank Gordon Clarke for organising this annual event.
From the Committee
We really need one or two people, to join the committee. Ideally this would be someone who could help out with Comms and IT but all comers are very welcome. We need members to help run WMC, that’s our events as well as the usual business, so please see what you could do – for more information talk to a committee member (Mike, Persephone, Judith D, Nazir, Lynda).
The main points covered at the April meeting included:
- Sub renewals and contacting past members
- Calendar and events including those marking our 40th year
- Understanding our IT set up, with thanks to Stan who is a huge help
- A process to manage how we can discuss a name change (as suggested at the 2018 AGM) Subscriptions 2019 (1 January to 31 December)
- Overdue subs -Thank you to those who have paid their membership subscription. If you have yet to do so it would be greatly appreciated if you could do this as soon as possible. The standard subscription is $50 per member. A concession rate of $35 applies if you are a student, beneficiary, superannuitant, unwaged or 19 years of age or under. You can pay by cash or cheque at a Sunday morning meeting, or online by direct credit to 02-0534-0095446-00.
- Wellington Marathon – Free Entry Dennis, one of the Clinic’s members, was the lucky winner of a free entry for the 2019 Wellington Marathon which was one of the Andy McNeill spot prizes at the Andy McNeill event held last year. He unfortunately is unable to take part and has kindly donated his prize to someone at the clinic. If you haven’t registered and would like this entry please contact Persephone via the website, Contact Us, and she will be in touch or catch up one Sunday.
Sunday Assistant – Meghan
The Committee are very grateful to Nova and Andreas for filling in for Meghan while she was away in Japan for three weeks on a school trip.