Kia ora koutou katoa
Welcome to Wellington Marathon Clinic in the new decade. It’s a great time of year to be out and about, so I urge you to make the most of it – but don’t be like me and forget to hydrate on those long expeditions.
As always, we’re aiming for fun, friendly activities this year. While the Sunday runs and walks from ASB continue to be our bread and butter, we do want to have some adventures, at least once a month we will try to do something different. That could be as easy as meeting at a different place, or some sort of game. If you have any ideas about what we could do,
then let a Committee member know. I have to say that the Committee is a great team that I’m proud to be part of.
I hope you also have thought about some personal running/walking goals well. It could be to come along to WMC most Sunday’s, or all the bus trips or perhaps you could do an event.
Aim high. We should all be inspired by Audrey Childs walking the Round the Bays 10km to celebrate her 90th birthday.
Our first expedition for the year was a bus trip to Kaitoke Regional Park on 23 February. We filled a bus with runners and walkers and even had time for a coffee at the local café.
Wim van Dijk, President
Subscriptions 2020 (19 January to 13 December)
Reminder subs for 2020 are $30 for everyone. $20 if paid by 28 February.
You can pay by cash or cheque at a Sunday morning meeting, or online by direct credit to 02-0534-0095446-00.
WMC Open Day – Sunday 29 March
Our annual Open Day is on Sunday 29 March. The purpose of this is so members of the public can come along and give it a go. If you know someone who likes running or walking tell them about our open day and encourage them to come along.
Save the date as the Committee are planning something awesome!
Many of our members have been very busy over the last couple of months. Let’s begin with the walkers.
Summer Fun – Wellington to Waikanae in Six Easy Stages
written by Peter Firth
It was Lynda’s idea. Instead of walking our usual haunts while the Clinic is closed, why not go further afield? Why not walk from Wellington to Waikanae in six easy stages, using our gold cards to access public transport? She put together a plan covering routes, rest stops, transport and a schedule, taking any willing walkers from Wellington Railway Station to
Waikanae Village over January in six achievable stages – and the proposal was accepted enthusiastically. In all eighteen people joined the walks; four of us did all six stages – the idea was to do as much or as little of the walk as we pleased.
Stage 1, Wednesday 1 January 2020, Wellington Railway Station to Johnsonville
Seven walkers set out along Thorndon Quay to Ngaio Gorge and up to Trelissick Park. The weather was now standard 2020 Wellington summer – warm, low cloud with a strong northerly breeze. We wended our way through Ngaio and Khandallah where Toni hosted us out of the wind while we ate our BYO lunches. Thus fortified, we punched our way into the
wind to the Johnsonville Railway Station. The double decker bus down Ngauranga Gorge was a thrill for some!
Distance covered 12.9 kilometres, time taken walking 3.00 hours.
Stage 2, Sunday 5 January, Johnsonville to Porirua
Weather – warm, low cloud, usual northerly gale. Eleven walkers today. We were grateful to Brian Hayes for his local knowledge; this plus Lynda’s fluorescent jackets helped to keep us safe along Middleton Road as we negotiated the sections without any footpath. Brian pointed out the derelict historic hotel which was a staging post when the route out of Wellington was by horse and cart. Quitting the road at the Bucket Tree in Tawa (well worth viewing from underneath) we paused for lunch before walking the paths to Porirua Station, often doubled over against the gale – some sunshine would have been nice but at least we all completed the day’s walk.
Distance 12.1 km, 2 hours 40.
Stage 3, Sunday 12 January, Porirua to Pukerua Bay
Oh no! Warm, low cloud as usual but this time a severe northerly gale. Blow this for a joke! (pun intended). No-one had said that we had to walk in a continuous direction so we decided to walk from Pukerua Bay back to Porirua thus getting the advantage of a following wind plus some downhill walking. As more people had returned from summer holidays, our numbers
increased to thirteen for a very enjoyable walk on the well-formed and pleasantly planted track, semi-parallel to State Highway 1. Plimmerton Palmer’s Garden Centre was a welcome break for lunch. Our route took us over the Paremata bridge then along walkways to the Porirua Station. By now the trains were running – no more replacement buses – so we could
rest in comfort as we returned to town.
This turned out to be our longest walk of the whole series, 17.5 kilometres over 3 hours 50 minutes – no wonder our feet were sore!
Stage 4, Wednesday 15 January, Pukerua Bay to Paekakariki
The Big One – the famed Escarpment track. The date was chosen to avoid the expected weekend crowds but some had work and others had done the walk before (“once was enough!”) so just seven track warriors took our seats on the train to Pukerua Bay. For the first time on our adventure we were blessed with good weather, in fact it was perfect: sunny skies, a moderate 20 degrees and a light southerly breeze to cool us down, sometimes. What a blast! Perfect weather, fantastic views, great company and, oh…90,000 very steep steps. This walk was a real highlight of the whole experience. Interestingly, one of the fears often mentioned about this walk is the thought of walking on a narrow unfenced track high above the Centennial Highway with a precipitous drop to one side. In fact there are almost no sharp-edged lips from which to cower away. There is almost always a knee high grassy strip buffering the edge. Your correspondent has to say that he did not particularly like walking over the two swing bridges spanning deep gullies (and they did swing) but Viv showed the right spirit: “How cool is that?” she cried on spotting the first bridge.
* The patches of cool bush to walk through, even when high up on the track
* The heavily laden Belgian/French and German walkers who told us that they were on the Te Aroha trail from Cape Reinga to Bluff, bringing us down to size! At this point they were some 1600 kilometres into their walk which is almost the half-way point
* The young woman who ran up and down two flights of steps a half dozen times (waiting for her companions to catch up) while we sat winded on a bench, like birds on a telephone line, watching in total disbelief. Oh to be young again!
* And the man who passed us on the way up and who passed us again going the other way when we had nearly finished. A round trip in one walk???
Despite other people’s feats this walk gave all of us a great sense of achievement. But once was enough for us too – distance covered 13.9 kilometres in 4 hours 40 minutes but this did include stops for lunch, rehydrating and admiring the view/catching our breath on
the 100,000 steps.
Stage 5, Tuesday 21 January, Paekakariki to Paraparaumu
Again the weather was favourable for a flat walk through Queen Elizabeth Park and then through deepest Raumati, a very green and lush piece of suburbia. It was hot but a cool onshore breeze kept the eight of us functioning. Shock! Horror! Reaching an ice cream outlet in Paraparaumu we were met with “No ice cream due to supplier difficulties”. Seeing the tears starting to form and fearing tantrums the young woman behind the counter hastily offered us small cones from the little stock that she had left. Happy, happy, joy, joy – an ice cream was perfect after a long hot walk.
That was 3 hours 10 minutes to walk 13.4 kilometres.
Stage 6, Saturday 25 and Tuesday 28 January, Paraparaumu to Waikanae
By now the year was starting to crank up and we could not all find a single date that suited so we did this walk in two groups, eleven people in all. We discovered the surprising number of lifestyle blocks, parks and sports grounds between the two towns and the scenic walks to and following the Waikanae River. The weather was benign although with a light misty
drizzle at times.
And the last section was 10 kilometres in 2 hours and 5 minutes.
All up the group covered 79.9 kms (rounded up by a unanimous decision to 80 kms) over 18 hours, with thanks to our meticulous record keeper.
It was, as a group experience, hugely enjoyable. No accidents, no arguments, no logistic issues, just a great sense of walking a long way over a few weeks. Already plans are being made for a similar series of walks next summer, possibly in the Hutt Valley.
My feet are still recovering!
Susan Clare – NZ Masters Games, Dunedin – 12k Road Race
written by Freya (aged 10!)
It was a cool, slightly rainy day, perfect weather for running! Mum was doing her Masters Games 12k race. Before the start, everyone was crowded and hustled under the two little tents to keep out of the rain.
Louis, Dad and I told Mum that we were going to a café but secretly we decided to stop at each corner to see Mum and cheer her on, as well as to give details of the competition!
There was a lady in a purple top in front of her who looked in her age group. Luckily she just beat her in the last 10 minutes.
Mum came in and finished with a big stride. Dad, Louis, Judith and I were all cheering her on! That’s how she finished 1st in her age group and 4th women overall!
Kaitoke Regional Park Bus Trip
Our first bus trip for 2020 was held at Kaitoke Regional Park. Many thanks for Sean Bardsley
for his expert planning.
Great bush tracks, something for everyone
Good choice – always enjoy the different environments
Excellent walk and well organised outing
And some pics…