4 May 2014

Rotorua Marathon 2014

Dad took this one of me coming in with 300m to go. Don't be 
fooled with how relaxed I look. My left arm had cramped so 
badly I thought it had fallen off leaving nothing but nerve endings!

I opened just the one eye to peer up at the clock. 5.50am, 10 minutes shy of the alarm going off. I’d slept right through except for that one bathroom visit at around 3am. Overdoing the Gatorade a few hours earlier certainly didn’t help. After quickly checking on how the great Ronnie, the Rocket O’Sullivan fared overnight at the Crucible I headed straight for the shower successfully heading off my wife who on this day had the same schedule as mine. She was nervous, no doubt about it and my little victory hadn’t helped either.

The traffic ahead of us was unprecedented for a little town like Rotorua. Had I factored in the 50th event with 10,000+ runners and support crew all converging at one time, asked my wife looking straight ahead? Isn’t she just precious, I thought to myself knowing full well she had a bloody good point and probably should have raised it with me the night before!  With just over 30 minutes to the gun I pulled out of the line of traffic and headed for a place only I, as a diehard local knew about … my work. From the start line it was about 2K but as I explained to my wife it’s the perfect distance to complete the essential warm-up routine required for any successful marathon. By this time you could have cut the air with a knife.  

I asked the guy next to me what the time was. He said 6 minutes to the start. Where the hell was she? We’d both entered the toilets at around the same time and I thought the plan was to meet up again after. I had a speech all prepared for her for crying out loud.  Where’s the team work? The till death do us bloody part!

The days medal, the 50th commemorative book and
Masataka crossing the line first

With one minute to go I realised I needed to engage my beautiful Garmin 310XT under the gate marked 3.15 or better. A full 8 minutes later it kindly informed me that now would be a good time to update the software as it struggled to find one of the rare satellites that hover above New Zealand. Describing myself as being pissed off is not appropriate on a family orientated blog like this so let’s just say I was a little peeved.  Fortunately switching it off and on a couple of times solved the potentially catastrophic problem. I love my Garmin and always have but I think now might be a good time to upgrade to a more modern version like the new fenix which by chance just popped into my head. But in order for that to happen I need some serious prodding by way of comments and suggestions from all of you to get my wife across the line if you know what I mean.

Masataka Uchino, with a PB of 2.16.09 crossed the finish line first in 2.27.24 and agreed that the course was tough but that he still rated the Fuji Marathon more difficult. To PB on this course you’d have to be running your first marathon I said to my wife as we drove home. She agreed in her overtly supportive way probably thinking to herself it was my way of making myself feel a little better. And it did dam it! I’m really proud of her finishing in 4.07.49. She ran the perfect race. Out in 2.05 and back in 2.02 achieving something I’ve never been able to do, a negative split. I think a fire has been lit and the thought of a sub 4 now burns within her.

I heard this song a couple of times at the EXPO and during prize 
giving. I guess I'll always associate it now with the day. 
Click the VIDEO to play

As for me, a BQ time achieved yet again. It’s my third in a row but again not by much and probably not enough to guarantee a place in the 2015 Boston field.  My time of 3.24.47 was 21 minutes and 09 seconds faster than last year’s effort so I guess I have to be satisfied. No doubt I’m tracking faster and I can just about taste Boston. I’ve identified a couple of areas I have to concentrate on from here and can’t wait to share them with you. I’ll leave that for my next post though.

Looks good doesn't it but I'm missing 2K. Click for my 
splits and don't forget to prod!

In the meantime I’ll sign off a little tired and still running raggedy but number one in this household at least. Have a great week everyone. Race photos posted once they come through.


  1. After words like "till death do us bloody part!" I'm guessing your wife is like Scott Brown's - doesn't read your blog. Nice racing from her - definitely looking at a sub-4 on a faster course and with more training under the belt. Not bad from yourself too. How does entering Boston work? I thought it was first in first served of all qualifiers.

    1. Hey Ewen. Keep this to yourself but I think she's getting a little too keen and this may not have been a passing fad. Next she'll want to join me on training runs ... and I'd take the burnt fish over that any day of the week. As for Boston Qualifying, you may be right after I found the following - The acceptance of official race entrants will be based on qualifying time, with the fastest qualifiers (in relation to their age and gender) being accepted first until the race is full. I really wanted to submit a faster time to avoid being labelled a 'squeaker'. On reflection would it matter? I may fill out my application this weekend. Ill keep you posted.

  2. Well done! Hope you make it to Boston next year.

    1. Thanks Bob. I'm weighing up whether to submit my application this weekend. I'd always hoped to get there being a solid qualifier rather than someone who squeaked in. What do you think?

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks mate. Now the fun part ... tearing up the old training program and designing something new with a bit more bite. Running is awesome.