The overcast conditions meant that the race was going to be run in the cool which the announcers thought should lead to a reasonably quick time. It was dry underfoot which was a nice surprise and the scheduled rain and gale force winds seemed to be holding off as we waited in the starting corral. Briar was doing the walk so was just Claire and I waiting as the runners were sent off first with the walkers starting 10 minutes later
The countdown completed and after a quick race briefing and a few words form the Mayor of Taupo, the hooter sounded and the first wave was away. We were in the third wave so a few minutes later we were over the timing mat and away for my 5th Half this year. Set my mp3 player to on and the opening tune of the fitcast started up (great podcast) as we headed down the hill to the marina. Claire and I ran together for the first little while. We weren't talking apart from the occasional quick check to see if each other was ok. The pace was reasonable and comfortable as the pack eased into its positions.
We wound around the lake front and at the 4 km mark popped up onto the main road south. This is the ironman marathon course so was nice to see the ironman markings on the road and I couldn't help thinking aout how brutal it must be to finish the swim and bike and THEN have to run a marathon. All going well I will put myself through that pain one of these days.
At the 5km mark, just before the first water station, Claire dropped back so I headed off to do my own run. Up the hill out of town and past a guy with bagpipes who got the thumbs up as I ran past. There were lots of families on the side of the road with signs cheering everyone on..was great support form the Taupo locals.
Over the rise and past what I thought was the 10km mark. I looked at my watch and saw 42 minutes so thought I was doing good pace ( the marking was wrong...grrrr) and down to 5 mile bay turn off which I thought was the half way point. Turned in towards the lake only to find there was a nasty little 2 km loop around streets before we headed back out to the lake. The timing mat was on the return loop fr the halfway point so I realised I needed to push on if I was gong to go sub 2hrs.
Got to the turn at the bottom of the street and started the climb back to the lake. Passed Claire coming the other way and she did not look like she was enjoying herself at that stage but she managed a smile and a high 5 and we carried on.
Over the timing mat and out onto some farmland (firm grass) for a couple of kms then back onto cobbled path along the lakefront. Legs were starting to tire at this point and I could feel my sock really rubbing against the underside of my left arch. The fact that I had only trained for 2 weeks was starting to take effect...and just when I felt really tired, a cold strong headwind came in off the lake...grrrrrrrr. Running into that for the last 10kms was not going to be fun. Luckily we spent some time sheltered from it.
Along the lake to the 16km mark and back out on to the main road. With only 5kms to go I felt a little better although my legs were really starting to protest now. The kms went pretty slowly from that point and I was so relieved to finally see the big fish statue of taupo come into view and the sign saying one more km (Yusssssssssssssss!!!)
Up the hill and across the line in 1hr 57 14.
Not a flash result and I wasn't happy with how fatigued I felt in the second half but glad I got through it with minimal training and will ensure I prepare better for the next one.
the good news is that my sister Claire broke her PB for the half and got home in 2:08...what a legend.