Sunday, March 02, 2008

2008 Buller Marathon

Feb 9th 2008, I joined the line up for the Buller Half Marathon. I was a "Buller Virgin" and felt so over whelmed by the enormity of the event. As far as I could see behind me - was a sea of faces. Eager and nervous eyes steering ahead waiting for the gun to go off. I was lucky and nabbed a great spot on the front line of the start. The weather was high cloud and everyone was praying it would remain that way for the whole event - prayers were answered!!!

As the gun goes off you round a corner over a bridge and start climbing the first of many rises. I cant call it a hill or steep but it was still a grind to push up at pace to try and gain some distance from the other walkers. The runners had started 5 mins ahead of us and it was not long before I was passing weary runners that had dropped off the back of the pack and were either jogging or walking slowly.

I kept a steady pace for the first 5 km, picking up a couple of other walkers that came up behind me. Once I had warmed up and caught my second breath I really didnt feel like having company so I plugged in my Ipod and off I went. Half way came and went in such a blur. The drink stations were so well placed that you just paced your self from one to the other. My friend Yvonne was walking in the rec group not Race Walking like me. She is a little quicker than me and my goal was to catch her. At the 13km mark I came within 20 feet of her till she looked over her shoulder and saw me...........then I couldnt gain on her. But remained close behind.

Walking over the final hill to the sound of a pipe band was just inspiring....fantastic stuff. I think from memory the hardest part of the whole race was walking up the main street in just felt like it went on for ever. I did however manage to case down and catch the 2nd recreational walker and passed her on the finish line to finish in 2 hours 25min. A personal best. Gained me the official result of 3rd overall and 2nd female race walker. My coach was 1st female....(but was only 3mins a head of me)

This was the best organised event I have entered to date. I cant wait till next year.

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