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Auckland Marathon 2009: The Marathon that was not meant to be


I was thinking since last year I wanted to visit New Zealand that year but It just did not materialize to some reason. And I thought maybe this year 2009 I can wing it if I plan early. I wanted to go beacuse it is just near Australia and i have relatives their and cousins staying there. Until a good opportunity came when fares to NZ came half the price so I thought maybe I should go. I looked at the running calendar and thought maybe I can run the Auckland Marathon at the same time and schedule my flights at that time. Checked my work schedule and I did not have any concrete assignment on the week of the Marathon weekend. Yet when I went to the Auckland Marathon’s website entries for Marathon and Half Marathon is already closed. But then in Coolrunning website, I saw Lee Baker, a runner mate saying entries are still open for international runners. So I emailed the event organizer if I can register for the Marathon on November 2, 2009 as an International runner. Immediately I was replied by them saying It is still open but fast closing. This is less than 5 months before November. I registered and I applied for a Visa. An which I was required to already book my tickets, which I did and went back on my Visa application. Came back 2 days after to receive multiple entries to New Zealand for a year. Which I am glad. It has been a month after the 2nd marathon I have done, and I thought November is just enough for me to recover and train for the next Marathon. I was excited. In June, two consecutive weekends after each other in Dolls Point and Hunter Valley Half Marathon I got ITBS. I was still having high hopes of recovering before November. I slowed down my training and picked up again starting on the week of City to Surf. I wasn’t quite recovered, ButI was still running races but just for fun. My original injury of ITBS in my right leg was recovered totally yet my left leg came next. It was frustrating. a months and a Half very frustratingly I know I will not be able to catch up on training in a month and a half for a marathon. I did have to pull out, and decided to downgrade to half marathon. It was already too late to back out I paid my tickets and registration so I might as well just go. Terry who was keen in doing his first half marathon said he will run and come with me to NZ. I know I would be able to run a half marathon. I emailed the organizer again telling them I got injured and I would like to request to downgrade to half marathon. Rules was clearly stated Marathon Runners can not downgrade to half marathon but Half Marathon registrants can upgrade to full marathon. Yet they were so accomodating and excused me sinec I was an international runner, not even have to tell them I already booked my flights, that they would arrange my registration to half marathon. From that time on, revolting but I had to move on and train for a half marathon distance. It was not easy as the ITBS was still there, work schedule was getting out of hand that the week I was suppose to do my long runs I wasn’t able to due to working day and nights. It was frustrating and I was wisihing I would be able to get a finish time of 1:50.

Event expo

Arrived in Auckland on the 30th of October and Picked our bibs on the 1st. Instead of getting finisher medals we get adidas, who is the major sponsor of the event, shirts. It is a little bit big for me but it was ok. Had a little lookaround of the city that day and went back to the hotel for an early rest.

Woke up at 400 as we need to walk to the Ferry terminals that will take us to the start in Devonport which is 15 minutes ferry ride from the city. Also an unexpected thing happened but which usually does whenever I have big race, the red flag came up! bugger and it was cold and I was having cramps which is not really great.

Got in Devornport at 530. We start at 6:45. While i was on queue to the dunnies, I saw a runner with a Philippine flag sticker stuck on his shirt and I said Hi. His name is Leo Vidallon I did not get his last name and he was running the alf marathon.

At Devonport, Auckland city in the backdrop

It is my first time to visit New Zealand, we read that weather before heading to the country and prepared for long sleeved shirts. It was a winter weather when we arrived there. I wanted still to wear my bra top and my shorts in the race. Yet I did have to wear my leggings and long sleeved shirt. Until 40 minutes before the start we decided to shed off our clothing. Toilet queues were long that we needed to find and be resourceful and take a leak somewhere!

We dropped our bags in the cages, which the NZ post does take the bags to the finish line, we proceeded to the start line and huddled amongst the people which is helpful and kept as warmer. And at 6:45 we were off. almost 3 minutes we were just standing there after the gunstart before the crowd really started to move and run.

We ran amongst the residential area of Devonport and the roads were partially closed. I had 4 GUs in my pocket and took a V shot before the race.

Wow the route was hilly. Undulating small hills after another. We were told by Michelle Warren, a fellow Woodstock, that the course is hilly when you reach the climb to the harbor bridge. It wasn’t. Even before the bridge, there were already hills!

I was running okey not until we reached the bridge where I had to walk and run twice and Terry decided to take off ahead of me. It caught up with the few runners who overtook me when I did my walks and just kept on running. At the turn around underthe bridge, I saw a runner with a YMCA singlet and I paced with him and he was being a good motivator to the runners, encouraging the walkers to run and finish the run. He went ahead by 18th Kilometer. I started encouarging walkers too and at the 19th kilometer I can feel my quads cramping. I wanted to walk and I thought it is embarassing to do so after having encouraging runners to run!

I kept on running carrying my legs, i mean dragging maybe. We saw the markers the day before wehn we picked the race pack and I know the finish was almost here but the route just kept on going! I was buggered and tired. I know i am already beyond 1:50.

Finally I can see the Finish line I tried to run quickly looking at the clock 1:55:30 … crossed the mat at 1:55:35. taking 3 minutes out, more or less I would have made it at 1:52 minutes.

I was very frustrated at my run being it slow. Then at the end of the day I am happy, It was faster than my first half marathon time and far faster than my worst half marathon in hunter valley.

Warming down at the Recovery area

I was glad I wasn’t running the marathon as it was hilly. I do not know if I would run the full Marathon here one day, who knows.

Event: Adidas Auckland Marathon 2009
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Distance: 21.1 Km
Time: 1:52:17



Interested bout the travel to NZ? read here:
Part 1
Part 2

One Comment leave one →
  1. joel kemboi permalink
    06/09/2010 5:16 am

    Hallo i wrote to the organiser for the entry for 2010 auckland marathon you you can fine my access please assist or advice me i am international runner.

    Hi, Im sorry, i don’t think I can be of help but you did the right thing emaling the organizers as that’s what I did. Wish you luck.

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