Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Legend Marathon

I signed up for this race sometime in June. It had showed up in my email and when I saw that the date was close to graduation, I was more than pleased. I felt like I needed to make my trip back to NZ a bit more worth while so I signed up for it without much hesitation. The next day I boasted about it to my colleagues and friends and I remember my boss, the owner of Configure, saying to me, "Oh that one's a toughie. You need to add about 30-45 minutes to your best marathon time to that one. It's quite mean!" Oh, darn. And then my girlfriend Ingrid said her boyfriend did it and had to add about 35 minutes to his best time, and he's a pretty awesome marathoner. So, that would mean I'd have to add more than that because I'm not that strong a runner as he is. A quick search on Google and I found out that the Kiwis rate this to be the toughest on-road marathon in NZ. To be completely honest, that got me more keen. :D

Time really sped by and before I knew it, I was on the plane back to Auckland again. I touched down Friday morning. Had not had much sleep on the flight, which turned out to be a good thing because by 9.30 pm Auckland time, which was 5.30 pm KL time, I was more than ready to go to bed.

I got up at 4.45 am on Saturday morning. Heather picked me up at 5.15 am, and we got to the race venue before 6 am. 6.30 am was start time. It was freeeeeeeezingggg cold, so I decided to run with my yellow jumper on. I knew I'd regret it later on because I'd have to take it out and then it'd be a liability, but I couldn't stand the cold.

I started alright, running alongside Heather. I had my brother's iPod in my ears because I carelessly lost mine (again!). I also had my mobile phone with me to put RunKeeper on. About 10 minutes into the race, it started to drizzle, and then it started to pour. (it rained 4 times throughout this darn race!). My jumper got really soaked and heavy so I took it off about 8ks into the race. Cold, wet, and coughing, I had trouble keeping up with Heather, so after about 12ks of struggling to keep up the pace, I told her to go ahead. Took the pressure of me. haha...It wasn't until about 16ks into the race did the incline start to increase exponentially! That was when we started slowly (well, me anyway) tracking up to the Waitakere Ranges. It was insane! About 6 kms of possibly 30-40% gradient. Gosh. But I was loving it. I cursed the hills, but I was loving the fact that it lived up to its name. I kept thinking to myself, if i completed this I'd have the honour of saying I have done 8 marathons, and I just did NZ's toughest on road race. Hooyah! :D That was my motivation to keep going. I slowed to walk some of the uphills, but generally I kept on going whenever I see the road plateau. I knew a 4:30 time was going to be impossible, so I said as long as it was under 5 hours I'd be pretty happy with myself. I did just fly 10 hours the day before, and was sick for the most of last 2 weeks.

Long story short, I took in the fresh cold air and amazing scenery and came in in a time of 4 hours 48 minutes. I was happy. =)

8 marathons done! Now for Penang Bridge Marathon. hehe...

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