Witness the fitness

I did Round The Bays this morning. It was choice.

I got up this morning at 7.30 am. It hurt. I hadn’t had much sleep the night before because one of the last things I did before I went to bed was reading a post that Murray made where he revealed that he’d tried contacting me on Friday about a spare ticket to Friday’s NZ Idol taping. My shitty cellphone had been malfunctioning, so I missed the call and the voice mail notification. I lay in bed awake last night angry at the cruel, cruel world.

But eventually I got out of bed, got into my running gear, had a “light breakfast” (as per the recommendation), and headed down to the bus stop. Almost everyone waiting for the bus was wearing running shoes. The lone non-runner was a guy who paced up and down while sipping on a carton of chocolate milk. The bus eventually came and due to the large number of other people in running shoes, it soon filled to capacity. Passing by stops along Mt Eden Road, I saw other people in running shoes mouthing curse words as their transport into town passed them by.

I got to the starting line and endured some guy attempting to make funny jokes along with the prime minister. Finally 9.30 came and the race started. Of course, it took about a minute before I could start moving, then about five more minutes before I got to the starting line. But interestingly enough, as soon as I reached the starting line, the crowd had thinned out enough that I could start running. And so I ran.

I ran for half an hour non-stop, then switched to fast walking. And alternated running and walking in five or ten minute bursts. At Mission Bay there’s a walkway that goes over a stream, providing a shortcut to go straight along the beach. Lots of people were taking that route, but I decided that they were lazy-arse cheating cheaters, and that I’d do the full 8.4km by going along the road.

Finally I found myself heading around to Kohimarama, and I realised that the finish line was just around the next headland. I rounded the corner and summoned my last jellybean-fuelled bit of energy and headed for the finish line. I made it in 72 minutes. To put some perspective on it, the winner made it in 27 minutes, and when I last did it three years ago, it took 99 minutes. All those treadmill sessions paid off.

I collected my free can of Fresh Up (not as much fun as the year Nestle was the sponsor, but good anyway), and recovered on the grass. Then I decided to walk back. It took me over two hours to get back to the city, because I was going very slowly with a few stops along the way. That works out to a total of 16.8 kms in a day. Yeah, my legs hurt now.

Selected highlights:

  • Waiting for the race to start, I noticed a woman standing near me with lots of makeup. I wonder how long it lasted. 
  • Near the end, I heard another woman say, “Why are we running? This is ridiculous.” What was she expecting? Sitting down for 8.4 km?
  • I was sitting on the grass, recovering after the race. Suddenly a man in cammo came up and said, “excuse me, ma’am, you’ll need to move.” I looked and a bunch of army people pulling a cannon were coming straight for me. I slowly stood up and picked up my shoes. The army guy picked up my bag and quickly walked off with it, leaving me attempting to run after him wailing, “give me back my baaaaaag!”.
  • Possibly the worst corporate t-shirt was the Telecom one which was printed with “CSBS Star Performers”. No bad puns about running, just a claim about an acronym that only those Telecom staff understand.
  • I sweated so much that my face had a light salty crust on it.
  • At the start of the race, a couple of women who were walking (and representing a building supplies company), noticed that large numbers of people were overtaking them. “Why is everyone going so fast,” one asked. “They’re just trying to get ahead,” the other insightfully offered.
  • At the finish line, an announcement had been made about the companies who had entered the most people. Walking back, I saw a woman wearing a t-shirt of one of these companies. Yet to finish the race, she was sitting on the seawall, having a cigarette break.

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