lines, The walking of

Today was Round The Bays day. The last time I did it, two years ago, I ran it, but this year, with diminished fitness, I decided to walk it instead.

I got up early (or not, considering daylight saving had just ended) so I could catch the early bus. I waited at the bus stop, and waited, and eventually the bus showed up 10 minutes late. But tragically it was packed full of other Round The Bays entrants and couldn’t stop. So I set off on foot.

I was planning to walk to the next major bus stop and catch the next bus, but the electronic timetable showed the next bus wasn’t coming for another 15 minutes, so I continued on foot. I was only passed by one bus on my way to Quay Street. It seems strange that Stagecoach don’t put on extra buses for an event when lots of people want to use public transport.

4.5km later, I was at the start line, only 15 minutes late. This was actually quite good, because it usually takes about 10 minutes for the masses to thin out enough to start moving. I was able to start power walking right from the start, with my iPod drowning out Helen Clark’s commentary over the PA.

I powered along Tamaki Drive, passing many walkers. By the time I got to Kohimarama, I was feeling rooted, but I had some emergency-power jelly beans and pressed on to St Heliers and the finish line, adding 8.4km to the day’s tally.

My time was 1.41, which is two minutes slower than when I walked it in 2000, but considering I started 15 minutes late and had also just walked 4.5km, it works out to be my best walked time.

After the run I headed back to Mission Bay and saw “Walk The Line” at the Berkley. I wanted some air-conditioned comfort and it happened to be the next film to screen. It was an enjoyable tale, made better by the music.

Feeling refreshed after this, I decided to walk back to Auckland. I trudged slowly back around the bays, taking about twice as long to get there. My iPod went crazy. I think it’s broken. I’m so sad.

So all up I walked 21.3km, which is just over the distance of a half-marathon (though I’m sure that technically half-marathons don’t involve stopping for Johnny Cash biopics).

But this makes me think, if I can handle that much distance in a day, then perhaps a half-marathon isn’t out of the question. Ooh.

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