Monday, 8 September 2014

Whangamata Walk Run Festival 2014 5km race recap

I recently ran the race I've been training for the last 6 months or so, the Whangamata run walk festival on the 6th September. I'd heard that the weather was going to be overcast, perfect weather for a race!

I had a pretty good sleep the night before, I'm usually up 3 or 4 times to my 1 year old daughter (nickname, Missy). But she treated me to only 1 wake up, so when my alarm went off at 6.30am , I was surprisingly feeling nice and refreshed! My son (nickname, EP) was awake also, so I got us both some breakfast ready and turned the tv on for him. I decided to have my usual peanut butter on toast and thought I'd have a glass of water with it, but then I really wanted and needed my cup of coffee! I watched tv with my son while also quickly checking up on Facebook. After I'd finished my breakfast, I went and got dressed, I'd set out my racing outfit the night before so that I was all organised. I tied up my hair into a pony and then plaited it, my go to hair style at the moment. My partner (Mr J) and I quickly got the kids dressed and bags packed. I filled up my drink bottle and put it in the front of the ute and strapped the kids in. I was starting to feel really nervous now and wished I was driving over so I had a distraction.  The weather was cloudy and overcast,  but once we reached Kopu, it started to lightly drizzle and we could see that it was raining on the Kopu-Hikuai road. We were trying to stay positive by saying that the weather could be completely different in Whangamata.  I was now slightly panicking as the jacket I chose to wear didn't zip up and would be totally unsuitable, I'd plan to ditch the jacket before the race. We got a call from my mother in law to say she heard on the radio that the school grounds were quite wet and muddy, no mention of the word rain though. We arrived into Whangamata,  the rain still light and drizzly. We saw lots of volunteers setting up signs and water stations for the half marathon. We found a park on the outskirts of the school field, right on the road where the 5km starts, perfect!

I walked over the field towards the school hall to pick up my race number and race pack, leaving the family in the dryness of the ute. The grass was very soggy and muddy already and it was still drizzling. I received my race number after stating my name to the right volunteer and shown where I could go to put on my number. There was a little table set up with pins for the race numbers and ties for our timing chips. There was also a shoe on display to show us how to put the timing chip on, excellent! I noticed some maps up of the race course, and as I couldn't view these on line before hand,  I quickly made my way over. I was relieved to see that the course was the same as when I did it 4 years ago, so I was quite confident I knew where to go. I was thinking it'll be best for me to stay in the hall then at least I was dry, but I thought it'll be easier to pick up my race pack and take it back to the ute, along with my phone. I got to the ute and nervously decided that my race number wasn't pinned on right so got Mr J to help me redo it. I glanced at the time and saw it was 9.20, better get to the star line soon. I kissed the family goodbye as they wished me good luck. And lucky for me the start line wasn't far away. It then dawned on me that I hadn't really warmed up. Yes, I'd done a little but of walking, but not a lot.  Crap, what should I do? Lots of other people were already lining up, so I joined them and was near the front. I did a couple of stretches,  focusing on my lower legs as they are usually what gets sore first. I was looking around, trying to kill time, seeing if I can spot any familiar faces. It was quickly countdown time, the drizzling had cleared and we were off!

It seemed like there was A LOT of people passing me (FYI,  don't line up at the front of the pack next time!) but I was trying hard not to over pace like so many people do (I'm guilty of that). I yelled out and waved to EP when I passed the ute, he looked at me blankly, there were a sea of runners going passed! I reached the end of the road, and there was a great big puddle, so I ran onto the footpath around the corner. I was running along the left side of the road and a lot of runners were crossing the road ahead, so I drifted over too and went up on the footpath to run. We went right onto Ocean Rd, where we came across some of the 10km runners. I spotted Nicole,  who I went to school with and yelled out to her, but she was wearing ear phones so didn't hear me. I later heard from Mr J that she was the first woman in the 10km,  so well done Nicole! 

I continued to run down Ocean Rd,  mostly on the road with a bunch of other runners. I started to feel a bit sore, I think we were 2km in now. The runner in front of me was wearing bright pink shoes with bright yellow socks. Awesome,  something for me to focus on to take my mind off my aching legs. We got to the Dairy on the corner and I knew there wasn't far to go. I got to the round about at the end of Patuwai Dr and followed other runners for awhile as they were running at a great pace for me. We got onto Otahu Rd and a lovely runner said hello to me and we talked briefly before we spotted a water station at the 4km mark, yay! I stopped and walked, trying to slowly sip (gulp!) the water. I started running again but felt like I was going to vomit, so I stopped and walked until I got to the corner by Achilles Ave where I knew the school was just around the corner. It started to lightly rain now but was relieved that there was a bit of down hill ahead. Around the corner though was a slight incline up to the school field. I kept telling myself that it's nearly over and to keep pushing on. I got onto the field and found it really hard to run as it was very wet and muddy from other runners. I saw my family and waved out to them as I finished the last stretch with a bit of a sprint! I quickly looked at the clock and saw 33, so was pretty happy! I stopped suddenly but then dry retched a couple of times, ops, maybe that was too much! I found a lovely volunteer by a bench who then took off my timing chip and pointed me in the direction to take my race number off. Another lovely volunteer handed me a cup of some sort of drink, hmmm sugar! Just what I needed as I quickly perked up. Mr J and the kids were waiting for me but we quickly made our way back to the ute as we were all getting cold and wet from the rain. We headed to Port Rd bakery as we were all starving by now. I got a chicken salad bun but soon felt sick sitting down in the warmth. So I got up and walked outside in the rain for a bit. I walked down towards Barbara Ave and watched a few of the half marathon runners go by. We got back to the ute and drove home, we saw lots of runners still out and I joked that'll be me next year.

We were back home by midday, it was a nice outing but I was a little disappointed that the weather stopped us from sticking around for longer. I'll be back next year running either the 10km or half marathon!

Start of the 5km, can you spot me?
My official results off the website:
Time 33:27
Placed 83/275 overall
Placed 13th in Female 20-34 category


  1. Congrats on an awesome result!!! The rain does make it slightly less fun, but it's better than being too hot (IMO anyway). Half marathon next year! ;)

    1. Thanks, a half marathon is totally doable for next year I think! 😊😊