They got there in the long run

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

They came, they ran and they con­quered. Our re­porters Janie Smith and Jo­ce­lyn Rein have of­fi­cially ditched their couch po­tato habits and suc­cess­fully com­pleted the chal­lenge to run the 10km of this year’s Auck­land Marathon, prov­ing that there’s an ath­lete in all of us.

By Jo­ce­lyn Rein

I can see how peo­ple get ad­dicted to this sport thing.

The thought of be­ing up at 6am on a Sun­day morn­ing would usu­ally send me into a panic at­tack, but stand­ing with 2500 fel­low run­ners at the start line of the quar­ter marathon, the feel­ing of ex­cite­ment mixed with nerves was ex­hil­a­rat­ing.

Every­one was there for the same rea­son, united by our pink and black shirts and a goal to make it to the fin­ish.

As ini­tial nerves sub­sided, the rhyth­mic sound of 5000 feet hit­ting the streets took over and the still-drunk Satur­day night par­ty­go­ers egging us on from the side of the road also helped.

I had an­tic­i­pated a crowd full of ly­cra-clad pro ath­letes but was pleas­antly sur­prised to find there seemed to be all ages, shapes, sizes and abil­i­ties.

As we started out I con­cen­trated on my breath­ing, the pain in my hip faded and I got into a rhythm.

The rest of the run went without a hitch, al­though those early morn­ings at boot camp def­i­nitely came in handy dur­ing the last cou­ple of kilo­me­tres and I was pretty happy to see the fin­ish line.

I reckon a time of 57 min­utes is not bad, and it’s given me some­thing to aim for next year – the half marathon in un­der two hours.

See you at the start­ing line Janie.

By Janie Smith

Well I did it, I ran the great­est dis­tance of my life without once stop­ping or walk­ing.

And de­spite all my train­ing, it was re­ally hard.

It wasn’t dif­fi­cult to imag­ine my­self as a rub­ber duck like the adi­das pro­mo­tion sug­gested be­cause by the time I crossed the fin­ish line of the quar­ter marathon, all my limbs felt like rub­ber.

I was a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed no one heeded my wish to have Char­i­ots of Fire play­ing as I ran down the fi­nal leg, but I felt fairly heroic none­the­less.

It was a huge ef­fort to con­vince my­self to keep run­ning and not stop for a sneaky walk but I’m ex­tremely glad I did.

Af­ter all the train­ing, walk­ing would have felt like a cop-out es­pe­cially as I watched the run­ners do­ing the full marathon go past in the op­po­site di­rec­tion.

To my oxy­gen-de­prived brain they ap­peared to float above the ground slightly with each stride while I wad­dled my way around the course.

I was pleased to see my full marathon-run­ning friend go past and de­spite be­ing pretty tired, I mus­tered the en­ergy to yell, “go Ben!” and wave my arms like a loon, get­ting a wave in re­turn.

When I got home I did my ex­cel­lent stretch­ing rou­tine learned at boot camp, slathered my­self in Anti Flamme cream and bun­dled my wob­bly legs into track­pants to avoid mus­cle pain.

I still ended up walk­ing like I had a peg leg for the next two days, but it was still worth it.

Es­pe­cially when I dis­cov­ered I’d done the whole 10.55km in one hour and nine min­utes, far less than I ex­pected.

I’m still not con­vinced run­ning is the sport for me, but I might give it an­other go.

Just in case.

Photo: SHANE WENZLICK

Fi­nally fin­ished: Janie Smith, left, and Jo­ce­lyn Rein fin­ished the marathon with im­pres­sive times.

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