Running with the Kiwis

 

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My time in New Zealand culminated with ASB’s Auckland’s Marathon. Of the nearly 12,000 runners participating in the Marathon, Half Marathon and 12K Traverse on November 1, 2015, approximately 2,000 participants were registered to run the full marathon. Our trek to the starting line in Devonport, by way of ferryboat, began at 4:30am.

 

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Davenport Marina Shopping

Participation in this tremendous event declined nearly 20% from prior years, due to the Rugby World Cup game. All Blacks fans were seriously committed to their rugby union. When it came to Go Big or Go Home, they went BIG. Many fans were up celebrating all night in anticipation of the game to be aired at 5am. Parks were filled with Kiwis viewing the All Blacks play with heart and soul on huge screens…as we lined up for our 6am shotgun start. All Blacks fans committed to running, were provided endless game updates in the form of spoiler alert signage and blaring vehicle radios along the race route.

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All Blacks Fans Viewing World Cup Game (5:00 am)

Although the Auckland race route was described as rolling hills, running on an island birthed from volcanic formations felt as though we were running in San Francisco with Seattle’s weather. The race route truly delivered an abundance of scenic views along the coast.

Running Across the Harbour Bridge

Running Across the Harbour Bridge

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I was fascinated by the number of runners who either cramped during the race or who were physically ill once they crossed the finish line. This was my first experience with significant cramping — from my calves and hamstrings to my feet and even my hands. I sense mine may be attributed to dehydration due to long travels…and my investment of energy into jumping from a plane rather than resting the day prior to the race.

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As I crossed the finish line, I offered assistance to a woman who was vomiting nearby.

Brief pause to hydrate and stretch before beginning the uphill walk back to my hotel.

Post-Race Dinner with Runners from Around the Globe (Neptune's)

Post-Race Dinner with Runners from Around the Globe (Neptune’s)

My next trip to New Zealand will be with family and friends to explore the beauty of the South Island, most specifically, The Adventure Capital of the World (Queenstown)!