I registered for this race early 2011 but when the earthquake happened in February, the race was threatened to be cancelled. Thus, Me and Jason registered for the Gold Coast Marathon as the main marathon of the year.
In May, Christchurch marathon was announced to be on but on a different route out in the country side due to the damages in the city centre. I went down with Dinah, reaching the afternoon before the marathon and stayed at Jason’s Parents house for the night before the race. It was an overnight flight from friday night on Jetstar.
Plan of the race was to do 30km at Singapore Record (2:24) pace before easing off the last 10km to call it a day. Phil Costley, a veteran runner told the press that he was trying for 2:22 which is a veteran record in New Zealand. It was perfect timing as it would mean I had someone to run with for the 30km. Let’s see how it went…
It was a slow start. Out at the country side, the land was unsheltered and winds were very strong. It seems that the record attempt was off. I immediately started to follow Phil. We were running behind Danielle, who won the womens half marathon. (The route was such that both full marathon and half marathon runners started together and the full marathon ran 2 rounds while the half marathon ran one). The pace was comfortable and we finished the uneventful first round in 1h13min30sec – 2minutes off my target pace.
I was in a dilemma. If I relax after 30km, I would not have achieved my training objective which was to have a 30km run at race pace. Thus, I decided to finish it off.
At the 25km mark waterpoint, I decided to test Phil’s fitness and I purposely did not take any water and sped ahead. I could hear that his footsteps were no longer there and I knew then that I had a possible chance of winning the race. At the same time, I needed to make sure I do not exert myself too much in order to prepare for the Gold Coast Marathon 1 marathon later. Thus, I slowed down and allowed him to catch back up to me
As the cross winds were very strong, I wanted a fair race between the both of us – I do not want to draft him and I also do not want him to draft me. (Drafting in running or cycling means to hide behind the other runner in the wind such that the runner in front blocks the wind for the one at the back). Thus, I ran at the margins of the race course so that he would not be able to draft me optimally as it was a cross wind.
At the 35km water point, I again put in a surge before easing back to a comfortable pace at 36km. From then on, I cruised through to the finish and avoided sending my heart rate up too high so that the effort was a controlled one, winning my first international marathon in Christchurch, New Zealand!
At the end of the race, my average HR for the entire run was low, indicating the controlled effort I have put in and that I did not exert myself to the maximum. I also felt good after the race and maintained a high mileage of easy training the week after while on a campervan trip with Dinah around the South Island. It was fun!!!!