A win at the Hanmer Half Marathon!

It had been a while since I last ran a proper half marathon, I think the last one I did was in 2006? So it was about time to do another. I had been thinking about the Hanmer one for a while, then Twalk was arranged to be the same weekend… It was a tough choice but in the interests of my training for the next month (well that’s my excuse anyway!) I thought it was best to do a hard and fast race rather than a long endurance race. Anyway after a lot of hassling I followed through and stuck with the half and did that instead.

It was a pretty settled morning, I was quite nervous but confident all the same that I could do quite well. I was aiming to win as always but I would have been happy to settle with a top 3 placing. In the start box I eyed up the competition and saw Vajin Armstrong, a previous years winner and a fairly decent runner was here and figured that was the number one spot gone. 1 min before the start I spotted Grant Guise and immediately went over to meet and take my rightful spot in the starting grid alongside him 🙂 There was two laps of the Rugby field before heading out on the main course. The pace at the front was fairly causal to begin with, almost too causal…so I took to the front and ran at the pace I wanted to coming round the bend and out of the field. Since I was in the front I guts it up the hill to begin with weary that I could be cooking the goose before it was even close to dinner, so I slowed to maintain 180bpm on the HR monitor. I really wanted to stay in front right to the top because at least then I could claim one victory for the day.

Once at the top we were quickly met with a bit of downhill, I could hear the feet behind me slapping hard on the ground a little too close behind, so I used gravity to my advantage and made the guys behind me work for 1st it they wanted it. The 5km marker came up so quickly that I was surprised to see it. I was feeling comfortable and in control. The race was mine now to lose and I continued to run with that mentality…much the same as with Avalanche Peak this year.

I stayed in the lead back up the next hill where I wondered where on earth the damn 10km marker was. I used the hill to extend my lead a bit, and the downhill where I could to my advantage. The next section of down hill was the most interesting part of the course and the most technical, and since I’m and Orienteer, I smashed it, extending my lead a little bit further…only thing was once back on the flat I started to get the stitch a bit….I battled with that for a while, slowing down a little bit, calming my breathing and trying to think about something else.

I was waiting in anticipation for the 15km marker which I felt was surely past me now…and in fact the next marker was the 16km one! I allowed myself a little look behind at this point as it was all flat roads to the finish now. I reckoned I had just over a minute lead, then a second look after coming through the fords….which made my legs and shoes feel a bit heavier than normal! I continued to push hard as we joined the 10km runners, having to squeeze past in a few places…mainly past people with their headphones in….but most of them heard me coming as I was beginning to breath quite heavily! The km markers went by pretty quick at this stage and I keep pushing out onto the road past the excited Sumner supporters and into the finish for the Win in 1:13:50. I was about 1:30min in front of Vajin and a little bit further ahead of third.

Receiving the Trophy which lives in the Hanmer Four Square Immortalised with the names of the winners from years gone by!

So pretty happy with my first Half Marathon in 5 or 6 years (new PB) and another big race win, with a pretty decent time for an off road half too 🙂

Race Report


Categories: Running

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