Race Report: RunWalk Series Race 5 - Barry Curtis Park

Race Website: Run Walk Website

The final race in the RunWalk Series was an 8k on Sunday at Barry Curtis Park.  This means that it is now 4 weeks until the Auckland Marathon which I am doing the 12k.

Official Stats:

Distance: 8 km
Time: 0:59:18
Pace: 07:25 min/km


My schedule was thrown off balance on Saturday and the ripple effect is still happening on Tuesday.  A large late lunch and a long nap resulted in no dinner on Saturday night - no pre-race pasta meal ritual!  And also a rather odd and short sleep.  Neither of us were ready to wake up on Sunday, it was a struggle and we left it to the last minute.  Breakfast was a banana in the car on the way to race.  Not an ideal fuelling strategy.

On The Course

0 - 3 km

Often at the start of races I walk for the first few minutes to warm up and let the crowd disperse a little but there seemed to be less of us in this last race of the series and I just started running as I reached the blue mats.  My plan was to run 10 minutes, walk 10 minutes, repeat.  But I was tired and I was moving really slowly that when 10 minutes had gone by (which felt like forever) I decided I'd just keep going for another 10.

// Image from Facebook - Kane starting the race towards the front of the pack

As you can see from the map, the course is kind of weird for the first 3 and a bit kilometres and it goes in loops and is undulating.  So you can see the other runners going in different directions up or down hills and it has the effect of making you feel like you're in a cartoon trying to catch Bugs Bunny or something!

By around the 3km I hadn't stopped for a walk break and decided just to keep running to see if I could.  I imagined what it would be like to run for all 8km without stopping, how awesome an achievement that would be.  Up until this point I had only been able to run 20 minutes before having to stop for a walk break so I was keen to push it a little further.
3 - 5 km
Just after 3 km we came out of the park and onto the road which was a very slight incline and then at 4km was the water station.  I had a little hand held water bottle so I didn't need to stop and I've learned that powerade doesn't really agree with me during runs so I kept going.
// Image from Facebook - Me starting the race towards the back of the pack
Another thing that was different in this race compared to the others was that there wasn't anyone really near me.  In most of the other races there have been people going about my pace that have overtaken me when I was walking and then I'd overtake them again and this would repeat through the race, but at the water station I over took the girl in the pink top that had been ahead of me the whole time and she was the last person I'd see for a good while.
5 - 7 km

A little after the 5k mark the course leaves the streets and goes back on to a path which is all up hill until it reaches the main road again.  My hill strategy was to shorten my stride and pump my arms to try and keep as much life in my legs as possible because I really wanted to keep running it felt hard here and I started to think about Lisa of Lisa's Yarns who was running a marathon and had planned to dedicate each mile to a person and pray for them.  Lisa herself has rheumatoid arthritis and thought her running days were over but here she is, running marathons!  Yes my pace was slow - gosh, it was slow for the whole race, but I kept on running because I could and I am so grateful for that.

When I had got back onto the main road again this was just a long, straight, flat kilometre or so and I was stoked that I had been running constantly.  I remembered the first time I had ever run 8km - it was on the treadmill at the gym and it had taken me 1 hour - my goal at that time was to run for 1 hour and I was so happy that I did it, I really needed to prove to myself that it was possible for me to run for one hour.

7 - 8 km

The last kilometre started with turning off the main road and down hill through grass back into the park paths.  Then it winds back and up hill and then it does a loop around to the finish.  I gave a little push on the finish straight and I finished just under the hour, so happy that I ran all the way!  I was a teeny tiny bit disappointed that I finished 16 seconds slower than last year but really that would have been the cherry on top because I couldn't be disappointed with having run for almost an hour.  I felt like I had been given a gift of running mojo.

Comparison with Last Year


Post Race

My legs felt totally weird once I crossed the finished line and tried to walk!  I had to walk around the field for a few minutes before they felt close to normal again and then I enjoyed a heavily diluted powerade and a banana.

Kane told me he had struggled a bit but that he came 5th!  Go Kane!

That was the last race in this series that is the official series leading up to the Auckland Marathon and the 12k and Half Marathon distances.  I still have work to do but I'm need of some recovery time!

// Images from Facebook - Pre and post race shots

Also in this series:

Race Report: RunWalk Series Race 4 - Highbrook
Race Report: RunWalk Series Race 3 - Devonport
Race Report: RunWalk Series Race 2 - Alexandra Park


One Response so far

  1. Aw, that is so sweet that you thought of me during your race! I think it's good to remind ourselves that we are soooo lucky to be able to do the things we want to do, like run races! :) I tried to keep that in mind during the tough parts of my marathon as well.

    Congrats to Kane for getting 5th! That is awesome! He is so speedy! That course map looks like a maze to me! ;) I am glad you get a little recovery before your 12k!

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