Rotorua Marathon 2012

By Tony Plowman

Race day morning started calmly with some sun coming through an otherwise overcast sky and it looked to be good weather for this year’s event.
 We got a hint of what was to come however when the drizzle began while we were lining up for the group photo outside the Ledwich Lodge.  The HVMC was well represented at the Rotorua Marathon this year and while not everyone was able to meet for a photo it was a good sized group that wandered over to the start at the Rotorua Events Centre.

After catching up with the other club members in the starting area it was time for everyone to take their places.  I joined the 3:30 pace group and had to jump up and down a bit to keep warm as the weather began to deteriorate.   The final countdown started, then the Haka.  The cannon fired and we were off!

The sun came out again but it was still cool and I was feeling comfortable as we headed out of town.  The first 10 km went by pretty fast and when we got to 14 km the champagne breakfast crowd were out playing Chariots of Fire as usual.  This time they had a sign saying “Bugger, Only 28 KM to Go!”  The bagpiper at 21 km helped to distract us and we passed 21.1 km at exactly 1 hour 45 minutes, right on pace for our projected finish time.

After turning the corner at Mourea we headed towards Te Ngae Road and up the last hill towards the 27 km mark.  Shortly after the rain began again and started to come down quite heavily.  That didn’t last long but the wind got stronger and it became more difficult to keep the pace up.  At about 35 km my pace group began to pull away as I found the wind harder to deal with.  I finally finished with a gun time of 3:33, not as well as I had hoped but still 5 minutes better than last year and a Rotorua PB.

After the race I was off for what is fast becoming a Rotorua tradition for me, an ice cream.  Then we returned to the motel for a soak in the hot pool and a lie down.  The rest of the club members who were staying at the Ledwich were in the pool by 3:00 for drinks and snacks.  I joined them for a drink and a few more photos (thanks Ken!) before heading off to prize giving.

Congratulations to Kathy Young, who was inducted into the Survivors Club at prize giving and also Mark Newlands who won a spot prize.

This year we had three runners competing in their first ever marathon.  Well done to them all and hopefully the start of many more:
Janette Gwilliam - 4:42:25
Shelley Hooper - 4:43:50
Andrew Ng - 5:07:22

Finally I would like to thank Alan Young for his support this year.  Alan followed the training group on their long runs and was also available on race day, keeping runners supplied with water and sweets, and carrying cellphones, clothing and bags on the course.  His help has been much appreciated by all.