Surprised myself, as well as family and friends who turned out to cheer me over the finish line: planned on a 1:45 and ended up coming in around 1:40. Still waiting for the site to update with official times but the clock was reading 1:40:20-odd when I went over the line. Surprised and elated, and surprised some more.*
I started out ahead of the 1:40 and 1:45 pacesetters at the start line and can’t remember seeing either of them the entire race. Hit the turn point at pretty much exactly 50 minutes and knew then I was in with a chance of somewhere around 1:40. By the 16 km mark though I wasn’t feeling so confident. I had to take my polyprop off and lost my stride for a bit and was wondering if I’d blown the whole thing.
A few people were starting to drop off. Focused on the 17 km mark, knowing it’d only be 4 kilometres or so to go at that point, and with drinks not too far off. Energy drink at Oriental Bay then picked up the pace a bit for the penultimate kilometre, then some more for the last kick along Aotea Quay and up the ramp to the stadium walkway. Partner and son, mother-in-law, and a friend, all waving madly and cheering me on. So pleased to them.
Really well organised event – pretty much everything taken care of at the start/finish point, good drinks along the way, and great support from the marshals and other people en route. True we were lucky with the weather (cool breeze but no rain and no sign of the Wellington gales), but I can’t recommend the race highly enough.
*Half marathon: 1:40:22 (unofficial)