Everyday Stories

Wellington Half Marathon 2016

Today is an important day for me because I finished the half marathon (21km) in Wellington. Wellington Marathon is a big event in Wellington which is held every year with over 5000 runners and walkers.

Before the half marathon starts:

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I reached Westpac Stadium at 8am and wait for the half marathon to start at 8.45am. I only had two small packs of power bars in the morning. We began to queue at 8.30am. I was happy that the weather was good (without knowing that it will turn terrible later >.<) There were a lot of participants and I queued in the last because I am a very slow runner. I was excited when the race began!!

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The first 10km was easy. The weather was good. I was in good condition. We ran from Westpac Stadium to nearby the airport and further down.

After 10km, it was when the pain began. I felt that my legs are sore – I knew they will sore but I didn’t expect it will be that early – it is only about half of the race! But well, every time when I did training I ran about 7km – I did not train very well.

The hardest part was between 14 – 17km. It was extremely windy. It was a coastal road where there was no shelter – the wind was at the speed of 40km/h in the opposite direction – every step was extremely tough for me!

My body kept telling me to stop because the pain was killing me… But, my heart asked me to go on. Do you know, to stop/ to walk/ to run was only a one-second decision. I was extremely tired, pain and cold. I ran very slow here (almost 10 times slower than my normal speed). I recalled that a few years ago my sister told me do not stop running, though it is tempting to walk – because once you stop running, it is hard to find your ‘pace’ back again.

For me, this is a race – but this is not a race competing with others; this is a race competing with myself. I don’t mind if I take a long time to finish the race, as my target is do not stop or walk – I want to RUN for the entire 21km. Though it was really, really tough.

After I passed through the coastal road, I can feel my tears. I was so touched that I really did it. It was really difficult to convince myself to keep running because it was soooo hard. I was stronger than I thought.

The 17km to 21km is my familiar route as this is where I usually trained myself. I thought it will be an easy run after the coastal road, but I was wrong – as it suddenly rains heavily.

I had a stuffy nose due to the coldness on the coastal road, so I was breathing through my mouth. The rainwater fell into my mouth (very salty) and made me difficult to breathe. Besides, the rainwater also fell into my eyes and I could hardly see anything! Luckily the heavy rain didn’t last very long when I was running toward the finishing point.

Finally, I finished the half marathon. I was very surprised to see my time record was 2 hours and 31 minutes, because I thought it would be about 3 hours. The last marathon that I run was about 4 years ago, and it took me 4 hours (very embarrassing) to finish. So it means I have improved a lot.

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My medal!! 🙂

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And I won’t forget my selfie 🙂

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Seeing others approaching the finishing line and how their family/friends supporting them is fun too 🙂

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Although my result is below average (my result is here), I am very proud that I did not stop running despite the strong wind and heavy rain. I feel that I have won! As I said, this is a race with myself. 🙂

About this Wellington Marathon event, I think it was well organized. It was easy to find a car park if you bought the ticket ahead. There were many drink stations and a lot of ‘mental support’ along the way. My only complaint is the name of the event – I hate the name “Wellington Marathon” as it is not only for 42km marathon; it is also for half marathon 21km, 10km, 5km and kid’s run. I think it is kind of confusing for people who are new to this event!

Besides, I think it is a little bit expensive. It costs me NZD$103 ($55 for early bird half marathon entrance fee, $40 for the T-shirt, $8 for car parking), but maybe this is the normal running event price in New Zealand. It usually won’t cost more than NZD$20 for a running event in Malaysia, so I have joined at least 30-40 running events in Malaysia. This is my first running event in New Zealand so it is very important for me.

I rewarded myself with a meal at Nando’s chicken restaurant after the run. I also had KFC and a proper Chinese meal on the day before the race. I have to treat myself well! 🙂


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