In it for the long haul – Manawatu Striders Winter Series

Date: 26 July 2015

Distance: 15km

Time: 1:39

The weekend long-run is probably the most important item in your weekly schedule on your way to fitness. Without the long-run, your endurance will not improve. Especially for okes like us who like to go far and long.

Not wanting to miss out on the Manawatu Strider’s Winter Series 15km event (which was too short for our build-up to the Taupo marathon), our only option was to fit in another few kilometres before the start of the Striders’ event. Wanting to cover about 30km, we could either do the course twice, or just do our own thing on a different path. We opted for the latter, and at about 7:30 in the morning we started out from the race start-and-finish area, heading out west through the Esplanade, past the swimming pool, turning onto the Bridle track at the Holiday Park, and ran all the way to the far end of the track and back to where we started. From the Holiday Park to the end of the track is 7.5km, so out and back is a nice 15km run.

On the way back, we suddenly thought we might not make it in time for the start of the official event, and took a short-cut through Hokowhitu instead of following the river all the way back. The short-cut took off a kilometre off our planned distance so we ended up covering 14km (1:38), but back at the car we could quickly change into dry tops and undies, before registering for the Striders’ 15km event.

Chilly, but otherwise a lovely day for the event. We started off slowly and were generally just taking it easy, not pushing ourselves to get our weekend long-run done. The familiar terrain and being mainly off any busy roads, meant we could just trot along mindlessly, thinking about other things. Still, the kilometres started to add up and by the 10km mark (24km in our case) my legs were getting sore and the road ahead seemed endless. But once you make the final turn on the last out-and-back stretch at the Science Centres, you can almost smell the coffee at the finish!

Back at the club house, coffee in hand, we could catch up with some friends and club-mates while the clean-up operations were underway. Admittedly I was a little buggered and probably not of much help, but tried to give a hand here and there, carrying a few things to trailers and cars.

If you haven’t done a Striders event yet, sign up! They are all very well organised, affordable and there’s always something to snack on at the finish. 🙂

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