Stride for Syria

Date: 2 July 2017
Distance: 7.6km (+4km)
Time: 47:31 (30:00)

A week out from our half marathon, we had to fit in a last “cutback long-run” and decided to throw the Palmerston North Boys High School and Palmerston North Girls High School’s event into the mix.

The Stride for Syria intended to raise funds for the Syrian Refugee Crisis. It is labeled as “the most urgent humanitarian crisis of our time” after six years of ongoing fighting and conflict in Syria. According to the brochure that was handed out at the event, 470 000 people have been killed, and more than 4.8 million have fled the country, while 6.1 million have been displaced. That is nearly three times the population of New Zealand that is either dead, misplaced or having to flee for their lives.

So, PNBHS World Vision decided to host a running/walking event, with help from the Manawatu Striders, to raise some funds for the Syrian crisis. (If you wish to make a donation, visit the NZ World Vision website.)

We arrived at about 9am to register and quickly go for a 4km trot before the actual event started at 10am. Going upstream, we ran 2km along the Bridle Track before turning around and running the 2km back. On the way out, we ran into Glen W, whom we had only known from Instagram. Nice to finally meet in person. Although it was quite cold, it was a windless, calm day with little pockets of sun still shining through the clouds early on. Back at the club rooms, we had time for a quick catch up, a sip of water and a trip to the loo. It was great to also finally meet Christine T in person – another online friend.

The school boys and girls did a good job of handling the formalities with guidance from the Manawatu Striders. Starting at the club rooms, the course followed the routes of other Striders events. The first bit is partially on the Super 7s course until you reach the river where you turn right to follow the marathon course downstream, around Waitoetoe Park and back the same way to the club rooms. These are trails we know very well, but it was still an enjoyable run away from the roads, through parks and next to the river.

With an entry fee of only $5, which included a sausage sizzle and banana at the finish, I’m surprised at the very small field of participants. One would have thought that at least both the schools’ students and their parents should have known about it, and made the effort?

Be that as it may, I’m pleased to have managed another run without much pain. Now to see how things will go at the half marathon in a week’s time.

Fun on the fifteen – Manawatu Striders winter series (15km)

It’s that time of the year again; freezing nights, frosty mornings and the garlic shoots just starting to poke their heads out of the ground in your vege patch.

It is also time for the Manawatu Striders Winter Series. I will never forget our previous running of these events in 2011 when the windscreen of the car was so frozen, that it took several buckets of water to clear a patch. As soon as the water hit the windscreen, it would just freeze again. That was on the 10km event earlier in July. The 15km was a fair bit warmer at about the same time of the month than this time around, if my memory serves me well. Winter arrived late this year and to top it off, it has been unseasonably warm. Grass was growing in full force, my asparagus still hasn’t died down to recuperate for next years season and our olive grove is full of new growth.

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Kahuterawa Classic (15.4km leg) – 16 November 2013

After a lay-off of ages (and I really mean AGES – it’s been 2 years since we last participated in a road race, and since then our training has been more off than on) we recently decided to make a concerted effort to get back on the road. And knowing ourselves, we realised this was not going to happen if we didn’t have something to train for. So we entered the Classic Hits Run Mahana Half Marathon, scheduled for 1 December.

To make it to a level of fitness that would more or less get us through a 21.1km race by the start of December, we set some intermediate ‘long run’ targets – a 10km run a few weeks ago, 12km the week after that, and then, as our first race in a long, long time, the 15.4km second leg of the Kahuterawa Classic, a marathon split over 3 legs and two days, hosted by our local running club, the Manawatu Striders. Continue reading