I Didn’t Hate it…

4 May 2013

I didn’t hate it…
That’s the first thing I said to Evan when I crossed the finish line on Saturday and I really meant it. I spoke in my last blog of those moments when you are in a race and you think “this is rubbish, why am I doing this……I don’t even like running”. Over the 32km we travelled that thought never crossed my mind. The closest I came was when I hit the MacKenzie hut and it dawned on me that I was only a third of the way in…..my mind soon wandered as I hit the hill out of the lake area.
Let’s rewind a little bit… So Friday morning I am sitting at my desk looking at Metvuw thinking you have got to be kidding me….The forecast is dreadful. I’ve grown up around these parts and am all too familiar of the Fiordland weather. When it rains it pours. I chatted to a nice chap from Dunedin on the way down, it was his first Routeburn Classic too….that pleased me as I really didn’t want to hear about it, I figured the less steep I could imagine the better!
Fast forward to the bus ride on Saturday morning (I must thank here Barb and Rex for hosting me Friday night and in the early hours of Saturday mornings….best pre-race sleep EVER). I remember thinking on the bus ride out to the Divide there was something wrong with me as I couldn’t wait; I just wanted the race to start and get out on the track. My usual nerves and butterflies were replaced by eager excitement. So after spending half an hour lining up in lines for the bathroom it was time to line up in our ‘hero’ categories, welcome to our PC world that means the organisers have had to change their estimated time start categories from animals to super heroes. Both my older brothers were fans of Star Wars whilst I was growing up so I fancied myself as a bit of a Jedi Knight!
And then we were off…. well I imagine the ‘Flashes ‘were off, I spent the first 3 or so km passing people and then watching them pass me, slight jogs, power walks; it was messy. Then we came to the waterfall – how flipping cool was it running that close to a waterfall and then being absolutely DRENCHED. The 10 or so people around me seemed to get a bit of an adrenaline kick from it because before I knew it I was 1:45 in and arriving at Mackenzie hut. I still didn’t hate it as I started that climb up a mountain, and a mountain it was! Other than the one Tramper who swung her bag the wrong way to let me past and nearly threw me off the ridge, the walkers on the track were just as supportive and friendly as all of the runners. I chatted to many of you at different stages, I wish I remembered names: Like the lovely lady from north of Auckland who followed me down from the Harris saddle we chatted away, she then disappeared ahead at the Falls hut but I saw her briefly at the end.
I crossed the finish line in 5:02.56, I must say I was pretty pleased with my time, when I reached the Flats hut I tried to put the hammer down a bit and make it under the 5 hours but the tank was empty. It’s funny when people ask me about the race I tell them I loved it, and I really mean it, it was technical (way more than I imagined) there was wind, rain, sun, waterfalls and mud, sheep yard style mud……what more could you ask for from a Saturday morning.
I must say a huge thank you now to my family, friends and workmates for their support and encouragement. To my Mum, Lou and Rich for being at the finish line with warm clothes, a thermos of coffee and food, bless you! My wonderful house mates Stacy and Abbee; last but importantly Evan and his team for running such a fantastic event which provided me with such a pleasing first off road running experience.
I’ll see you all next year…..