Gore Half Marathon Race Report

Gore Half Marathon – 22/05/16

(Here is an extract from the New Zealand Half Marathon Championships, which I came second place in. The experience was not about the result, however, racing a half marathon in a hail storm is a yet to be repeated experience!)

Wish you were here??

It was 4 degrees in Gore on race day with a strong southerly blowing and huge gusts. There was a storm and snow in the South Island overnight, so during the race I wrapped up in full length tights with an extra layer on top and a head warmer. Nevertheless, I still couldn’t feel a bone in my body, as we were running into relentless head winds in a hail storm!! In addition, I had been completely mistaken in thinking the course was fast and flat, in contrast, it was quite the opposite and super hilly! Some off the crosswinds were blowing me into the middle of the road, it was quite surreal! The first gel I had, I couldn’t open it I was so cold, then when I eventually did, an enormous gust came and blew it all over the side of my face and into my hair…as you can imagine, by the end of the race I looked quite a sight!

Overall I think I paced it well. On the flat I was averaging my intended pace of around 4:10 per km and less downhill, but the course was so hilly the overall time was slow. It took 1:31 and I felt like I didn’t dig particularly deep. more like I’d simply gone for a long run in crazy conditions! I had a swollen knee the day before and felt my medial hamstring twinge at the 7km mark so just focused on keeping good form from there. I had been in a minor car accident the week before and was sure the onset of the knee pain was related. Therefore, I just ran according to feel and this meant just running by myself (even though at times I wished I had a human windshield!). I knew I was in 2nd place and did enough to maintain this.

I didn’t feel particularly tired afterwards, as I felt I hadn’t entered the red zone and had simply ran like like I might do on a hard day’s training, but I am happy with how it went. I wanted to run a lot faster, but then I had no idea that the course would be quite so undulating, so I can’t complain and will just look to run for a time in July in the Gold Coast Half Marathon! I just ran by how I felt on the day and decided not to look at the watch as I knew it would only inspire confusion!

After the race, we returned home to Queenstown and were greeted by snow-capped mountains and sub-zero temperatures overnight. It seemed winter had arrived!

Copyright © Natasha Poole 2022


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