Nothing says “big running race” like the massive lines at the porta-potties. And nothing says “Auckland is kind of a small town” like realizing how it has already become normal to encounter someone we recognize just about every time we leave the house (the guy in the black t-shirt goes to my same gym).
I ran my first organized race in a few years last Sunday, the annual Auckland Round the Bays. It’s the biggest running event in NZ, with over 25,000 participants. It passes near the house and goes along the beach, a road I know well. Pancake flat. Weather a little too warm, but windless and beautiful. All in all, near perfect conditions.
On the one hand, it was awesome to come in so close to the top… I ran exactly the race I wanted to, given my fitness level, and somehow beat even my stretch goal pace. But on the other, most of those participants were there as part of a corporate charity project and walked more than they ran.
(And for those of you who keep score, no, that’s not a 4:36 mile pace, it’s kilometers, and no, it isn’t a 10K, only 8.4.) (and no, it’s not lost on me that back in the day I completed a whole marathon at an identical pace)