Tauranga Half Marathon

Our very own tortoise and the hare story unfolded at the recent Tauranga Half Marathon – check out Tony’s race review below. DETA are proud to support our team get active!


Learn from my mistake:  if your fit 23 year-old workmate asks you to do a half marathon with him, say no.

I figured if I was going to go to all the effort of doing a half marathon I was going to do it right, so I wouldn’t feel like I ever have reason to do one again.  So with 8 weeks until the race I got a training guide and started following it.

About a week later my children kindly gave me the flu.  Minor setback.  Eventually I recovered and got back into the training, but then with only about a week to go those same generous children gave me a cold.  Unbelievable.  Oh, and did I mention I hurt my foot?  Yeah, so it turns out buying a new pair of running shoes online that are too big and the wrong pronation style is a bad idea…  I changed back to my old shoes and soldiered on with the training.  When race day finally arrived I was all set for a good long nap.

Keith meanwhile took a slightly different approach.  His training philosophy was: “Running is dangerous. The less you train the less likely you are to injure yourself.” His philosophy seemed to pay off for him.  As a bit of a practice run we entered an 11 km race in the Rotorua Redwoods Forest and he left me for dead. Did I mention he’s only 23?  There should be something in the rules about that.  Cheater.

When the day of the half marathon came Keith got us psyched up by playing a Youtube clip of the New Zealand national anthem.  As you do, right?  (Keith was shocked to discover it had more verses than they sing at the rugby).  With that inspiration echoing in our minds we joined the throng milling around at the start line.  And then the race was on.

It was like the tale of the tortoise and the hare.  Only in this case the hare was replaced by another tortoise.  Eventually after 110 minutes of plodding the older, sicker, more injured tortoise (me) somehow caught up with the young healthy tortoise (Keith) and crossed the finish line moments ahead of him.  But it nearly finished me!

Two and a half weeks and a course of antibiotics later my body is still recovering.

Keith the 23 year-old meanwhile went for a 2km swim in the sea the day after the race, and then went to whack some golfballs at the driving range!  And he tells me he almost went for a run that day as well.