Cracker by Damian Christie

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  • andrea quin,

    What, you have the world's best computer chip technology recording your time but you don't even report it? You can even adjust for all those walkers who held you up if it is that bad...

    Auckland • Since Dec 2009 • 44 posts Report

  • Sacha,

    I think I see those walkers driving every other weekend.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • Damian Christie,



    With about 5km to go I was going to ditch my sister and push it a bit more because we'd been coasting along a bit, but she was starting to looked a bit pained, and since we'd trained all this time together (and I wasn't about to break any records anyway) I stuck with her until the final stretch to make sure she didn't start walking.

    Knowing what I now know, next year I'm going to train for 2.00.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report

  • Jackie Clark,

    Good for you, Damian - for finishing and for sticking with you sister.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report

  • Damian Christie,

    Thanks Jackie - honestly, if it wasn't for her turning up at my place at 7am in the middle of winter and making me get out of bed and run, I probably wouldn't have crossed the line, so it wasn't a hard decision to stick with her.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report

  • Richard Wain,

    I did a similar thing on my first half marathon (yet to run another due to a couple of knee surgeries since) - I ran a slow 2 hours 25 with female running partner. Was just aiming to finish and we ran all the way. Still got passed several times by grannies who mixed up fast runs with walking!

    My pal then ran yesterday's marathon with a fast 2-hour first half, I was very impressed when I met her on the finish line - 4 and a half for the full marathon, she had to do the second half with no running pal, as hers pulled out.

    Since Nov 2006 • 155 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    Well done, Damian. And I'm sure your knees are better than mine.

    I popped over to Dressmart in Onehunga on my bike yesterday morning, to buy some summer training gear. The sportswear outlets were agreeably quiet ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    I trust you sweated out your fever?

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report

  • Grant McDougall,

    Top effort Damian, well done.

    (in fact, it was replaced with a succession of boozy weekends in celebration of the early arrival of summer)

    Runners will tell you that boozing is actually "carbo replacement". ;) I went out boozing until 4am two days before the 2008 Sydney marathon and cracked it out in 3hr13min. A few years ago, a friend of mine famously put away 24 cans of Speights the night before the Balclutha half and did 1hr18min, unreal.

    We crossed the start line at five past. Fortunately the chips tied onto each runner's shoelaces mean everyone has a precise start/finish time to judge their results.

    The first few kilometres were spent trying to get past groups of walkers - good on them for giving it a go, but large-bottomed folk waddling six abreast create a fairly major impediment, and there seems to be no "walkers to the left" rule or what-have you.

    Time chips are a godsend. Here's a tip: always start amongst the fast runners up the front that way there's less people to dodge around and you'll spend less time being impeded by them.

    Half and full-marathon walking has gotten very popular in recent years, but event organisers have been tardy at sorting out the logistics.
    They need to stagger when they start (e.g have walkers off 30mins before / after runners). They also really need to marshal walkers and have cones and / or barrier tape in the most narrow parts of the course so that runners aren't impeded.

    The recent Dunedin half / full marathon also had similiar problems between the 32-35km section, which was cluttered with walkers. I got sick to bloody death at screaming at them to get out of the way, as did many other runners.

    I agree, good on them for giving it a go, but they need to realise it's a competitive event, not a social walkabout.

    Short of joining a hikoi, the Auckland marathon is the only chance most of us have to tred the bridge, and was a big factor in me doing the race. In running terms though, it also represents a decent hill about 13km into the race

    The Sydney half / full marathon starts adjacent to their coathanger, so I know what you're saying, going over a landmark bridge in an event is pretty special, isn't it ?
    A "decent hill" ? Pfffft, a mere pimple compared to what we run up in Dunedin...

    Well done on finishing, that's bloofy good going. I reckon next year, you'll go close to, even under, 1hr50min. No sweat !

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report

  • Damian Christie,

    I think they suggest walkers stick to the back of the starting pack, but having turned up late (massive queue at the ferry, as I mentioned), we had no choice but to run through EVERYONE.

    I think a simple "walkers keep left" rule would help, it's pretty intuitive to anyone who drives that slowies stick left.

    A "decent hill" ? Pfffft, a mere pimple compared to what we run up in Dunedin...

    Yeah, fair call. We'd been told by friends that the bridge was a killer, and it probably says as much about how conservatively we'd taken it until that point that it barely challenged us at all. But it clearly hurt a few people. My sis and I had found our own Mt Doom though, a 700m long climb on Boundary Rd, just round the corner from my place, and made a point of including that in our last few runs. Definitely helped.

    Coatesville Classic half is in March. Who's with me?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1164 posts Report

  • Glenn Pearce,

    If it's hills you're after...

    Maybe Russell could give the bike a nudge too

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report

  • sally jones,

    Though not so much wide bottomed as top heavy, I feel for the walkers in the group who, for one reason or another, prefer to avoid the huff and puff (and bounce) of jogging. But my avoidance takes the more discrete form of accidentally on purpose forgetting to set my alarm for the many marathons that seem to run/walk past my door every year. I have no desire (courage) to walk heavily amongst the righteous runners. However, given that the bridge crossing was a key motivation for your participation in the marathon - and presumably others - I wonder if the "impediment" that is the walkers on these events might be substantially reduced if one of the clip-ons was to be opened up every weekend to pedestrians - and joggers (if they must), leaving the marathon for the serious runners. Better still, build a second bridge dedicated solely to foot traffic and forget about tunnels and trains. Just a thought from a member of the once fit, twice bitter, set :()

    Auckland • Since Sep 2010 • 179 posts Report

  • Russell Brown,

    If it's hills you're after...

    Maybe Russell could give the bike a nudge too

    Ooh. That looks do-able.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Liked your piece on biking in the latest Red Bulletin, Russell. At least I now read one page before I toss it in the recycling bin ;-)

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2562 posts Report

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