Running on a South Pacific Island


This Good Friday I ran in the 8km Wild Woman Waiheke.  This is an event organised by a group of woman who trail run together in Waiheke and it is also a fund raiser for the local hospice.

It was a stunning day, and just being up in the morning and taking the ferry meant it was already worth the entry fee. I took the Explorer Ferry which I was super impressed with.  Nice boat, good crew and half the price of Fullers.  I really hope they can keep the service running.

Heading to Waiheke at 7:30 am
Heading to Waiheke at 7:30 am
Leaving the City
Leaving the City

 

When we arrived on the Island we were greeted by a shuttle bus driver holding a sign Wild Women, which he did agree he didn’t get to do every day.  He was actually gearing up to be busy this weekend because it was Easter and the Waiheke Jazz Festival was on as well.

I thought that because it started at the Onetangi Sports Grounds it would entail a nice flat run along the beach.  I was wrong.  I really should have been alerted that it was going to entail some bush running, because we had to have a Kauri die back briefing.  FYI Waiheke Island Kauris do not have this disease at the moment and they want to keep it that way.

We also got to do a warm up before we started – facilitated by Rahman who proved he was in touch with his inner Wild Woman by rocking his tutu.  Fabulous.

IMG_2431

The run actually consisted of going up into the hills and running along bush tracks.  It was wonderful and completely different to anything I had done before.  But seeing as I can fall over and hurt myself on the streets of Pt Chev, it was did prove very challenging.  I am ok at the uppy hill thing, but going down narrow tracks with scoria and tree roots was a bit scary.  However I managed to get through without falling over.  Success.

Hilly hill
Hilly hill – I was running up around here evading Maori War Parties and tree roots

Another cool thing about the run was because there weren’t that many of us doing it, a lot of the time I was running completely on my own.  Which meant in between thinking, I can’t breathe, and Holy crap I hope I don’t slip over (being Good Friday, the Lords’ name was used quite a lot) I also spent quite a bit of time thinking how successful I would be at evading a Maori war party.  I decided that if it was a very old and fat Maori I might have had a chance, otherwise I was a goner.  So then I was looking for places I could hide in the undergrowth that would hide me and my bright running gears.  Actually it was a wonder I didn’t slip over with all that thinking going on.  But it is interesting where your mind goes as you try to distract yourself from the fact you have run for what felt like for ever and have only reached the 4km mark.

I digress, (you may have noticed that is a regular occurrence by the way) but I blame the imagination overload re raiding war parties on my father.  When we used to go down to the mangroves to get oysters or go fishing, quite a lot of time would be spent evading Tojo.  The Japanese soldier who may have been lost since the Second World War and was just looking for someone to take prisoner.

When I finally finished the run, which did take an hour, and I was happy with that time to be honest.  I got to run past a group of cheer leaders – the Wild Children – who had already done their 1 and 3 km runs, and then got a glass of bubbles.  Of course there was plenty of water and fruit as well.  And being Waiheke there were wonderful organic treats for sale, including Cheesus scones and Jesus scones (hot cross bun flavoured), as well as a free sausage sizzle that the rugby club arranged.

My kind of refreshments
My kind of refreshments

Absolutely a fantastic way to start my Easter weekend, and on the lovely ferry ride back I reflected that I have a few things to be grateful for

  • I am fit enough to run around some hills for an hour without expiring (ok maybe not everyone’s definition of running but one foot was put in front of the other)
  • I live in a wonderful part of the world where I can jump on a ferry and go to a beautiful South Pacific Island for the morning
  • There are so many good people out there who organise these events
  • How good it is for the soul to be around positive people who are out having a go and encouraging others to do the same
  • The amazing weather we have enjoyed this Easter
  • I can look forward to doing it next year, as long as I don’t hurt myself or get taken prisoner by a marauding war party

 

 

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