Running in Queenstown

Blame it on turning 50 but at the start of this year I set myself a goal to run the Queenstown Half Marathon. I heard it was really scenic and a nice course.   The added bonus was Brett had never been to Queenstown before, so he was very happy to come along as my support crew.

He didn’t realise that being my support crew entailed

  • listening to me moan and groan for the last 11 months about why I wasn’t fit enough and couldn’t do this
  • kicking me out of bed on Sunday mornings so I would do my long runs
  • being left with all the housework while I did the long runs – they take a long time ok
  • watching me hobble around for hours/days after I completed my long runs
  • looking at blisters
  • driving for over 1000 kms because I thought it would be more scenic and interesting if we drove to Queenstown from Christchurch rather than flying in – and it was it really was
  • paying for accommodation and food and drinks.  I take a lot of feeding and watering – just saying
  • co-ordinating getting me to the start and picking me up at the finish

However being the trouper he is, he did that and more.  I think he say it was almost worth it, because we saw some amazing scenery, drank some fantastic wine, and ate some great food.  And he did support someone who ran a half marathon and finished.  There is even a medal to prove it.


For those are a little bit interested in the running side of things.  The course really is spectacular, particularly on the gorgeous day we had.  You run alongside rivers, and over bridges and down country roads.  The dead possum on one of said roads was a nice treat for the city folk and international visitors.  Mind you, here was a hill on the course that should be banned as it goes up for the longest time and has no place in a run – in my opinion.

3 bands played along the route, and there were the Air NZ Trolley Dollies handing out refreshments – much appreciated.  I also loved the Drag Queens at the 18km mark.  They were fabulous.  There were even Highland Pipers right at the end,  I loved that too.  The slight rise just before the finish line I did not love, and I would like that removed as well thank you very much.

I wish I had taken photos, but you know I was runnering.  And to be honest it is freaking annoying to nearly run up the back of someone because they were taking a selfie and or a picture of a dead possum or an evil hill.

I did take a selfie before the race and you may notice there was snow on the hills behind, so it was rather brisk waiting around,but it certainly warmed up quite quickly.  Did I mention what a stunning day it was?


And here are my results.  My goal of completing the run without falling to bits or injuring myself too much was completed.  Although I do have an awesome blister between 2 of my toes.  According to the physio this is due to my weak glutes and a lot of glute work is required if I want to avoid these type of injuries in the future – yay me.

Finish Flag 02:15:33
Overall ranking

from 4384 Finishers

My division F 50-59

from 302 Finishers

Female Runners

from 2782 Finishers

I will be honest,  I never thought I would do more than one half marathon, but maybe I have caught the running bug.  Some serious glute work is required (booo), I definitely need new shoes and some hills need to be dealt to.  But I can see me inflicting myself on my long suffering support crew some time in the near future.  I will just need to find a location where he hasn’t been before and wait till the bank balance has recovered a bit.

Finally a genuine and heart felt thank you to all of you, who have been so supportive and positive about my running endeavour.  A big shout out to Sister Julie and Greta for keeping me on the right track although I did veer off it many many times.  I couldn’t have done it without you all.


How Many Hangers does it take to Fill a Landfill?


I am new to Junk Run and I must admit I have never really thought about sustainability or recycling that much.  Apparently putting my wine and gin bottles into the recycling bin won’t put me in the top % of eco warriors.

But wow in just over a month have my eyes been opened.  We really do live in a throw away society.  It is incredible the amount of stuff we accumulate and then we just throw it away so we can get more stuff.

My most recent OMG moment has been around coat hangers.  Our team went and cleared out a clothing store chain premises in a suburban mall.  Among the clothes and shop fittings were boxes filled with black plastic coat hangers, over 8 000.  Just in one store, and they can’t be recycled.  

So my mission this week was to find them a home.  Because there was no way these babies were going to be sent to landfill.  After a bit of ringing around I was able to find a second hand dealer who was happy to take them off our hands.  Win Win(actually it might count as a triple win as I was worried that I might have had to store those coat hangers in my bedroom until I found someone who would take them) 

Below is an excellent article from Green Progress which explains very clearly what an environmental nuisance they are.  It certainly makes you think.  When one store alone can have 1000’s, why are we bringing more into the country?   It just doesn’t make sense.



How Many Hangers does it take to Fill a Landfill?
A drop of water is a very small thing, indeed – but collect billions of drops and that drop becomes a flood.

Your typical, humble retail plastic hanger is a very small thing, too. But take the estimated 8 billion plastic hangers that are thrown into landfills every year and what you have is an environmental crisis.

It’s been estimated that from 8-10 billion plastic and wire hangers are produced and sold every year. Of that number only 15% are ever recycled. Where do the rest go?

Visit your favorite clothing store and purchase a shirt or a blouse or a pair of pants. What happens to the hanger once you make your purchase? Most likely it gets tossed into a cardboard box under the counter. And where does that box go at the end of the day? 85% of the time it goes into the dumpster out back. Repeat that in thousands of clothing stores and you’ve got 8 billion polystyrene and polycarbonate hangers, every year, clogging our landfills.
But why is that? Aren’t hangers recyclable?
The short answer is yes, but the practicality of it is a big no.

Hangers are typically made out of Polystyrene [6] and Polycarbonate [7]. Besides those two plastics, hangers can be made out of 5 other different plastics, usually of very low grade. Separating the different types of plastic is difficult if not impossible on a rapidly moving recycling line. Recycling machinery is rough on materials and most hangers break into pieces before they even make the plastic separating section (usually the last section in a recycling line). Identifying chards of plastic is not possible. Plus wire hangers gum up the rotating cams and are so troublesome that in most municipal recycling programs all hangers are banned.

Additionally there’s a new trend emerging in the clothing industry where hangers are put on clothing (garments on hangers or GOH) at the factories overseas and shipped on hangers. This means that every article of clothing is already on a brand new hanger when it arrives. So when a piece of clothing sells, there’s no reuse need for the hanger. So into the dumpster they go.

To put these numbers into perspective, picture the Empire State Building packed from floor to ceiling and from basement to observation deck-all 102 floors-with plastic hangers. Now multiply that by 4.6 to get the number of skyscrapers needed to hold 8 billion hangers.
And these hangers don’t just lay there quietly in the landfill either. Polystyrene leaches benzene, a carcinogen, into our drinking water. Benzene is the active ingredient in cigarette smoke.

And how long do these plastics sleep quietly in these landfills? It is estimated that it would take from 800-1000 years for these plastics to break down in anaerobic landfills, and possibly longer. That’s 40 generations necessary to break down these plastics.

All for a very short time on the rack.

All for a simple hanger.


Happiness is…

Obviously not watching the American election.  That was so sad that even self medicating with gin and cheese didn’t help.  I can’t even imagine how distraught Hillary and her supporters must be.

No, happiness is having a job that allows me to do what I am good at, talking to people and spending time on the interweb.  On Fridays I can bring Billie with me.  We start our day with coffee and a run on the beach – well one of us has coffee and one of us runs.  And life is good.

Happy Dog