Rotorua Marathon!

Last Saturday I competed in the 50th Rotorua Marathon! I finished with a net time was 3:10:48. It was great being part of Rotorua’s Golden Jubilee marathon, along with the 3510 other runners who completed the run. In fact, The Rotorua Marathon is the longest running marathon in Oceania.

The marathon consists of a 42.2km single lap circuit, clockwise around Lake Rotorua. It starts and finishes at the Energy Events Centre, which is in central Rotorua. I have only visited Rotorua once, but one of the first things you notice is its rotten-egg smell. This comes from Rotorua’s sulfur pools. The region’s volcanic activity makes it one of the most distinctive towns in New Zealand. However, it doesn’t take long to get used to this and did not bother me during the race. The race is moderately scenic, but the last 10 or so kilometres are boring as it follows a long straight road.

Much like my last marathon I was hoping to get finish under 3 hours, but once again the sub 3 hour marathon proves to be elusive! The first 28 km or so of the race was going to plan (on track for <3 hours), but progressively my quads and toes became sorer and sorer. They were never sore enough to stop running, but the last 5km consisted of a pedestrian 5:25 pace to the finish line. I taped my toes like I did last marathon, and did not pick up any major blistered from the race.

There are some hills on the course, but nothing too challenging. Having said that, the small hills after the half way mark are deceptively challenging; after running 26km, the last thing you want are hills!

My nutrition consisted of six energy gels as well as taking either a cup of water or electrolytes at each aid station. Early on in the race one of my gels fell out of my running belt and I almost lost a few more. Note to self: Leppin Squeezy Gels can fall out of my running belt! Even five gels seemed adequate and I didn’t run out of energy during the race.

For the next few months I plan to work on ensuring my quads and toes don’t get sore before the end of the race. Ideas that I have include:

  1. Looking at my running technique. Am I putting too much stress on some muscles and not utilizing others?
  2. I should do some leg strengthening exercises.
  3. I should do some core strengthening exercises. I understand that having a strong core helps to maintain a good running form.
  4. Increase the length of some of my longer runs every now and again. My current long runs are 32km.
  5. Integrate some high intensity intervals into my training. My training usually does not consist of high intensity work outs, except the odd 5km trail run.
  6. Drop a kilogram by next race day. I was 81.5kg for this marathon.

Time will tell whether these ideas help in the next marathon…