Challenge Wanaka (21km)

A last minute team entry into the Challenge Wanaka Triathlon (half ironman distance) saw me take part in a half marathon in the weekend just been.

Being part of a team is fun, and the atmosphere of the event is always great.

I put a time goal on myself of 1hr 50mins for the run, which I knew was quite ambitious, and this was the first time I’d had a goal for the run over this distance. I knew I was going to have to push myself which made me nervous at the start line.

The run started off great, I knew I had to stay under a 5.13 pace to be able to come in at 1 hr 50mins, for the first 8km I stayed well under this pace, and slipped up a little just before the big hill, with some of the trail being quite undulating. The Gunn road hill is a good way to gut a runner, I ran half of it and walked the rest trying to bring my heart rate back down.

After Gunn Road, I couldn’t bring my average pace back down I tried but the fatigue in my legs was too high. I struggled a little at 13/14km mark and then at about the 18km mark, there was a moment of ‘I don’t care what time I get’ (hah), but I finished strong. It was definitely the hardest I’ve ever pushed myself in a run over that distance, I couldn’t have gone any quicker, mainly because of the fatigue in my legs.

Aid station struggles

I struggled with the aid stations as they threw my pace and rhythm off so much, and I didn’t have the time luxury of going slow through them. I took a gel at 25 and 55 minutes because of where the aid stations were. I skipped the last gel at 1.30 –  a combination of the effort it was going to take/sort of forgot/didn’t want to stop – whether this was detrimental to my time – I’m not sure. I started dreading the aid stations when I saw them, which hasn’t happened to me before, definitely something I can work on so they go a bit smoother.

I had to constantly remind myself to speed up as the rhythm/pace I kept slipping into was around 5.20-5.40 I think from doing the longer distances a bit slower. I’m used to getting into that pace and switching off and just running.

High heart rate

My heart rate averaged 180 which is pretty much the highest it’s been in any workout since I’ve started using a heart rate monitor.

My friend followed me around some sections yelling and videoing me – from the footage I’ve definitely got some technique work to do – I look like I’m flailing around it looks incredibly inefficient, and I seem to be hunched over and do weird things with my arms (Lol) – so it will be good to analyse/improve my technique!

So in summary – a few things to work on as always, I don’t think 1.55 is a great half marathon time –  but I think that time is a good reflection of my current fitness and mentally I am happy with how the race played out.

Will use this race experience, to improve on the next!


Leave a Reply