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Great Barrier Island Wharf to Wharf | October 13th 2012

The 2012 Great Barrier Island Wharf to Wharf Marathon was held on October 13th and sandwiched between two beautiful sunny days participants experienced extremely wet and windy weather for most of the course.  About 100 mountain bikers, runners and walkers set off from Port FitzRoy Wharf at 7.30am ready to tackle the track portion of the marathon.  26 finished at the halfway point at Okupu and those continuing on to Tryphena Wharf were joined by more participants doing the road half of the marathon.

Claire Pascoe from Wellington entered for the track half marathon with her friend Betsy.  In her words “Bets and I didn’t really know what to expect when we turned up on an island that we knew nothing about to run the longest distance that either of us had ever run.  We’d been ‘training’ which was actually just a practice 6 runs prior to the event.  Claire (from Wellington) with the advantage of some hills and Bets (from Colorado) with altitude.

We woke up with butterflies on the morning of the race. The rain wasn’t as bad as was forecast and the atmosphere at the starting line was buzzy, with over 100 people, together, feeling like a band of friends, excited for the pending adventure.

The run itself was glorious. The hills did not disappoint and the rain just added a fun element to make the adventure that much more adventurous. We were overwhelmed by how friendly everyone was – the volunteers, the locals spectating and the competitors saying hi as they went by. We were told if we had any troubles, just ask a local, and that was certainly the case, everyone so willing to help made the experience really lovely.

The views along the track were magnificent, even if you were imagining them through the clouds in parts. The course kept the run interesting, so you didn’t even notice the kilometres go by….well, sorta.

The warm reception at the finish line took the edge off the chill and the ache immediately and the prize giving was a wonderful way to wrap the whole experience up with the volunteers and competitors all reuniting like old friends at the club. The delicious buffet meal felt well deserved. Bets will be taking her fantastic Puriri trophy back to the USA to proudly display on her mantelpiece (provided it gets through customs), and Claire is already planning her next trip next year to shave 15 minutes off her time 🙂

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