A 42km marathon, here I come

RACHEL YOUNG
Last updated 10:33 06/03/2014

This is it.

Tonight I head to Wanaka for the Motatapu Icebreaker Marathon.

Training is over, my new socks (a ritual before any marathon) are packed and I'm mentally ready to spend a large chunk of my Saturday placing one foot in front of the other over 42.2 kilometres of one of the most scenic parts of the country.

The course follows a route early Maori used for hunting and gathering. 

It starts from Motatapu Station, near Lake Wanaka, to Arrowtown and goes through Motatapu, Soho and Glencoe Stations. Then, just for good measure, about 20-odd river crossings are thrown in.

It's not an easy course with almost the first 30km climbing up, and the times reflect it.

The average time for a female (in the open category) is 5:05:58, while for men it is 4:44:56.

My aim is to complete it in under 5:15, but at the end of the day I'm just going to be happy to complete it.

The last couple of weeks haven't been the best training-wise with sickness attacking me, a niggling knee injury playing up and over-committing myself outside of work and training. But, regardless, I'm excited for the challenge and I think you always feel like you can be more prepared.

The "what if'" and "if only I had" thoughts have been banished from my brain. It's game time. 

Yes I'm nervous (mainly about the river crossings), but I'm more excited about getting out for a run after what feels like months of building up to this one event.

I'm now counting down the hours until I can leave work and roadtrip south with friends - one of my favourite things about the events is the camaraderie of them.

Watch this space to see how I go.

Thanks to everyone whose supported me during my training, particularly Richard Greer from Complete Performance and my running buddies who have dragged me out of bed and up hills multiple times between them - Sarah E, Sarah K, Claire and Fi.

Anyone got any last-minute tips for doing Motatapu? Words of inspiration? Pointers for things to look out for on the race?

Comment below, follow me on Twitter @YoungRachelS or email me on rachel.young@press.co.nz

- The Press

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