Reporter's challenge to conquer Huntly Half Marathon 10km run done and dusted
There's almost nothing sweeter than seeing that finish line ahead of you.
Months of training had led to this point.
Relief filled my blush pink, sweaty face as I huffed and puffed my way to the end.
The whole 10km, hills and all, and I had the image of that medal in my head - my motivation to keep running.
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I would have received a medal anyway, but to challenge myself and battle through the pain without stopping made it so much more satisfying.
Reaching halfway, I felt OK, but during that last 5km I struggled.
I remember thinking I probably should have invested in new shoes but never mind, I had to keep going despite the formation of a couple blisters.
It was all about reaching that 8km mark where I could quench my thirst, and realise I was almost at the end.
Judging on the smiles of those holding out the water cups, they could tell I was glad to see them.
During an event like this, I tend to be focused on just getting through it and it's only afterwards I can reflect on the entirety of the course.
I must say, the stunning views of Lake Puketirini made it all the more enjoyable.
The 10km track was a nice mix of road and trail with some hills thrown in to test your endurance.
Once upon a time the words running and enjoyable wouldn't have been a combination coming out of my mouth.
Now I get a buzz out of the challenge.
I can't say it was all determination and grit that kept my legs moving.
There were so many volunteers out on the course cheering each participant at every turn and water stop.
To each and every one of you, don't go away thinking you weren't appreciated.
While I wasn't overly set on a particular time, I was surprised I managed it in 1 hour and three minutes.
I far surpassed expectations of my abilities.
It just goes to show how powerful your mind can be if you stick to a goal and keep working towards it.
For someone who couldn't even run 1km five months ago, I'm living proof that these things are possible.
I remember when I started running I scoffed at the thought of tackling a half marathon.
But it's starting to not sound so crazy.
I've climbed one mountain, and I reckon it's time for next.