Wharf To Wharf – Great Barrier Island Marathon

The Wharf to Wharf Marathon, a fundraiser for Kaitoke School, is one of the bigger annual public events here on Great Barrier Island. This established marathon draws people from all over the world, and of course many locals as well, to challenge themselves in a race from Port FitzRoy to Tryphena. Be it walking, running or mountain biking. I experienced its thrill back in 2011 (W2W 2011) completing the course on the Mountain Bike, and still have fond memories of the race and more so of the pre-race trash talk. Those who know me personally, know that I have a knack for trash-talking. Well, any (sport) activity, independent of the level of skill, is also a ‘head game’.

Apropos head game, I managed to convince myself to run the marathon this year. It is final, I registered two weeks ago and have told enough people that I can’t back out any more. Seriously, the best preparation for a marathon is to register, and if you mean what you say (and also know what you say), mention it to the people around you. For me, this is the best preparation and motivation.

Arguably, there are three types of marathon runners:

– those who are keen marathon runners
– those who regularly run long distance and want to run a marathon
– those who are not keen runners and who don’t regularly train, but
think they can do it anyway

Well, I’ve never been a fan of running long distances and never had aspirations or dreams of running a marathon either. It was quite odd putting on the old running shoes and running to work, Rani the dog didn’t understand it either. Where are we going?, What’s happening here, where is the motorized quad? and hey, actually, I’m faster than you.

The good news is that I was able to run the 2 km back home in one go, an entirely uphill stretch with gradients of up to 30%. While huffing and puffing, I realized that I just need to do this 20 times to finish a marathon.

Breathing correctly and relaxing the old brain when things feel tough are just as important as training well in advance. My goal is to complete the marathon quicker than the fastest walker, who does it in less than 6 hours.

Apparently, I’m not the only celebrity participant. A 14 year old girl, who raises money for prostate cancer research and awareness, and wants to complete a marathon on each continent before turning 15, called Winter Vinecki is up for it, too.

So come to Great Barrier Island, experience running through the rugged native bush and the expansive views, challenge yourself, you might even get trash talked to…

Here’s a link to the course map (W2W Course). Have a look at the official website too (W2W website)

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