I had been looking forward to Christchurch Airport Marathon for ages. I’d booked Craig and me Business seats on Emirates from Sydney and back, and had also booked into a nice hotel adjacent to the start. I’d had three weeks to recover from UTA50 and knew the weather would be quite cool – ideal for a marathon.
Things got a little tricky a few weeks prior when Craig’s uni studies saw an exam scheduled for the morning we were departing. Luckily I was able to switch his flight to the afternoon, and I drove to Sydney early Friday morning and had a very pleasant time alone in the Qantas lounge and then as only one of three Business passengers on the flight!
The next day we were up early and walked to Hagley Park where I did the parkrun. I love doing novel parkruns in places we visit and this was no exception. It was really cold and I was glad of my gloves.
The city itself remains in the process of rebuilding four years after their last nasty earthquake. Bib collection was from the race start/finish area right next to the Christchurch Cathedral that is still held up with heaps of scaffolding and bracing.
We then had a nice day in and around Christchurch, including a ride in their gondola!
Race morning was super simple – breakfast in the room and then down to the start line. It was very cold but thanks to the number of people there I did my usual trick of snuggling in close to some of the other runners for some added heat.
The first 10km was a lap of the town, including a run around Hagley Park. I started to warm up about 5km in, and stayed with the crowd, enjoying this pretty city. Around 8km I came upon a girl about 10 years old who was running along, crying. I asked her a little bit about herself and she said her name was Cara and that she had never run 10km before. She was an age champion in the area for cross country and athletics, and her mother and sisters were up ahead. She had no idea how far she had run and when I said there was only 2km to go she brightened up. We chatted for the next 2km and I wished her luck and cheered her on when we came to the part where the 10km veered off to the finish and the rest of the field turned for the loops out of town. We saw and waved to Craig at that juncture as well. He had been in the hotel room studying for his next exam and came down in time to cheer me on.
The rest of the race consisted of two loops out from the city. The first loop was longer and took in the outer suburbs, while the second loop retraced some of the first but turned at the river for the finish. I found the suburban running fairly boring but the scenery closer to town was nice. I stopped to speak to Craig at the end of the first loop and then moseyed on out for the second. I enjoyed the second loop because there were other runners who overtook me and then slowed and I overtook them etc etc. I sped up over the last 3km and finished well. I knew backing up with Perth the next weekend I’d be feeling it, so was pleased that I really enjoyed this event!
We had a late checkout arranged and then went out to the airport where we partook in some refreshments before boarding our plane for the trip home. It’d been fun.
Christchurch Airport Marathon was number 14.