I was excited to go to New Zealand for this marathon. I was going alone with just a backpack of gear and it was going to be quite an adventure!
New Plymouth is a town about an hour by plane south of Auckland. We’d no sooner taken off on that flight and the crew had run through the plane throwing food at us, than it was time to land!
The mountain mentioned in the title of the marathon, known as Mount Taranaki, dominated the landscape. I was staying at the same hotel as where bib collection occurred, and the buses left the following morning to drive up the mountain to the start.
All of the plans went seamlessly. This was another expertly arranged and managed regional marathon. The course started in the carpark some distance up the mountain, and runners then ran back to the coast. There was a half marathon starting at the midpoint of the marathon, in the town of Inglewood, with the event finishing in the village of Waitara.
The run went relatively well. It was fairly scenic and shaded, and the temperature was good. There were some boring bits along the side of the highway however knowing I was always just covering the ground toward the finish (without any laps) kept me in a pretty good head space.
The only issue I struck was that the electrolyte drink served at the drink stations didn’t agree with me. It was something called Sqwincher – tasted nice but caused me some real issues. My customary fast last kilometre was a non-appearance due to the cramping in my stomach and abdomen.
Never mind though, the people were very friendly, provisions at the finish very good, and again the organisation most efficient in having the buses arrive as planned to drive runners back to New Plymouth. I was pretty happy as this was my second marathon in a week and the times were roughly the same.
Bayleys Mountain to Surf Marathon was number 11.