Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Next Up: The Coastal Challenge

The last three weeks of my training have almost been a repeat of a couple of months ago, and as I mentioned in the last post they felt relatively easy.  But I've been really good and resisted the temptation to jump ahead, as it is all part of base building, and it does increase slightly next month.  Patience, patience!

I've signed up for the Coastal Challenge next weekend - an adventure run around the North Shore beaches. (Click the link to check out the amazing pictures!)  I did this race a few years ago and loved it immensely - it follows the coastal track around the Shore, running along white sandy beaches and clambering over black volcanic rocks, combined with a bit of water interaction if you are lucky.  I'm doing the same 11km race as last time, from Milford Beach to Devonport, but there are other distances (6, 17, 23 and the 33km Full Monty all the way from Whangaparoa Peninsula).

This similar route is actually part of the Te Araroa Trail
The Coastal Challenge clings even closer to the coastline!
In 2005 the course finished at Cheltenham Beach and was about 1km shorter, and I finished it in 1:06 - it will be interesting to see how I go this weekend.  One resounding memory from that last race was when I stopped to walk about a kilometre from the finish, and I remember some rapidly gaining footsteps behind me saying:  "Come on, you can do it, not far to go now!"  It was one of the longer distance runners coming through, and as he powered past me I started running again and thanked him, and I actually ran all the way to the finish - that bit of encouragement was just what I needed!

Oh, and I remember I got my first and only running blister on that race.  Sand + Water = Blisters!  I plan to stick some Vaseline on any potential blister spots prior to the race, but I notice the aid stations have Vaseline for any blister emergencies.  I will be wearing my trusty Supernova's as I haven't managed to buy trail shoes yet.  They are starting to feel well worn in, so I decided to tally up the distance I've run in them so far and it is 440km - time to start looking for a back-up pair already.

OK - I'm starting to get excited about this race now!
  • Have you ever done an off-road coastal race before?  Tell me about it!  
  • What about encouragement from other runners - have you ever been a receiver, or do you give it?  I came across a tweet from Women's Running that said the best running gift you could give was encouragement - it worked for me!
  • Blisters - what are your magic tricks for preventing them?


  1. Random encouragement is the best, isn't it? I remember once on an early morning run, I was wondering if I'd be able to make 10km. While contemplating this, an elderly gentleman said quietly as I ran past, "Go for it". I took that as a good sign, and I did! I was so happy :-) And I wish I'd thanked him at the time. The Coastal Challenge sounds awesome, perhaps I'll sign up for next year. Not a fan of running on sand though... I'm hoping to sign up for the Warrior Dash in April. Not coastal, but still sounds like it'll be a ton of fun!

  2. He must have been reading your mind!
    The sand was quite firm until Cheltenham beach where it was soft - it totally killed my legs! The Warrior Dash sounds fun!


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