Saturday, February 23, 2013

Race Report: The Coastal Challenge

Today I ran the Coastal Challenge along the beaches and coastline of the North Shore.  There are several distances to choose from, and I did the 11km version from the north end of Milford Beach to Windsor Reserve in Devonport.  Here I am at the start looking fresh and raring to go!

This is the start - I'm in there somewhere!  If you look closely you can see some runners from the longer distances rock hopping and wading through the water around the coast north of us - maybe that will be me next year!

It was a bit cloudy to start with, but that soon burnt off and we had sunshine the rest of the way.  Look at the cute kids sprinting off to the side, you can see them in the previous shot too - I wonder how long they lasted!

It wasn't all beaches - there was quite a bit of rock hopping around the bays.  I love those parts and somehow manage to overtake people there, although there were a couple of narrow parts that created a traffic jam and we had to queue up - frustrating!  Sometimes that little rest was welcome though ;)

Here's Narrow Neck beach - I had already gone through when Steven and Luke took this photo.  The 33km race starts way off at that distant peninsula:

This is what the coast is like between each beach - it was so much fun.  These runners are approaching Cheltenham Beach:

Cheltenham was the last beach but the hardest to run - with soft cushy sand that really slowed you down.  Halfway along I ventured up to the top edge to seek out some harder ground but that wasn't very successful, so I stopped a little longer than intended at the drink station which was ideally located at the south end of the beach.

Then it was about 1k or so on the streets to the finish, where I gave it everything trying to keep up with 'the girl in the blue top'.  Some kids in Mackay Ave had the garden hoses out which was wonderful - I made sure I got well showered!

I felt I ran really well at the end - around 5:15 pace for the last km - I didn't know if I could keep it up or not  but I was determined 'the girl in the blue top' was not going to get away, and I managed to keep going to finish strongly.  Unfortunately Steven and Luke were probably still at Narrow Neck beach waiting for me and they missed my finish, but they snapped this shot where you can see more runners coming along the final stretch, if you squint:

At least that meant I got to eat the Jacks Links beef jerky and the Pop'n'Good Popcorn that was hiding in my race bag all by myself!  Here I am proud-ish and but tired when we finally found each other:

OK - official results are in now - I ran in 1:11:08 - 10/36 in my age group, 52/145 female overall.   28% and  36% respectively.  
Next year it's going to be 25% :)


  1. Great job, sounds tough with all the sand and rock hopping! I love that you ended by saying next year it will be 25%. ..awesome.

    Looks so beautiful to run there.

  2. Congrats on the finish! What a pretty place to race! I like to try to stay up with people, too. It's a great motivator!

  3. Wow - what a fun course! And amazing views :) Good work!

  4. Congrats on a well-run race! Now, on to the next one!!! Fun run next month, yes? Might see you there ;-)

  5. What a beautiful place to run, but it's jolly hard work running on sand, so well done for achieving that cracking result.
    I used to train racing dogs on sand, when they came back onto grass they were flying!


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