Leading up to today's marathon, the weather was going to clear and be good, then it was wasn't, then we had the worst storm in over twenty years, reputedly worse than the Wahine Disaster storm of 1968 no less, and it was unlikely to be very nice at all, but as we headed home from a party at 2230 last, it seemed that the rain had ceased, the temp had dipped to 3°, but it had definitely stopped raining. That actually raised more concerns for me though, because the water on the ground was more likely to freeze if it stopped coming down!?....Oh well, care would be required.
The bike was pristine and still had half a tank after last week's ride so I just needed to check the tyres, pack the wets, spare gloves, flouro vests and camera, which I did on Saturday, then this morning I arose at 0545, scrubbed, had a snack and left home at 0645. At this stage my fears of ice were allayed as the temp was sitting between 7° & 4°, but more importantly, there had been enough breeze throughout the night to dry much of the road.
We attended a briefing at Armstrong Motors on Friday night, at which time I met my photog, Mark, sorted a helmet that fitted him, then on the way home, I checked a couple of potential vantage points by St Gerard's Monastery and a potential start point for us at the bottom of the ramp by the stadium. With all that done, I just needed to roll up this morning, check-out the dunnies, where I met up with and chatted with Barry (who was doing the half) for a bit, then found Mark, loaded his gear on the bike and headed down the ramp to setup for the marathon start.
With those pix taken, we had an hour and a half before the start of the ½ & 10Km runs so we headed down the quays, then up to the monastery, over to Balena Bay, then back around Oriental Parade and the Quays to the Stadium, arriving at 0805, where Mark could catch the multitudes prepping for their start at 0900. At this point I was most surprised to see heaps still arriving within the last half hour...but then I guess it is a pretty casual affair for many.
At 0845 we headed back to our start position at the ramp, then once again headed around the Quays and up to the Monastery. By now the day was starting to warm and we even got treated to a bit of sun, so Mark got some good pix, then we headed over to Balena Bay, but this time we turned right and headed to the Evans Bay drink station.
After Mark had spent a few minutes at the drink stop, we continued toward Cobham Drive and spotted Ken (Lead bike for Marathon) so we paused again, then backed-up to get pix of the lead runners. Moving on, no sooner were we on Cobham Drive and looking for the lead ladies, but there was Jim (Lead bike for ½) so another pause and more pix were taken.
That done we headed for Shelly Bay, but once we got to the turnoff, we decided with runners going each way, it wasn't worth the effort, so we turned and went back to Evans Bay Parade, pausing a few times to get more pix of the lead ladies and general hoi palloi, slowly making our way back around Oriental Parade, along the waterfront and back into the stadium by 1035.
Job done, I grabbed a coffee and headed back to the bike, where I was enjoying my drink by the finish line when I spotted Kari & Cathy. Hugs and congratulations given, a short chat chatted and they continued on their way to cool down while I headed for home.
With today being something different, it was quite a pleasant outing, even though I only managed 49.6Km for the day and took my economy from 17.7Km/Ltr down to 16.5. The temp didn't get over 10° but I was rugged-up with liners and layers so that wasn't a problem. I was also very thankful for the hours spent on 'Slow Handling', because it made riding with the pillion and having to do U-turns and squeezing between cones and bollards a breeze.
All in all it was bloody marvelous....and the bike now has 32,552 Km on it.
These blogs were posted on the KiwiBiker forum but I decided it was time for a change.