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  • Captain Neil

Club Newsletter, May

Welcome everybody and here is the May newsletter. First off, I would like to make a special welcome to Kate, Sonya, Tau, Desiree, Mike and Val who got missed in the last newsletter for joining our Club.

Well, we still seem to be a well-travelled Club, with Heather, Sue and Deborah covering a lot of ground in the last few weeks around Auckland, doing their Auckland 5 Series. Well done to you, and I may add one of the prettiest clip together medal sets I have ever seen. Their report is listed further in the Newsletter.

We have also had our presence felt at Whenuapai and also a large turnout at the Tauranga Half Marathon. As well as Waiheke Island

Rotorua Marathon Race Report

I would have to say Rotorua Marathon seems to have been a major hit in the Club this year. From starting off getting Wayne his 30th Rotorua medal to making sure all Michelle’s hard work was going to see her get over the line for her first marathon. We asked for support from the Club to make this a year to remember and we got it in spades, with a full lodge and house booked plus other Club members booking into motels with family.

There were many surprises from a great 10 km battle with Gary and Annette, then Rod getting placed 3rd in his age group in his age group in the half. This year the 10km and half marathon were basically off road and rather a harder course than in the past. The big surprise was our Lynda, snuck in under the radar to do a good time in her first marathon. Lynda’s tactics seemed to be stick with the 5-hour pacer who was our very own Sue Hunter who brought her pack in within minutes of the 5 hour mark. Is that skill or what?

We had so many HRRs out there with Michelle and support crew Martin, Pat and Rachel. There was Rebecca with Bryce and Kyan in support and Ross, Lee, Kerry, Anne and Lex, and also Deborah with her supporter Mary and then the big fella himself Wayne. With 29 Rotorua Marathons in the bag already, Wayne had already locked in his 30th at the start line. It was great to see Wayne come in with the HRR entourage of Jane, Eileen and Mark (Eileen’s son, the enforcer especially brought in from Oz for the job to keep Wayne on the Straight and Narrow).

There were a few antics that I cannot find in any training manuals. Like after the big Hamurana hill, stopping at the dairy for a pie and then further around off with the shoes and into the sandals. As for the support cars absolutely fabulous – Chris had his car loaded with supporters and we also had the hospital car of Heather, Colleen and Christine - keeping an eye on the HRR team with drinks and food. Phil Condor was also in support and then there was Kerin to greet us at the finish line.

The conditions were perfect with a cloudy day all day and slight breeze in the afternoon. Everyone did really well. The other surprise I had was that an hour after the marathon everybody was in great condition.

Also great to see Anne for her 25 shirt and Wayne on stage for his 30th Rotorua survivors shirt and of course the night would not be complete without Eileen winning her usual spot prize.

Then back to the lodge for an evening of stories

All in all the best Rotorua Marathon I have been involved in and such a great Club of great athletes.

Memorial Relay Report

Thanks to all those who turned out for the relay, all 16 teams of you. Grateful thanks to Wayne and Isla for getting our flying circus in some sort of order for the photo. Thanks also to Kerin and Big Norm for setting the course and for Mikes freshly baked scones and billy boy Gary for the tea and coffee.

This is my favourite event of the year and there are always stories. Whether it be Colleen who took a wee tumble but still finished her lap, only to turn up to lunch as large as life, great to see. Ross who was a tad poorly and was a show for the photo and relay before heading back to bed. What a trooper aye? Then there was Rod “should have gone to spec savers” Gill who short cut the course. The start line looked like rush hour on Queen Street with 16 teams ready to go. But the winner on the day must have been the weather gods.

But seriously congratulations to Gary, Eileen and Rod for being the closest team to their estimated time. Then we headed back for a 1pm lunch. Thanks to Lorraine for her behind the scenes work on this. A brilliant meal was had and great fellowship. When I was at the bar the HRR rehydration technician was telling me there was certainly a lot of noise in the club so would have to rate the day a success.

Ponderers Puzzle (see last months newsletter) was Wayne Reynolds. I know the running singlet threw a few – for the newer members we were based at the YMCA in Pembroke Street, and part of the YMCA network, until we outgrew the venue. It was then set up by Barry Smith and a few other to set up a club rooms at our current site.

Runner of the month went to Sue Hunter for a good effort at Waitomo Trail Run and a PB at Tauranga Half and then again at Auckland Waterfront Half. Congratulations.

Mays K’s - There is a book at the Bar for those who would like to be part of this competition – just fill in the book each week off your strava/garman or whatever to be part of the action This project has been thought up also by our very own Sue Hunter – thanks for your efforts on this Sue.

Club Day, May - My thanks to Lex for convening our Club Sunday event for May. A Treasure Hunt can always pull a team together. And even the weather cleared for us and great fellowship was held with a barbeque to boot. My thanks to those in the kitchen and on the bbq too. The next Sunday event will be set for 10 June.


We still have a few Subs outstanding. Our HRR bank account number is 03 1555 0161275 00

Note - Dinner night this week 31 May.

Also – new members – before running if you don’t want to run with your keys they can be left with the Club Captain or if you want to pack a running bag with a towel etc they can be left on or under the bench seats in the Club House.

Note: Parkrun in your profile have you listed Hamilton Road Runners as your home club.

Ekiden Relay Rotorua

13 Oct.

We have the lodge booked already for this event and urge the new members to look on the Ekiden Rotorua site on how good this event is and also ask our members who have done this. The more HRR teams we have the better – more details to be released.


1 July, Wellington Marathon

Mary-Ann from our Wellington Office is asking us to come down and join her. As I understand it we have a team already organised to go down to compete in various distances on a great waterfront run.

28 October Auckland Marathon

Seems to be good numbers from the club doing it – running over the Harbour Bridge is a great thrill of the event.

Don’t forget all our newsletters are now posted on our web site Here you will find photos of previous events and details of upcoming events. Don’t forget to check it out regularly and invite friends and family to do likewise.

Heather Flay Reporting on Auckland 5 Series:

Auckland Half Marathon Series - An Amazing Experience.

From Two Young Ladies and One Nana

Why did we do this?

Heather: Every year I have looked at the series of five half marathons and thought next year I will enter all four. Well each year when I entered Orewa, I would look at the cost and decided I had other things to spend that money on…..Roll on 2017 and I was constantly unwell, still I got online to enter the Orewa half marathon AND noticed the series now had five half marathons. WHY NOT, so I entered all five,which also included a free sweatshirt. I got my health issues sorted and started to walk, jog, and even run!!

Deborah: They said free hoodie, so I clicked on the link. Then they said mega medal and I couldn’t sign up fast enough. Much later on, early one September morning we were off. Auckland is rather pretty with the harbour and no traffic as the sun comes up over the city. Devonport was the first of many special morning moments. All the courses were stunning, catering for lovers of flat, hills, sandy beaches and views. The weather anything from clear sunny to cyclone winds at Orewa It certainly kept things interesting and all the events were well organised. I couldn’t have asked for better car pool buddies, then Sue and Heather, whose smiles and enthusiasm were present at every start line, during and finish. What I didn’t realise until just now, was that I did a faster time with every event, finishing with PB.

Sue: Someone said series, someone said lots of medals and when I went to sign up, discovered free hoodie and a mega medal which didn’t really have much impact till I saw it at event #2!! 5 events, 5 mornings of ridiculously early!! Finding 2 others who were going to be at the events from home town also made it more exciting!! This was a medal collecting mission with amazing places I had never been before. The company was definitely was one of the best highlights. Thanks ladies!!

My next challenge is how do I condense all this information to newsletter size, five half marathons worth of fun, challenges, emotions, excitement, support, excitement, and last but not least the elation when the final one was completed and we received our amazing Grand Slam finishers medal.

Well finally the day came for the first of the series: Mizuno Devonport Half Marathon 24 September 2017. Sue Hunter and I were driving out of Hamilton at 5am or was it earlier sure felt like it! We arrived in time to find a good park and stand on the beach in the cold and watch the sunrise. We were away!!! OUCH hills I walked, plodded jogged struggled walked some more enjoyed the amazing views across the harbour, and finally got to the finish line where I was delighted to be greeted by Deborah Young and Sue Hunter who had both completed the event in an amazing time!

Second event of the series was the Mike Pero Omaha Half Marathon 10 December 2017, Another 7.30 am at the start line cool ish morning but boy that didn’t last long thank goodness for well stocked water stations I stopped at each drink stop and drank a full cup of water, my body thanked me for this when I ran past a few people lying on the ground with medics in attendance. There were only a few slight hills but with the heat we all felt that the inclines were steeper than strava said they were. Fantastic course and the locals even decorated their homes for us!! Well that may have been for Christmas but we enjoyed looking as we sped past. Again Deborah and Sue did amazingly well and I was delighted to see them as I got to the 20k mark they ran behind me shouting run Nanna!! Thanks ladies. I took around 15 mins of my previous time,

Third in line was Platinum Homes Orewa Beach Half Marathon 11 February 2018, Deborah the wonderful lady had booked accommodation and due to the fact that her husband had something else on this weekend Sue and I were lucky enough to share! We arrived at the accommodation early evening and once setting up for the morning we had a very much enjoyed game of scrabble, nothing to do with running but a fun and relaxing evening. Comment from Sue about the scrabble game- “A rip-roaring evening was had at the CUTEST Air b-and-b apartment, where a high paced, seat gripping, dictionary requiring game of Scrabble was played while three grown woman drank water and ate old dark peppermint chocolate.... Heather Flay and Deborah Young are highly competitive I tell you!!!!

Up and organised to arrive at the start line with enough time to stand in line for the port-a-loo and still ready at the start line by 7.30am. Forecast says there’s a storm coming, well we are not turning back now we said as walked to the start line. The storm stayed away but we had gentle steady rain all the way and it was FUN. We had a delightful couple of K on the beach. Thankfully due to all the water the sand was well packed and solid. The little streams going into the ocean were not the smallest either sadly a bit of jumping was involved ensuring the feet didn't get wet and sandy. There were rises and falls, trails and concrete, roads and paths, bridges and wooden thingies then finally a finish shoot. And yet again as I approached the finish line here was my support team 50 minutes after Sue and Deborah had finished and they were still waiting for me, what angels.

Fourth of the series was Mizuno Coatesville Half Marathon 18 March 2018, Well one week ago two of the three of us ran the Kirikiriroa marathon, due to a sore leg (result of marathon) and miserable weather and having just returned to NZ after attending a family funeral I didn’t quite have my head in running mode but got out and again ran, walked jogged until someone put a medal over my head. We decide to run this marathon wearing a red Tutu in memory of a very special young lady. So we put on the tutu's, wore the lei, and we celebrated life today. It was a fun day. We saw and ran around Dot.Com Mansion!! Wow!! What we saw - it looks huge! (Probably why its called a mansion.....) not sure about who looked up the meaning of "rolling hills" and "undulating hills" because this course most definitely had none of that!!! It had some BIG, significant decent hills that tested you!!! Sue ended with an amazing sprint finish, Deborah aced those hills and ended with another PB, Heather got it finished, and again had the two angels waiting at the end. This is definitely the most challenging of all the series.

Sue:- It became an epic day when I looked at my time and realised I managed a 1.53!!! the fastest time of the series on the hardest course of the series on a seriously tired and not functioning body! Go figure that one?

Fifth and last for the series is the famous and Waterfront Half Marathon 08 April 2018. The final of the series and it’s a flat course we are all hoping for a good run with no injuries. A flat out and back then repeat we were all prepared for a boring flat course but there was lots of entertainment, yachts, kayakers, and lovely scenery so before we knew it the finish line was there. All three of us did a great time and finished with an awesome PB. We would all like to acknowledge the huge support we had from husbands/partners/families and support people. The support we have all had has made this fun journey of completing five marathons so much more fun.

Well done if you read it all. Lets see how many can do it next year, start saving now!

Devonport 30/09/2018,

Omaha 02/12/2019,

Orewa 10/02/2019,

Coatsville 17/03/2019,

Waterfront ?14/04/2019 (to be confirmed)

From the Bush

1 July - Tauhara Trail Run Taupo

24 November - Waitetuna Windmill Off Road

8 December - Karioi Trail Run

The Far-Looker

19 May - HRR Memorial Relay

31 May - HRR Dinner Night – Walkers

26 May - Whitianga Half – Inaugural

3 June - Mount Runners/Walkers Half Marathon

3 June - Christchurch Marathon

9/10 June - Tough Guy / Gal – Mud Run Hamilton

10 June - HRR Sunday Run

28 June - HRR Dinner Night – Group 1

1 July - Wellington Marathon

1 July - Gold Coast Marathon

8 July - HRR Sunday Run

4 August - Hoka1 Taupo Half

5 August - Brisbane Marathon

12 August - HRR Sunday Run

25 August - Mt Maunganui Half

8 September - Whangamata Half

16 September - Cambridge Half

22 September - Tauranga Int Marathon

21 to 25 September - Project Raro – HRR International

29 September - Blue Lake Challenge Rotorua

30 September - Hamilton Half

13 October - Ekiden Relay

28 October - Auckland Marathon

28 October - Morrinsville Fun Run

4 November - New York Marathon

18 November - Toi’s Challenge Whakatane

18 November - Round the Bridges

25 November - Percy Lawn Challenge, Te Awamutu

Just remember – The light at the end of the tunnel may well be – A fellow HRR team member

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