The 2017 Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon was a first for Marlborough woman Kat Duggan, not only doing our race, but doing a half marathon full stop. She wrote a blog about what it was like to compete in the race, and to tick running a half off her bucket list. Here’s what she had to say.
As a Marlborough local, I didn’t think there was much of the region I hadn’t yet seen, but now I realise I’d saved the best for last when I took part in the 2017 Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon.
After the initial excitement amongst the first wave of hybrid runners, we spilled out onto O’Dwyer’s Rd, where a peaceful silence seemed to fall.
Closed off to the traffic, all I could hear was the patter of feet as they hit the ground, and the sound of birds chirping us along from the trees above.
Fuelled by the goodies in my race pack, the chill in the air was soon forgotten as I discovered I’d made an excellent choice of race for my first half marathon.
Thanks to the generous property owners in the area, almost the entire course was off-road; and running the race was like seeing my hometown through a whole new set of eyes.
Instead of looking down onto those rows of autumn gold, like so many times before, I was running amongst them, taking in the stunning sights of the Richmond Ranges, Wither Hills and clear blue skies all from within the leaves.
It was easy to get lost within the vines, and for much of the run I wasn’t exactly sure where I was, adding to the exhilarating freedom that comes with a run.
When I emerged from the vines I made my way up onto the bank of the Wairau River, taking in views of the river and mountains to one side, and the endless golden vines on the other.
Amazing musicians, delicious treats, PeakFuel and awesome supporters spurred us on from start to finish, with barely a couple of kilometres between surprises (including Sauv Blanc sorbet!).
Six months ago, “going for a run” wasn’t a sentence in my vocabulary; the half marathon went on my “bucket list” as a one-off task to tick off.
Tick it off I did, and thanks to the Vineyard Half, I can honestly say I now like running. In fact, I’ve just signed up to do it all again in the 2018 Vineyard Half!