Auckland Marathon: has anyone out there run it?
Posted 28 September 2002 - 12:57 AM
I'm contemplating the Auckland Marathon: does anyone have any experience with that event? What is the course like? What sort of conditions can one expect?
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Posted 27 September 2002 - 01:25 PM
I'm heading over to NZ for the Auckland Marathon myself this year. I've never done it before but there is a discussion topic currently running on the CoolRunning NZ message board about the course, distance markers, weather conditions etc.
There's a link to CoolRunning NZ on our CoolRunning site. They call their message board "The Tap" (rhymes with prep).
Posted 27 September 2002 - 03:40 PM
I have run the Auckland Marathon course on the old course (in 1999) when it was 2 laps from Auckland to St. Hilliers and back. The course is essentially dead flat except for a loop over the headland at St. Hilliers to start the return leg of the course. That was my Marathon PB until two weeks ago so its not bad if you like a flat course.
The course now used for the marathon starts north of the harbour and comes into Auckland over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, which is similar to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, except that the approaches are steeper. The Half Marathon and Marathon start together, but the half ends where the old course starts, while the Marathon continues on to do one lap of the old course.
I ran the half on the new course in 2000. The new course (first half of the Marathon course) has quite a few ups and downs and is probably harder than the old course. The other complication is that you have to get the ferry across to the start. I assume that the change was made so that the course would run past the major sponsor's location, though I have heard that the very original course was similar to the current one.
To summarise then, the course starts on the north side. The first half has a fair few hills (also a time cut-off at the Harbour Bridge, but its fairly generous). There is a fairly big hill onto and off of the bridge, but after that it is mostly flat except for the hill at St. Hilliers. The road surface is generally pretty good on the north side of Auckland, and very good south of the city. The organisation is usually excellent, with good facilities, and feels like it is run for the runners. You will find quite a few Australians compete year after year and often stay around for a holiday afterwards.
One thing to watch out for, the weather in Auckland can be very changeable, so be prepared for hot, cold, wet and dry in the same day. It can happen.
Posted 27 September 2002 - 03:57 PM
Posted 27 September 2002 - 11:14 PM
I'm also combining the marathon with a bit of a holiday. Hoping to celebrate a marathon PB with a huge Lake Taupo trout.
Posted 28 September 2002 - 05:44 PM
Posted 13 November 2002 - 01:03 PM
I can report that I did do this marathon, and would recommend it - well organized & friendly atmosphere. As others noted, the first 1/3 of the course is a bit up-and-down, and then it is nice and flat. (ie, pretty much the reverse of Sydney.....will they get the message!).
Posted 13 November 2002 - 04:40 PM
There were plenty of hills in the first 14km but as they were early in the race they weren't too taxing. Overall it was an attractive course with plenty of city views and waterfront sections. Auckland's Harbour Bridge is quite a climb but you get better views than from the one in Sydney. Drink stations were good and distance markers seemed accurate.
Would recommend this race.
Posted 14 November 2002 - 08:07 AM
I'm very pleased that everyone rates the Auckland Marathon, NZ gets such a bagging over here (does in Brisbane at least) but it is one of the worlds best places for running.
Posted 14 November 2002 - 09:48 AM
And did you get the pb? Glad you liked the race, its one of my favourites. The special provision they make for overseas runners helps, too.
It sounds like you guys picked a vintage year. Sorry I missed it.
Posted 14 November 2002 - 10:04 AM
Posted 15 November 2002 - 08:13 AM
I would like to ask Bert what the special provisions for the overseas runners were that he mentioned.
Also I looked thru the results and noticed that a time in the 245 range would have put you in the top ten.
Would people consider this course a fast course.
I would think that this may be the premier marathon in NZ and the sponsor is BMW so I thought it would attract the top NZ runners.
Perhaps there is a clash of dates or something. Anyway it is good to hear all the views on the race
Posted 20 November 2002 - 09:26 AM
The special provisions are things that make it easier for you. For example, if you wish, someone will meet you at the airport and transport you into the city on your arrival. At the race there is a special tent for overseas competitors, with some snacks and drinks provided, and people in attendance to assist with any problems you might have. There is a special provision for overseas competitors in the cutoff numbers for entries.
None of it is too major, and most would be quite feasible for most races, but these people have thought of it and do it. As I said, it feels like a race run by runners for runners.
Try it. I think you'll like it, even if the weather does play up.
Posted 20 November 2002 - 09:59 AM
Thanks very much for your explanation.
These sound like easy things to do for the race directors but they make a big difference to the overseas competitors I,m sure. Here (japan) they have a similar setup for the big races.
I will try this race one day for sure.
Thanks again to take the time to reply to the thread.