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Today marked the annual Auckland Marathon – New Zealand’s biggest marathon that starts at Devonport on the North Shore, heads into the CBD, out of it to the east bays and back into the CBD again. The more popular half Marathon also takes a similar journey, ending in the CBD rather than continuing on.

For a number of years now I have got back into entering such events, and for the Auckland Marathon, this was my third half, also doing the full marathon several years previous. I think I can firmly say its also my least training half marathon (literally having about 4 runs over the last 3 weeks to get prepared).

There is always an energetic buzz of excitement and nervousness as we count down to begin. Some people are entering for the first time, unsure what to expect, others are old hats, clear what they are getting themselves into. As the first 3-5km pass I run by a number of people who have unfortunately taken off to strong and ended up pulling muscles or twisting joints. The local residents turn out in the mass cheering people on. We hear towards the harbour bridge crossing and the number of runners chatting dies as breaths become louder and faster. The final 3 km’s are torture – not just because the legs want to stop for a walk, but because the sun is fully up, and we are running past the tank farms – local storage of petrol, diesel and the like. Then you finish!

I would have loved to take more images, but this is one such outing where I needed to focus on the goal. I was quite pleased that with limited training, I didn’t stop once throughout the race, and although not a personal best, it was closer to that side than the other. My legs wont be thanking me for it tomorrow though…well they are already complaining!

Image wise, I played around with how to combine and display the ‘in front’ and ‘behind’ me groups, but in the end simply settled on combining the two with a simple boarder divide. They were the only two I snapped as we waited for the countdown. I also added a cross-process filter which helped give the blown out white sky in the left photo a bit of a golden tone.

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