Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Karen writes: How to turn an event into a holiday.

Last weekend I did something unusual for me. I checked the training programme, it said '2km swim, run 20km', then I ignored it completely.  On Saturday a friend and I took our respective daughters into Auckland city to stay in a hotel on the waterfront for a Sunday event, the Sculpt 6km walk/run.  We had decided we would stay overnight rather than drive in horribly early in the morning and have to worry about parking etc.

Anyway, Saturday afternoon was spent firstly with some urgent city road-safety training for our country town girls then checking in at the Queens Wharf registration for race numbers and goodie bags. Then we wandered along the Auckland waterfront. There is the coolest playground at the Viaduct with a sea theme, well worth a look. The girls climbed climbing things, rolled down a fake grass bank, spun on spinning things and had to be retrieved, slightly damp, from the shallow water feature. There are lovely cafes and restaurants on wharf type structures with amazing outlooks, plus just admiring all of the assorted floating things from raft to massive cruise-ship was pure entertainment.  I especially loved the concept of the shipping container reading room, full of books and beanbags, you could sit and read looking out to sea.

Everyone got some sleep in spite of the excitement of staying 6 floors up in a strange hotel room then Sunday morning rolled along and we were up early and walked down the road for a non-performance breakfast before our event. Race numbers were pinned on shirts, then we joined up with the crowd of thousands of women all there for the same thing.

We had a warm-up, lots of arm waving and hip movement stuff facilitated by an enthusiastic instructor (senior daughter was apparently embarrassed by her mother) and then we walked. Best laid plans with daughters saying "we would like to run", yeah right, Tui moment, we walked.  But it was a beautiful day, the sun shining, lots to see, people to talk to, an hour 25 to do 6km and we crossed the finish line.  This was followed by some good old-fashioned Queen Street window-shopping, a stop at a food-hall, then home. That's how you make a holiday out of an event.