Last week, when Hannah and I were in Devonport, we noticed an interesting banner that said, “North Shore Coastal Challenge: March 5th. Run/Walk, Wade, Scramble, Rock-Hop” and we were very intrigued! Upon some research, I learned that the Coastal Challenge was a race along the North Shore, with a 6K run-walk option starting in Takapuna (our favorite beach) and ending in Devonport (our favorite village).
I was sold! Better yet, Hannah agreed to do it with me, too! I had never done a real race before, and since we hadn’t exactly been training, we just decided to stay together, walk whenever we needed to, and just do it for fun 🙂
The morning before the race was sort of a disaster. We woke up this morning to a cloudy, rainy day (but soon we both agreed that it would be much more comfortable than a humid, sunny scorcher!) Then, we learned it was $40 to register on the day of. Ouch! That’s way steep for our college budgets, but we both agreed that we’d regret it if we skipped out. Then, on the bus to Takapuna, we realized that we forgot to eat before we left! All we’d had that morning was an egg, a piece of toast, and a latte. We tried not to panic since it was only 6Ks and I had a granola bar in my pocket…
But I said, “even if we have to walk the whole way, we’ll still be able to say that we walked 6 kilometers of coastline today.” After reaffirming our goals (to finish! to have fun!) We put our “disastrous” morning behind us and got amped up for the race.
At the registration booth, we were given our little trackers to tie on our shoelaces:
This looks sweet and it times your race.
Woot woot! Numbers 974 and 975, all the way!!!!
Before we knew it, it was 12:00–race time! After the blow horn, we were off!
And it was action-packed from the start! Those 6Ks of coastline were composed of all kind of terrain. We were climbing, hopping, and leaping from rocks of all shapes and sizes. Plus, the rocks were slick with seawater, mud, algae, clay, sand, and dirt! We even needed to jump and slide into the water from rocky cliff thingys that we 2-3 meters tall.
Then once in the water, we had to wade through the surf! The water was dark since it was so cloudy, so you had to be extra careful of drop-offs and rocks below the surface! And look how deep!
We had to walk through the rocks and water to keep from falling, but there were plenty of opportunities to run across the sandy stretches in between, so it was super easy to pace ourselves. Some sand was nicely hard and packed, but some of it was soft and loose, too!
The unpredictable terrain was really exciting and fun to trudge through, plus we got to see really cool parts of the coastline that we wouldn’t ever get to see on a regular trip to the beach 😉
The last leg of the race was on a flat, paved path around Devonport: so familiar, so quaint, so safe. We finished off strong!
We completed the 6K challenge in under an hour! (Read about my results here!) It felt so good to cross that finish line. Plus there was all sorts of free stuff!
Beef jerky time! But only because it was free in our goodie bag, lol
Free Sausage Sizzles! (and beer, but we passed, lol)
Tired and dirty, I was still psyched on the ferry ride home! I was so proud of us for undertaking such an adventure while doing something so good for our bodies, and it makes me crave another race! I will have so many memories from today. It was (and probably always will be!) one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.
And I’ll have my number from my first race forever. Time to start collecting some more!