Wonderful race, great organization! (about: 2010)|
J. P. from Salt Lake City, USA (3/18/10)
4-5 previous marathons
| 1 Buller Marathon
I ran the Buller to complete my 3rd continent - on a quest for all seven. The organizers do an amazing job: mile markers every mile (well, kilometers, but you get the idea); plenty of water and sports drinks along the way, which is fantastic because I normally would have taken my own water belt and it's nice not to have extra weight; the volunteers were very spirited and did their bit to cheer us on; and the after-race stuff at the tent was great. The fact it was almost a monsoon at the beginning only added to everyone's sense of camaraderie - it was still relatively warm rain - and it really reinforced the volunteers' dedication. I was told that normally one would worry about heat and humidity, but again, it's all relative to what you're used to. The temperature on the day was perfect for running (at least for me) and probably averaged around a 60F (15C).
The course is mildly "rolling," but I wouldn't consider it hilly - no major climbs, which is nice. Once you hit the turn-around, it's a shot back down to Westport. The only problem is for support (family, friends) of the runners. You can drive up the gorge, as the course is open to traffic, but patience is required. I'd say that 99% of the drivers were really respectful of the runners. Otherwise just tell folks you'll see 'em at the finish line and you'll find you get cheered on plenty anyway. Fellow runners, like at most marathons, are friendly and help pass the miles. Overall, I'm very happy to have done it and would highly recommend it. NZ is a beautiful place and the locals are among the friendliest anywhere.