During my travels in New Zealand I have never been interested in spending money on tourist attractions. The first tourist expenditure came last month when I paid to see wild penguins, which was an amazing experience. The second tourist expenditure was last week when I paid to ride on the TSS Earnslaw with my work friends. It was a 45 minute ride across the lake on one of the oldest operational steam boats in the world, followed by a buffet meal in an exceptionally beautiful location, and then a return sail back to Queenstown. The boat journey was fun and it was nice to hang out with work friends outside of work. The buffet was very non-vegan (I don't believe I've mentioned yet that I am vegan now, I have been since June) but I was able to get a special cooked vegan meal thanks to a good friend working as a waitress in the restaurant. The food was excellent and the scenery stunning. We had a small awards ceremony for work and I was super surprised to be awarded best coworker, I had no idea that was going to happen! I've said it before but I'm so glad to work where I am. A thoroughly enjoyed evening out.
Now then, Queenstown marathon! I've been counting down the days until the marathon for months and finally the day arrived. Not many nerves but a high bar of expectations. I was confident (and still am) that I can run a 3 hour 20 minute marathon but it turns out this wasn't the time for me to do it. The route was surprisingly brutal, and I'd run 90% of it before the marathon so I knew it well. My energy levels were excellent and my fitness too, but by halfway my leg muscles started to feel pretty rough. It's not usually an issue I have so I will have to figure out why it happened this time and what I can do to prevent the same issue in the future. I finished comfortably under 4 hours (3 hours 47 minutes) which was a new personal best. No lasting aches or pains from the marathon after two day, I'm feeling ready to get back into normal running already. I think I'd like to attempt a personal best 10km and half marathon on the next few weeks. I'm super proud of my friends who also ran the marathon or half marathon and all finished with great times. Chris, Jan, Connor and Ariana all got to experience large organised running events for the first time and I think they all want to do it again! I feel like a proud father.
I plan to try something new in the next few weeks, fastpacking. Hiking and ultra running combined to create the perfect recipe for an amazing adventure. Updates to come.