The cancellation of the Auckland Marathon, which was to have taken place at the end of last month, was a disappointment that Suzanne Cockayne of Manly took on the chin.
It was to have been the 46-year-old’s first full marathon (42.2km) and she had been training for it since July.
“I decided to find a way to do the marathon in lockdown – I didn’t want all that training to go to waste,” she says.
As an RPM instructor at the Stanmore Bay Pool & Leisure Centre, Suzanne is no stranger to the high cardio environment.
She has also run a couple of half marathons – a good run at the Rotorua Half in May is what inspired her to have a go at the Auckland Marathon.
However, she is quick to say that marathons are tough, and even for a fit person it was no doddle.
“One of the hardest things was staying motitivated because when we went into lockdown, I was doing the big training runs by myself,” she says.
“Marathons are about endurance. I never thought I could run more than 21km, so building up to be able to push through and double that was a mind challenge. There were definitely times when I thought about pulling out.”
The chosen course was around Ōrewa and Millwater to Ōrewa walkway – a 21km loop which she did twice.
Experienced marathon runners Neville Modlin and Darren James offered to accompany Suzanne and ended up doing the full distance with her.
Other friends joined for part of the run, and also provided support crew.
“It was a good day and I was very thankful to have my running friends with me – that’s what made the day special.”
Suzanne says the next challenge is a Half Ironman in January, and, of course, next year’s Auckland Marathon.