350 participants fronted up for either the 2km for kids; or 10km and 21km for those wanting to run or walk.

BClaire and Lisa lined up amongst the punters to step out another 10km run to add to their lengthy list of kilometre-age trodden resume.

Mark (Lisa’s hubby) and I are always there in support to watch.  Cheer then on.  Clap them in.  To capture that moment of crossing the finish line.  It’s an important role we are tasked with and take it very seriously.  Sure, we have missed them come in a couple of times.  They’re quick in their old age.  Besides, our sport at each event is to sample ‘eggs benedict’ through frequenting different location eateries.  All sports magazines promote eating and hydration during events, ahem!

The event this time, the Kaikoura Whale run held by a little Kaikoura School just north of the township, a two-hour drive north of Christchurch.  It’s a fun event fund raiser designed to encourage folk to have a ‘get fit’ project over winter to feel great for the summer.  For BClaire and Lisa, it breaks the monotony of getting up under the cover of darkness weekdays to puff it out around Hagley every other morning.

Mark and I don’t attend those!

It was a spectacular view with the nose pointed north towards the steep rise of the Kaikoura Ranges.  Furthermore, it was a landscape that was forever changed back on the 14th November 2016 when at two minutes after midnight, Kaikoura was rocked by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

The sea bed rose over two metres exposing wildlife that lived just below the tide line.  Mountain sides are scared from earth slips.  We had to take an inland route because the old coastal route in parts has only recently become passable.

For BClaire and I personally, Kaikoura holds dear to our hearts.  We got engaged and then returned to place rings on fingers and tie the knot, getting married at the Winery overlooking the South Bay.  Our stage included the mighty Kaikoura Ranges.  Fifteen years ago.  Strewth time flies when you are having fun.

A whale fun run at that, where there were no whales running!  I did snap the girls though.   And the eggs bene was okay ya’know!

To bump into an old mates’ brother from yesteryear at the event was a bonus.  It was at their Dad’s funeral back in 2012 that sowed the seed for me to become a funeral and marriage celebrant.

BClaire and Lisa befriended another runner (similar age) who with her husband, downsized their life to be nomads travelling around our country in a caravan, parking up whenever they feel enough tarseal has been driven, so as to explore.  Another bonus meeting like-minded minimalists.

It’s a small world.  Perhaps a signal that it’s time to renew our vows.  Know any good celebrants?

Kia Ora Kaikoura.  Warm thoughts for a speedy recover.  Full kudos to the orange jackets making that possible as well.

All un-sung heroes.