ING New York Marathon 2011…

Over 47 thousand people would cross this bridge.... but not all would make it to the finish line...

Back in 2011 on Sunday the 6th of November I joined over 47,000 other runners in the ING New York Marathon.

Those that kept up with my training blogs and videos watched me go through the many ups, and then downs from injuries, which in the end meant my training all but stopped 5 weeks out from the actual marathon.  Not ideal, but that’s how it rolls, so we just get on with it.

New York is an exciting place to be!

So here I was in New York, the city that never sleeps, a very exciting place to be, as it turns out too exciting!  I realize now that the night before the race is not the time to have too much fun.

Unfortunately, upon our return to the hotel we popped into the lounge bar.  I of course, with a race to run the next day was to  have a non-alcoholic drink.  Everyone knows that drinking before a race is not advised as it certainly won’t help you run the next day.   But alas I spied what looked like a rather scrummy cocktail called  the ‘Stress Reliever’.  Fantastic I thought, I’ll only have one; famous last words!

I ran along the bottom section of the bridge, a lot less people!

The next morning when I awoke at 5.15 am I certainly didn’t feel like getting up (for obvious reasons).  But this was not a day to lounge in bed, it was a day to run a marathon.  However, I did make a note to self… never drink before a race again!

I grabbed my gear and made my way down to the lobby where a group of us walked a short distance to catch the buses which would take us out to the starting point.

So many people!

The bus ride seemed to take forever and lurch over every bump…. but maybe that was just me in my fragile state.  Once we were cruising over the Brooklyn Bridge I knew it wouldn’t be long before we got to see where the start line would be.

After the bus dropped us off, it was a short walk to the entrance point.  Once we were cleared by the security officers we we made our way to the designated start areas.   The officials had erected a big TV screen so as we waited we would be able to see our wave come up to tell us when to make our way to the starting pens.

The officials had everything running like clockwork and I thought the needs of the runners were catered for extremely well.  There were loads of portaloos and due to the nature of the day, people were happy to talk to complete strangers as they waited in the coolness of the morning.

To combat the morning chills I had popped out the night before and bought two bright yellow towels and I utilized the plastic poncho from home.  They did their job and were very easy to dispose of later on.  It’s good to note that if you are a first time runner you have to hand your bag to the trucks quite early on, so the articles of clothing you are left wearing you either run in, or leave by the side of the road.

I had a quiet wait as I sat there contemplating what was ahead of me.  I had decided the night before that I wouldn’t wear my iPod and I am so pleased I made that decision.  The bands and people around the course were amazing and I would have been disappointed to have missed the energy they created.

Here we come....

Before I knew it, I was standing on the Brooklyn side of the bridge ready to go.  My fragile physical state aside, I was excited about the prospect of seeing so many boroughs of New York.

As we began our run, they played ‘New York, New York!’ an excellent motivator for what was to lay ahead…..

Not Everyone Makes A Good Leader….

Do I think everyone makes a good leader?  No I do not.  Do I think everyone has leadership potential?  Yes I do, with the right training combined with the ability to reflect on the way a person communicates with others.  My views may have you jumping up and down at the mere suggestion that not everyone makes a good leader, and so I invite you to read on and watch the video below.

Let me shed some light on why I believe not everyone makes a good leader.   For the past 20 years I have worked for several bosses, a.k.a. ‘leaders’.  Some have been awful, some moderate and a couple inspiring.   Over the years I have noticed that many managers have arrived to their position by a natural progression of attainment.  People often end up as leaders or managers because they have been in a role for so long and or show a high level of competence at it; and I commend them for this level of achievement in their given role.

I’ve also worked with some very educated people, as in they have many letters after their name, who are also very competent, and at times outstanding in their knowledge.  BUT… being a leader is not about how you complete a task, nor is it about the letters after your name.  Being a good leader goes beyond this.

Imagine for a moment that we have been put into a leadership role.  To lead effectively it makes sense to understand the role of a leader and of course some of the key qualities needed to be effective.   So let’s put on our leadership hat for a moment.  Imagine yourself in the current role you hold, but you are now the ‘manager’.  Below are some of the key qualities a leader must be able to demonstrate if they are to have any hope at inspiring their colleagues to work to their potential, which of course benefits the business or area we manage.  And to keep us honest let’s also pretend the staff that we are managing answer the questions about us:

  • Is your manager trustworthy?
  • Are they self aware about their impact on you and others?
  • Do you they treat you with respect by treating you positively?
  • Is your manager excited about life and ready to keep on learning?
  • Are they confident and believe in themselves?
  • Does your manager have the ability to keep themselves and the team focused on the goal?
  • Can your manager break a task into manageable steps and make progress towards it?
  • Are they committed to excellence?

How do you think your colleagues would rate you?  Did you pass?  As nice as it is to know that we have some of these qualities I can tell you that I did not learn most of these skills at school, nor at University.   I developed these skills from living life, taking chances, setting big goals and achieving them, listening to others, getting excited about topics and researching them for interest, sharing my knowledge with others just because if felt good and MOST importantly having a few amazing mentors (good leaders) that showed me how to do things better or some would say, more tactfully; the ability to get on with others to reach a common goal.

What I am trying to demonstrate is that a leader is only as good as their ability to get on with people and inspire them using their personality and sound people strategies to attain success.  They are also people who consistently use words of kindness, appreciation and encouragement to inspire loyalty, enthusiasm and a team spirit.

How many mangers have you worked for that have given this to you?

If you have been as lucky as I have to experience this on more than one occasion, then like me you will have gone beyond what you thought you were capable of achieving.  If you have not yet experienced a good manager, maybe it is time to find a new job or business opportunity where you can be that leader for yourself and the people who work with you.

2012 is just around the corner…. what is your year going to look like?

Come and join me on:

Hold On To Your Dreams

It is so important to Hold On To Your Dreams and tonight I was reminded once again how the support of loved ones makes it easier to work towards making our dreams a reality.

Now I am not generally one for keeping cards but as I tidied my room (which is always a rather epic event), I found birthday cards from my mum given to me over the past two years.

As I sat and reread them I was filled with love because the cards and written sentiments clearly demonstrated to me that my mum gets me.  It was one of those moments where I really appreciated having a mother that after everything we have been through is still there, who accepts and encourages me.  Pretty special.

I asked my mum if I could share these two cards with you and she was okay with it – thanks mum 🙂


"Don't go through life.... grow through it."


I had to giggle when I took in both pictures… mum managed to find cards that represented the way I used to interact with her.  I was very prickly and difficult or loving and friendly.  The choice of cards were unique to our relationship, where she found them I’ll never know as I haven’t seen them in any bookstores or shops I’ve been to.



Whether it is your mum. dad, family member or good friend, they know and should support you in a way that builds a strong self worth.  We need to have a stable self esteem with all the choices that come along each and every day.  How we feel about ourselves will often dictate what decision we will make.

Hold on to your dreams, trust yourself because you have everything inside you right now to succeed…. and remember to begin…. we all start somewhere.

Hail In Waipawa?

This week had me staying with some awesome friends at their place in Waipawa, New Zealand.  For those that have no idea where this township can be found, it is about a five minute drive from Waipukurau in the Hawkes Bay.

It turns out that Mother Nature wanted to make herself known so decided to throw a hail storm.  Check out some of the photographs taken just before the storm broke….

Hail is brewing up in those clouds....
Dark, dark clouds...

Here is a video of the hail storm making itself known…..

Xmas Time At Hope & Glory….

Believe it or not Christmas is just around the corner and if you are still in a mad rush to find that perfect present for a loved one then make sure you pop in to Hope & Glory on the main street in Greytown, Wairarapa.

Below is a selection of yummy goodies you can lay your hands on…. and if you want to purchase something online make sure you click on this link: Hope & Glory

Happy shopping!

For The Unsuspecting...
Man Stuff To Make Him Smile....
Comfort & Style...
Cards For Every Occasion....
A Touch Of Class...
Fun & Funky....
Delicate & Devine...
Something Soft....
Humour Is Everything!
Pamper Your Skin...
Natural Skincare.....
Cuff Links With An Edge...
Great for baking with the kids....
Vintage, Practical & Affordable...

ING New York Marathon Results 2011

Here are my ING New York Marathon Results 2011

I’m pleased to report I did in fact finish the marathon held in New York on the 6th November 2012.  It was a rather long slog around the course, with lots of bridges to cross.  The crowd was amazing and I would highly recommend anyone thinking of completing a marathon to put this on your to do list.  The crowd are so supportive and help motivate you around the course.

I have included some photographs taken by a friend who came over to enjoy the marathon festivities without actually having to run it – a very wise woman indeed!

The end is only 250 yards away... I can almost taste it...
So close.... and so ready for it to be over...
A celebration dinner at the end of the day.... I could still walk... just!

If you find the pictures below too hard to read then click on the photo and it should take you to the original URL source.

ING New York Marathon Results 2011

Full Race Breakdown
Run Summary