AD) Run fails shared by runners – We hope to save you from!


Simon Cochrane, shares some fails he has experienced. Based in the Bay of Plenty, Simon is an elite endurance athlete who is an official pacer for the 3-hour group racing this year’s event. He is using this year’s event to pace as a training run in the lead up to an ultra-marathon in Wellington in July. He reckons there might only be about five people racing at this hot pace and so he hopes to help them all through. Simon is a top NZ athlete. He came 3rd in the Tarawera 100km Ultra in February. He has had 5 international podium placings over the Ironman distance in his careers and has raced the World Champs in Hawaii. At the Rotorua Marathon event previously, he has placed 2nd in a half marathon (1hr 13 mins) and won the 10km event (34 mins). He is a coach too through his business, Athletic Peak Coaching. Here are four of his all time run fails below:  

  1. Getting lost on a training run and running 20km further than planned in the middle of Summer with no water or phone reception. Ps this gaffe is unlikely to happen to anyone at the Rotorua Marathon event as there are lots of signs and experienced marshals on the official race day.
  2. Biting off more than he could chew. “I ran the 84km Timber Trail at night (a night run)… despite never having trained at night prior. “So I’ve learnt to train for the conditions”.
  3. “During the Ironman Wisconsin in 2013 I tried some different nutrition on the race and I needed to go to the bathroom way too many times! So I learnt to take my own fuel for future races because you can’t always trust what will be offered out on the course. It was lucky it wasn’t a city event and I was running through trails!”
  4. Ironman Taiwan was 42 degrees and I didn’t put any sunscreen on. “I think I’ve still got some scars from that. I was burnt anywhere that wasn’t covered by a tri-suit”.

Mikki Williden, PhD, registered nutritionist and seasoned runner. Mikki is the 2005 Rotorua champion. She has an impressive personal best marathon time of 2hr 55 mins at Auckland where she nabbed a 4th placing in 2010. Check out a Mikkipedia podcast where she interviewed Kathrine Switzer.

  1. “Don’t try something new on race morning! I made this fatal mistake in 2010 Christchurch marathon, leading to a DNF at 40k because my digestive tract had other ideas. That confirmed for me that dried apricots were not a goer for me pre-race. A mistake that, as a registered nutritionist, I probably shouldn’t have made, but we all live and learn!”
  2. Different Christchurch race (2003) – “I turned up on the day before to wear tights but the weather report was 30-degrees so I had to run to Rebel and buy a pair of shorts and got the worst chafing: Try to remember to be prepared for all conditions! You just never know.”

James Crosswell, age 71, plumber from Opotiki who is part of the Rotorua Marathon Survivors’ Club (this club includes runners who have done more than 15 Rotorua Marathon events to be an official member). He will run his 44th Rotorua Marathon this year (among almost 100 marathons in total). His fastest marathon is 2hr 52 mins at Rotorua previously. Last year he ran this event in 5hr 20 mins (he now walks and runs so he doesn’t put too much pressure on his heart, he says). He loves the Rotorua Marathon event for the “camaraderie” and all the “like minds who run it”. Here are his run fail shares:

  1. Getting too carried away at the start. “You feel fresh and excited and you can go like the clappers to Ngongotaha… but then you pay for it later on!”
  2. Forgetting to do the water stops early on in marathons. “The first 2-3 water stops are vital to get water on board and not get dehydrated later on. If you don’t have enough water…. you can lose your mental ability a little!”
  3. Not taking enough care at work leading up to race day “which saw me injured for a marathon and I felt the impact of running that event with every step”.

Rachel Grunwell, Rotorua Marathon ambassador and 25 x marathoner, who has conquered 4 x Rotorua Marathons including guiding disabled athletes through three of these races. Rachel is a qualified run coach who helps mums who want to learn how to be on-the-run. She’s just a “real-girl kind of runner” with a fastest marathon time of 4hr 06 minutes. Rachel is the author of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness

  1. Going out too fast too soon on my first marathon – the Auckland Marathon event. “I learnt that hitting the wall feels like hell and when this happens at 32km it hurts the body (and ego) HARD. I did this once and thankfully learnt my lesson. Please trust me that this mistake is worth avoiding.” 
  2. Having race bib magnets (instead of pins) that decided to spontaneously clump together seconds before the start gun of the Villa Maria 10km race this year. My cold paws couldn’t unbunch them quick enough and so I asked my mate Tess who was beside me at the time to chuck me one of her pins so I could secure my bib somehow. This left me trying to run at the start while pinning on a bib at the same time. Tess ended up beating me in that race by about a minute- possibly the time I took to sort my *hit out with that gaffe🤣. She has bragging rights now for beating me and it’s my own stupid fault!” 🤣
  3. Wearing yoga socks which had pressure pads under my socks in a Rotorua Marathon 42km distance one year. This hurt with every step. I ended up running like I was on hot coals. So trial your race gear prior!
  4. Not applying Vaseline in a few half-marathons. The chaffing has brought me to tears every time when I go to shower…. for days afterwards. Ouch. You’d think I would have learnt that lesson once, but nope… I’ve repeated it!”