Cook Islands Quest 100

Posted by martin.parnell |

Next Events:

Marathon Quest: Book launch

  • Saturday, Sept. 29th 2012. 1pm to 4pm.

  • Location: Bentley's Books, Cochrane, Alberta

TriOil-Soccer Quest 42 (Quest #5)

  • Friday Oct. 5th 6.00pm to Sunday Oct. 7th noon 2012

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

At 9.00pm on Friday September 21st I was standing next to a large number "24" painted on the road on the Island of Rarotonga in the Pacific Ocean. It was raining and I had 100km to run. A small group of people stood on the side of the road and counted down "5,4,3,2,1" and I was off. This was the start to my fourth Quest and as I headed into the night, with my headlight throwing a dim spot on the road, I knew it was going to be a long night.

The Round Rarotonga Road Race is 31kms so I had to do three loops plus 7 kms to make the 100km. Every km was marked on the road and I soon passed markers "25" and "26". The rain was continuous and my socks and shoes became soaked. I knew this was going to cause big problems later on. I reached marker "0" after 45 minutes and I was feeling wet but good. Only three loops to go.

The island has a public bus system. On the front of the bus it says "Clockwise" or Anti-Clockwise". To be honest it really doesn't matter as there is on wrong way. All roads lead to Rome. There is another bus service that I had been told about: The Party Bus. The first one passed me at 11.00pm. This is the pub crawl bus. The strobe lights were flashing and techno pop was pounding out from the interior. This is actually a great idea as it stops drinking and driving.

I was told to be aware of the number of dogs. However I have to say that the island has the friendliest dogs I have ever met. They seem to practice "Adopt-a-Visitor". I had met several people who had had dogs befriend them. They weren't aggressive or pushy just friendly. I made a friend on my first loop at km 15. He trotted next to me for 20 minutes then turned around. I would meet him again on my next two loops.

I completed my first loop in 3hrs 50 mins and at the start point Val joined me. Val and Harold had signed up for Cook Island Quest 100 and had been fund raising for Right To Play. This would be Val's longest run, twice round the island, but she had been training hard. I was starting to slow down as my feet were turning to prunes and beginning to blister. Our objective was to get around the island, to the start line, by 5.30am the start of the official race but I knew this was slipping away. I told Val to go on but she stuck with me.

We arrived at the start line at 6.45am and everyone had gone. Val went ahead and I started to walk. My feet were fried and I was starting to fall asleep on my feet. Then an angel arrived. Her name was Toru and I had met her at a Rotary Club meeting the previous Wednesday. She saw the condition I was in and asked if I like a coffee and chocolate bar? I would run 100km for a coffee and chocolate bar. Soon the sugar and caffeine kicked in and I started to feel better.

As we continued walking around the final loop she picked bananas off the trees and feed me. She got me a coconut, made a hole in it and I drank the water. The rain continues and I was losing body heat big time. I was starting to shiver. I asked Toru if she had a jacket I could use and another miracle, she pulled a wind proof hoody out of her back pack. It was a little short in the arms but fitted around the body.

At 1.15pm we saw the "30" km marker on the road. Only one km to go. Thank heavens. As I shuffled across the finish line a small group of supporter cheered me in. I was given a flower lay, an engraved shell medal and another coconut to drink. Rarotonga is an amazing island with amazing people. Thank you.

Quote of the Day

"A true leader walks his talk"

Adity sarvjeet Bhalla

Enjoying coconut water during Cook Islands Quest 100 on Rarotonga

Cook Islands Quest 100

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