Each year the NOW Consulting team converge on Home Bay on Motutapu Island to enter The Dual, a multi-sport event to raise money for the Motutapu Restoration Trust, a charity working to turn Motutapu into a kiwi sanctuary. It's a great day where participants can enter a range of different sporting events in the morning and then spend a wonderful afternoon sitting in the sun by the sea, listening to the band, chatting to friends and taking the occasional dip in the water.
This was a record year for the NOW team with a whopping twenty seven entries.
It was a stunning day, perfect beach weather. Not so great for running and cycling. As someone who entered the half marathon, I can vouch for the fact that running through hot scoria in the midday sun is quite a tough ask in the heat. Not to mention the 550m of ascent that takes you up Rangitoto and over the rather larger hills on Motutapu.....twice.
In previous years at least one person has either missed their race or fallen off their bike during the descent down Rangitoto. This year is the first year in a while that was incident free, at least for the sporting event side of things anyway.
There are so many good stories from this years event that I can only regale you with a few. The first, a nod to this years Dual man of steel - Hennie. On Wednesday, Hennie took his dog to the beach for a walk and decided to go kiwi style. In his bare feet, walking along the sand, he managed to take a pretty large chunk out of the sole of his foot by standing on a sharp shell fragment. Most people would have taken the opportunity to back graciously out of the event but not Hennie. Not only did Hennie turn up for and finish his event, his event was the half marathon. His first half marathon. And on a day like Saturday, he was dressed entirely in black! That is a recipe for pain. Well done Hennie, you are this years man of steel. This isn't an award we give out every year, we just felt with that sort of commitment, we needed an award to mark the occasion!
By 1pm most of the NOW team had finished their races and were enjoying a well earned drink, sitting in the sun outside the NOW Consulting tent. We spent the afternoon swimming and catching up on everything except work. A wonderful afternoon spent with friends. And then we noticed something in the distance.
Rain. It was 4pm and the more sensible of the NOW team had already taken the ferry home. What was left was a hodge podge group; a GM of Consulting, several Principals, a handful of Consultants and a lone Marketing person. Due to the demand, return ferries need to be pre-booked, so as the rain descended upon us, there was a mad rush to get the last 4pm or 4:30pm ferry tickets back to Auckland. Due to low tides, the next ferries were at 5:45pm and 6pm, quite a wait.
Enter lucky Leo and Ron. Sitting happily in their chairs, pleased to have had the forethought to book themselves on the 4:30pm ferry. The rain arrived at 4:20pm, coming down in force. It was at this point, while the rest of us, now sitting inside the tent staring out into the rain, we were wondering how we would pass the time to the 5:45pm ferry, that Ron said 'I've got to go queue to board the ferry in this! I'm going to get soaked. I bet the second we leave it will brighten up again for your guys'. With dark and stormy clouds this seemed unlikely.
And yet sometimes strange things do happen. By 5pm the clouds had passed and the sun was out. It was a little bit wet under foot but not as wet as Ron and Leo on the ferry. Unlucky guys.
To end, I will leave you with what is, to anyone who raced on Saturday, the most beautiful sight they saw. The top of the hill, looking down at the finish line. Until next year.