Not long after the sun rose, two women set off on separate journeys, but with one goal in mind — run a marathon.
Both had lots of training miles under their belts, after following separate programmes, but they knew the 42.2km distance was not to be underestimated.
Anything could happen over the gruelling distance from hitting the dreaded wall, sudden injury, mental demons and more.
Cath Braddock and Anita Titter had entered the Wellington Marathon, which was supposed to have happened on Sunday, October 10, but the waterfront event was cancelled a week out because of the Government's ongoing alert level restrictions.
Just because the official marathon was canned didn't mean they had to forgo having a crack at the distance.
So on the day when it was meant to have happened, they met at Cath's Waikanae Beach house and set off at 7.30am along a prepared route between Peka Peka and Raumati South.
Each would take it at their own pace as they navigated various pathways and encountered strong winds.
There were no crowds lining the way cheering them on, only a small support group of family and friends.
Cath knew the hard yards that lay ahead because this would her second marathon attempt.
When the Wellington Marathon was postponed at the end of June, because of the Covid alert levels, and rescheduled to October, she decided to run the distance locally, registering a time of 3h 37m.
And Anita did her own half marathon locally, clocking in at just over two hours.
This time Cath wanted to crack a certain time mark while Anita simply wanted to run her first marathon in whatever time it took, especially as it was on a list of things she wanted to achieve before she turns 40 next year.
Both had done lots of hard training with Cath following a programme by Nic Ayson and often running with others, while Anita followed a programme by her cousin and trained solo.
They would often talk about the upcoming challenge when they bumped into each other at Paraparaumu College where Cath is head of learning support and Anita is head of English.
On the big day they set off together before wishing each other luck and settling into their own pace.
Kilometre by kilometre was ticked off along the route where at various points Ayson, Cath's husband Mike, her mother Mary and Anita's husband Cam cheered them on.
"It was definitely a team effort," Cath said.
"We didn't need any hydration or food because we carried it all with us but they were there for awesome support."
Cath, who after her first marathon had the words 'I can go the distance 2021' tattooed on her foot, arrived back home in 3h 25m.
"I was rapt because I had this goal of getting under three and a half hours.
"I was just so happy and proud of myself. I said I would never run a marathon and now I've done two."
By the 30km mark Anita was really struggling with a head wind adding to the discomfort.
"Thirty-six kilometres was my longest training run but at 30km my legs were starting to cramp, I was really hot and I couldn't fathom it because it had never happened to me before in any of the long runs I had done.
"So I hydrated very quickly and took a couple of blocks [like a chewy jube]."
Grimly she soldiered on and was buoyed by the support in those never-ending final kilometres.
And then she finished at Cath's house "absolutely knackered and completely elated all at the same time".
Both have had their Wellington Marathon entry transferred to next year but are having a well-earned break before making a commitment to it.