I have never run a marathon. And to be honest I've never really given the idea any consideration at all.
It's just not me! But I certainly have plenty of admiration for those people who have and do compete.
Training for something like a marathon would be intense, with a pretty strict timeline to go with it. So tough at the best of times, but even tougher in a year like we are having right now!
Finally the 2020 edition of the Rotorua Marathon is all go this weekend, with the alert level change coming just in the nick of time for all those competitors (except Aucklanders of course). I will be on the mic at the start line on what is always a pretty cool day for our city. I am looking forward to cheering on a number of family and friends who are taking part this year, and look forward to sharing the day with all locals and visitors alike.
The move down to alert level 1 is perfect for the marathon, and also the wider Rotorua business community. With school holidays starting this weekend, I am sure our region is set for a bumper two weeks.
I don't know whether it is just me, but in the couple of days since the change, it just feels that much more refreshing walking around town and into our various retail and hospitality areas.
There are no road cones and barriers slowing us and directing us in various directions. Oh the freedom. But while we can enjoy that newfound freedom once again, we do still need to be vigilant. I think we all got a bit complacent the last time we were in level 1, and we must keep on using the tracer app. Yesterday I had two people laugh at me "checking in" - not the right attitude at all.
On a related note, a letter in the Daily Post earlier this week from a Tauranga writer did make me think of the saying "The grass is always greener on the other side".
She wrote; "I have just visited Rotorua. Why is it that they can get their city shopping centre right? At lunchtime on a Saturday I could not find a car park, the streets were very busy with people with shopping bags, free parking."
I have always been happy to stand up for our CBD, and yes, right now I can see the extra empty shops following the coronavirus lockdowns and a struggling economy.
But for all those negative nellies who are ready to knock the CBD at the slightest little thing. This is a reminder that other people do like our city, we all just need to be positive about it too.
Did you know September is Bee Aware Month, and the theme for 2020 is "Bee A Hero". So during September, we are asked to "Bee a Hero" and take some steps at home to help bees.
And thanks to Comvita, I'm giving you the chance to win a $500 package that includes a 1kg tub of delicious mānuka honey worth $114 on its own! Listen to The Hits Rotorua between 9am and 3pm for the rest of the month to play. The answer is always "bee"!
I will reveal a fact about bees and give you some multi-choice answers. Comvita has been beekeeping since 1974 and plays a very active role in supporting the sustainability of New Zealand's environment. They're a local Bay of Plenty business working to encourage Kiwis to take simple actions to ensure a thriving environment for our bees.
Paul Hickey is the host of the locally based 9am-3pm show on The Hits Rotorua 97.5FM. Follow on Facebook The Hits Rotorua and on Twitter @paulhickeynz