Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Abel Tasman Classic Sept 2010

I had been looking forward to this run for some time and my training had been coming along nicely. Sadly come Thursday evening prior to the event a storm the size of Australia decided to hit the country. Thankfully the Abel Tasman region missed the worst of it and the boats were able to ferry all 250 runners to the start line. This break in the weather didn’t exclude us from some pretty miserable temperatures, wind and rain waiting for the start gun. Once underway though the sun broke through the clouds and those with jackets and thermals on must have overheated.

The course itself didn’t disappoint the views, bays, golden sand beaches all lived up to the hype that goes into making Abel Tasman New Zealand’s most popular walk. I found the first half to be a challenge and sadly set off too fast which came back to bite me in the last 5k. The climb early in the race to Tonga Saddle followed by a tough beach section at Onetahuti took it out of the legs as did the following short sharp climbs.

The most scenic parts of the race for me were emerging out on Torrent Bay, one of the most spectacular beaches I have seen anywhere and the crossing of the Falls River bridge a typical kiwi hiking suspension bridge. They certainly made up for the pain of the last 2k and the real psychological battle I had with myself over this period. Next time I will take more food with me and start at a slower pace.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Shakespear Reserve

The last race in the Auckland Xterra series and sadly the worst of the three I have completed. Nice part of Auckland at the very tip of the Whangaparoa Peninsula however a very limited course. A good forty five minutes running along the low tide line, something that I find becomes pretty tedious after about ten minutes. The remainder of the course was on farm land and some small bush trail finishing with a short burst along the beach. It took me 1:40 placing eleventh. To make my afternoon even worse my asthma inhaler died on me making me severely short of breath.

The old man ventured up with me though and completed the short course in about 1:30. Always a good buzz watching him cross the finish line.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Woodhill Xterra

25-July-2010- Our second race of the Xterra series. Start line was about 500 metres from the crashing surf at Muriwai. Brilliant course which undulated the whole 23 kilometres. Run on a mix of forestry roads and some amazing single track. Real feeling of isolation in parts as the sand on the forest floor makes everything very quiet. One longish climb after about 4K then a short sharp descent then some rolling terrain. I finished the course in 1 hour 50 and Sinead in 2 hours 10.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Tough Guy

4th of July 2010-Bucketing down with rain adding to the huge amount of mud that we were soon to be covered in. Two laps of a six kilometre course undulating but with lots of running opportunites. Some great ditch jumps, knee deep mud sections, hands and knees under barbed wire, horse show jumps and a 50 metre wade through waist deep water to complete a lap. Took a while to get the blood flowing in the legs after the mud sections. 7th overall man 1 hour 1 minute. Sinead took out the women's section.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Karangahake Gorge

11 June 2010- Nice short run through a section of the Karangahake River that I normally rubber neck en-route to Tauranga. Starting point was in the middle of the gorge. Nice little detour to start with up the Waitawheta River on the old tram track used by the miners back in the day. Plenty of mining ruins and shafts dotted along the track. Great swing bridge after a kilometer crossing the river. I then aborted an attempt to run back down the far bank as I didn't have a torch to navigate the tunnel just past the bridge. Re-traced my steps to the Karangahake River and followed the track in the direction of Waihi. Nice trail up close to the river and rapids turned around at the old railway bridge.

Waitangi to Haruru Falls

14 June 2010 Nice return trip from Waitangi to Haruru Falls. The track wound around the back of the Waitangi Golf course through some classic kiwi bush, ferns and t-tree galore. Signs also indicated Kiwis where in the area; I am dubious about that claim. Next stretch headed down to the Waitangi River, the highlight being a crossing of the river and then a section above the mangroves on an elevated boardwalk. Undulating track that was 100% runnable making a change from the clambering we have been doing of late. Short stop at the falls which had a decent flow due to the rain fall of late, before re-tracing my steps.

Cornwallis Loop

13 June 2010- First experimental run in the Waitaks. Plotted out the course thanks to the Waitaks map I obtained earlier in the week. Parked in Cornwallis off Huia road. Very wet trails with lots of surface water. Steady climb up the Panto track with views down to Langholm. After thirty minutes we turned down the Parau track which descended very steeply to the Kakamatua Stream then climbed steeply before undulating to join the Kakamatua track. This section did prove to be a bit of a scramble. The Kakamatua rose to give views down to the Huia Dam along a small ridge. Final section along the Farley track was a great bit of single trail.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mt Pirongia

7th June 2010- Torential rain greeted our departure from the car. Bit of shelter through some dense bush early on. Nice runnable track with a gradual climb for a good 45 minutes. Next stretch to the Ruapane Trig at 759 metres was a bit more exposed resulting in a good drenching. More chain rope and ladders assisting the climb. After ploughing ahead in the now knee deep puddles we turned back just after the Tirohanga Summit at 840 metres. Slow descent to start with before we hit the runnable section of the track further down both of us hitting top speed. Nice wash in a river next to the carpark to complete a wet morning.

Mount Karioi

June 5th 2010- Nice drive past Raglan's surf breaks to yet another DOC carpark with theft warnings. Straight into it following the fence line through bush and across farm land climbing around 200 metres in 30 minutes. Spectacular views up the coast once we stopped to catch our breath. The track then got technical making running challenging a bit of abseiling with metal ropes and ladders thrown in for fun. Final push to the summit was along a ridge line giving views down to Kawhia and over to Mt Pirongia. A brief stop at the top for a bumper bar extremely strong gusts of wind meant we didn't linger. Fantastic final stretch to the carpark a real chance to stretch the legs.

Up the Mount

June 10- A little gem of a run over the network of tracks on Mount Maunganui. Steep climb from the beach up stairs before crossing farm land full of sheep. I then took the moderate route to the summit which went around the Mount giving views of the mouth of the Tauranga Harbour before climbing steeply to the summit. Amazing views of the Harbour the beach front properties below and the setting sun over the Coromandel ranges. Took a fall on the descent nothing serious but always a shock then completed a loop of the entire Mount at sea level before emerging at Pilot Bay.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Pinnacles

Easter 2010- An old favourite, first run in the Coromandel Classic. Sadly we experienced a lot of traffic on the way up due to a school group on the way to the Pinnacles Hut. The track starts nice and easy crossing a stream to make the shoes nice and wet. Then the fun starts as it climbs up numerous stairs. We both reached the top after an hour. Then decided to venture up the nelwy constructed track to the Pinnacles themselves. Yet more stairs with a couple of very steep ladders. Great views from the top taking in the middle of the Peninsula and the surf breaking down in Pauanui. After re-fueling we re-traced our steps and tentatively ran down the mossy stairs.