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.