Ashhurst to Esplanade – not quite a half marathon (20.8km)

Date: 23 November 2014

Time: 2:03.10

The weather in the weeks leading up to the A2E was, in a word, atrocious. Terrible winds, hail storms and even a mini tornado lashed the country and my hopes for a peaceful fun run in the sun was in the balance. But miracles do happen and on the morning of the event, the most perfect day greeted us. I could hardly believe my luck. The last thing I wanted was another long run fighting gusty winds and/or rain, but thankfully Huey was good to us.

The Manawatu Striders are known for staging great events and this one was no different. Being an inaugural could potentially spell a couple of glitches, but true to their organisation skills everything ran smoothly. At least in our experience as participants in the 20.8km run event.

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Red Rocks Wellington Coastal Challenge – 32km (reduced to 28km due to bad weather)

Date: 15 November 2014

Time:  3:36.32

The Auckland North Shore Coastal Challenge has been a popular event on the Total Sport calendar for the past 13 years. Given its continued success, they decided to extend the event to a series (the Coastal Challenge Series), comprising the existing North Shore event as well as 2 new ones in Wellington and Tawharanui, respectively. Numerous distance options were available – the Full Monty (32km), Mid Monty (25km), Mini Monty (19km), Bay Scrambler (13km) and Beach Hopper (7km).

So this was yet another inaugural event for us, which is always exciting, but does mean that not a lot of info was available beforehand about the event. Total Sport described the series as a “run, walk, wade, scramble and rock-hop”, so we knew we were in for something special.

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Going the ultra distance: Taniwha – 60km trail run

Date: 8 November 2014

Time: 8:27


Here’s a funny story. On our way to the start of the run, our 65 seater bus suddenly pulled over and a girl and guy jumped up and urgently stepped out of the bus. Everybody was like, huh?, but as they made a beeline to the nearest bush, laughter set in at the familiar sight. A girl has to go when a girl has to go. It turned out her husband had a chat with the bus driver a few minutes earlier asking him to make a pitstop and the driver kindly obliged.

The Taniwha (meaning protector or guardian of the river) is organised by Auckland based sporting events management company Total Sport and a host of distances are available to walkers, runners and cyclists alike. For the cyclists there’s 83, 60, 42.2 and 22km events with the 83km also available as a team relay. The runners have 60, 42.2, 21.1, 14 and 7km options with the 60km also as a team relay option. Walkers had the choice between 21.1, 14 and 7km routes. Route markings were excellent – there’s no getting lost, and the water stations were well stocked with water and GU Brew. The drink station at about 37km also offered Coke, bananas, pretzels and sweet biscuits. Continue reading

Footprints in the Sand – Foxton beach 20km fun run


I guess if you battle with motivation to do long runs on your own, it’s always a good idea to join some other runners for an event somewhere. Even it there’s only 21 other participants.

The Foxton Beach run is organised by the local Lions Club in Foxton, a small town on the west coast of the North Island not far from where we stay. We stumbled upon the event earlier this year and decided to participate when the time comes. Then we overheard other runners saying that they weren’t sure whether it was still on and thought the race might be cancelled. But luckily I saw it listed in the Runner’s World so we reckoned it must be on. Continue reading

Tongariro Alpine Crossing – 19.4 kilometres


“New Zealand’s oldest national park and a dual World Heritage Site. The Tongariro National Park is rich in both cultural identity and dramatic, awe-inspiring natural scenery. Unique landforms, including the volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu ensure the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered a world-renowned trek.

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is heralded as the best one-day trek available in New Zealand, while others say it ranks among the top ten single-day treks in the world.

Many who complete the 19.4-kilometre journey will tell you the climbs can be steep and the weather unpredictable, though worth it in every aspect.” []

Since relocating to NZ a few years ago, we’ve wanted to do the full crossing. But every time something else comes up. Or the weather turns nasty. Or the mountain pops, causing a track closure for about nine months. You know how it goes. This time we had our hearts set on Labour Weekend when we could be joined by Johann and Nettie. Continue reading