North Range Road training run

One of the problems when training for ultra-long events, is that you need to spend a lot of time on the road. Which means, unless you are inordinately blessed with a limitless supply of training routes and trails close to where you live, you are bound to end up traversing the same routes over and over. Using events as training runs is a great way to break the monotony, mix things up and keep your running exciting, but given the cost of many races in NZ, it also is one of the best ways to blow your budget faster than you can say “marathon”, as we dearly discovered during these past few months. Continue reading

Lake Kaniere track

Date: 3 January 2015
Distance: 22.8km
Time: 3:37

In the setting and frame of mind of The Luminaries (Gerry is finally making the time to read Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize winning book), we arrived the evening before in Hokitika – historically a gold mining town. Driving up and down the city centre streets we tried to picture various scenes in the book, wondering which buildings (or remnants of buildings) might have featured in the story, which of the hotels might be the one where Moody walked into the closed meeting of the twelve men who’s collective experiences make up the novel. Standing at the “spit”, staring out at the ocean as the sun goes down, had us wondering if this was where some of the fictional characters in the book had also stood. This piece of land, the neighbouring harbour, and our subsequent drive up to Lake Kaniere, conjured up vivid visions of scenes from the book.

We saw the Lake Kaniere Track in a local brochure and decided it looked ideal for a trail run. What better way to experience a place than to do it by foot? New Zealand is literally a network of trails in every nook and cranny of the country. It is a trail runners paradise. Not only are you safe from muggings, but since there are no natural dangers like snakes, scorpions or spiders that can kill you, it really is the setting for an invigorating, stress-free run. Continue reading

Mt Aspiring – Rob Roy Track

Date: 1 January 2015
Distance: 10km (+6)

On the morning of the last day of 2014, Gerry and I left Te Anau for the Wanaka area in the hope that we would find a deserted spot in the mountains to see out 2014 and celebrate 2015 somewhere tranquil. We just weren’t in the mood for loud music, heaps of drunk, puking people and the usual hustle and bustle of new years parties.

Wanaka was buzzing with people, as were all the other towns we passed through on our way there. We stopped to return Gerry’s hydration vest, went for a quick browse through Mt Outdoors to see if they might have larger size packs, and ended up having a nice long chat to Steve Hart who told us about all the nice camping spots and walks in the area. Afterwards we went for a quick beer before following the road next to Lake Wanaka and into the Matukituki valley.

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‘Je Suis Charlie’ Unity Run for Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité

Our running shirts for the Je Suis Charlie Unity Run for Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité.

Our running shirts for the Je Suis Charlie Unity Run for Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité.

This week’s news was dominated by the 7 January 2015 massacre in Paris France, where 12 people were killed at the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. The terror attack resulted in millions of people internationally rallying in support of those wounded and killed at the newspaper, as well as the victims of related attacks at Montrouge and the Kosher Supermarket.

“Je Suis Charlie” (“I am Charlie”) became the slogan adopted by supporters of free speech and freedom of expression – it popped up everywhere, in cartoons, hand-made placards and stickers, displayed on mobile phones at vigils, and on numerous websites.

A couple of days ago, via Facebook, we came across the Je Suis Charlie Unity Run for Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité, an international run of support scheduled for 11 January – an initiative we had little hesitation to support. Continue reading

Becoming an Asics road tester

Hitting the pavement in my road tester Asics Gel-Kayano 21's. Officially a stability shoe, it also doubles as a very comfortable cushioned shoe for neutral runners.

Hitting the pavement in my road tester Asics Gel-Kayano 21’s. Officially a stability shoe, it also doubles as a very comfortable cushioned shoe for neutral runners.

A few months ago I accidentally (probably through a link on Facebook or something) came across an invite for people to register as testers for Asics running shoes. Having run in Asics most of my running career, I jumped at the opportunity – who wouldn’t want to receive a free pair of a favourite running shoe, with the only requirement being to actually run in the shoes, and then give some feedback on your experience? Sounds like a plum deal to me!

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