Date: 27 February 2016
The birthday boy having a peaceful night.
Overcast and a bit fresh at the start.
Rob and me – ready for action.
Less than a minute to the start.
Briefing by Tim Day.
Shortly after the start, a dash across a paddock.
More paddock (cross country) running in the first few kilometres.
Time to shed a layer as it quickly warmed up.
Gerry comfortably jogging along as I was huffing and puffing to keep up.
A short stretch of farm road.
Jumping fences is normal for these kinds of events.
Having a blast out on the trails.
“If you go into the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise”.
Rob about half a kilometre ahead of us.
An awkwardly placed water station. First you veer off to the left, missing the table (my thoughts were that the water point was maybe meant for the 15km guys?) and when you pass it again from the other side, you turn away towards the right before reaching the table, missing it again.
Crossing one of many similar little bridges.
The trail winds through beautiful forests.
No doubt we’re on the right track.
A short little uphill after crossing the railway line.
Remnants of the Taonui viaduct.
Halfway – yay!
The cobblestone of the historic path is still visible in parts.
Pete still going strong.
Information boards along the Old Coach Road.
The second water point about 2km from the finish.
On the home straight back to the Powderhorn Chateau.
Final bridge across the railway line before the finish.
All done. Happy with what I’ve managed to achieve.
As it was Gerry’s birthday on the 26th, we decided to make a little outing of the trip. Not sure where we would stay – the only requirement was to camp somewhere nice and quiet – we went to the nearest DOC campsite only a few kilometres outside of Ohakune on the mountain side. It looked quite nice but decided nonetheless to check out the campsite at Raetihi which was only $4 per person more. However, the latter being more busy and civilised, we opted for the more scenic out of town rustic option at the foot of Mt Ruapehu. Continue reading
Date: 6 February 2016
Nervously waiting for the start in anticipation of the day ahead.
Uhum, is that a slightly nervous face?
Although it was wet, the temperature was fairly warm in the early hours of the morning.
A misty rain covered the whole landscape.
The wide forestry roads helped to spread out the runners.
We looked somewhat despondent.
Deep in thought.
Finally reaching Blue Lake.
I should really try to go faster so that Gerry can get rid of his excess energy!
Trying my luck with crisps. It left no ill effects.
Encouraging signs scattered throughout the course.
Imagine having such a huge group of friends all participating. Must be a blast!
A short stretch on sealed roads.
A jingle-jolly water point before heading back into the forest for more muddy trails.
A big chunk of the trail looked like this.
The single track sections were trampled by all the runners.
Another mud slide.
Beautiful scenery despite challenging terrain.
Some seriously eroded downhills.
A marshall who made herself a little shelter to take cover from the rain.
Peace man! Another lovely water point.
Cool attire and more friendly helpers at the Peace water point.
At the Tarawera falls.
Soaked to the bone, cold and really sore at this point.
We made it!
Finally at the finish line.
Medals to boot.
All photos by us, except the ones containing the TUM logo which are courtesy of Photos4sale and TUM.
Standing at the start line of the Tarawera ultra, it still hadn’t dawned on me what I was about to do. For some strange reason, the whole event hadn’t registered with me at all. Maybe it was a way for my mind to cope with the fact that we were going to run 60km, not having done the hard yards in training? Whatever the case might be, my mind chose not to make it a reality. And were it not for the excruciatingly sore muscles the day after, I still wouldn’t have registered what happened the day before. Continue reading