Date: 18 May 2019
At the finish – thanks for the pic Ali Pottinger!
It is not ideal to go into an event unprepared and exhausted. Juggling too many things meant a frantic last minute finalising draft chapters of my thesis to be reviewed while we are away in order to optimise time. Trying to remember what to pack in a very short timeframe did not help the stress levels. We left Palmy at 3am on the Thursday morning of 16 May for the drive down to Wellington for our flight at 7am. Allowing only two hours for the trip, I was holding my breath that something wouldn’t happen to prevent us from making the flight in time. Like a house or some such being moved (as often happens during night time) causing a hold-up and blocking the highway for an extended period. Fortunately, we had no issues, caught the shuttle bus from the long-term parking as we stepped out of the car, and made the flight to Australia on time. Continue reading
Date: 30 September 2018
Gerry, me and Rob.
At the start of the 10km event.
Jane and Jackie making the most of it.
On the way to the halfway point.
Catching up with the 5km participants on the way back.
Gerry and I participated in the Palmerston North edition of the event, which aims to “raise money and awareness for the amazing work Cure Kids does to help fund valuable research into a variety of child-related illnesses and conditions in New Zealand”.
What we thought would be a low-key fundraising walk turned out to be a decent size event – well organised and very enthusiastically supported by the local running and walking community. An enjoyable and festive 10k out-and-back run/walk along the river (there was also a 5k option) was augmented by loads of spot prizes, yummy food and great coffee at the finish, jumping castles for the kids, and more. Nor sure how many turned out but it was certainly a good crowd.
A good event for a great cause – must do again in 2019!
Date: 16 September 2018
Distance: 100km (we measured 107.6km)
Pretending to nap behind the registration desk.
Race briefing at 12:45am.
And so it begins. Already tired from lack of sleep, but the 100km awaits.
Too dark to take photos, so this was the last one for the next five hours.
Me, Evander (?) and Elee (the tail-end Charles on the bike).
Lots and lots of flat gravel tracks.
The Hauraki Rail Trail must be the flattest track in the country.
One of the organisers ran in to chat to Elee and then joined us on the way back to his spot.
The first “hill” on the course going over the bridge.
About 700 metres long.
The Kopu aid station.
One of many similar bridges in the section between Kopu and Paeroa.
Team le Roux pic, thanks to Evander.
More than 50kms done, but a lot still ahead.
A few of these garden chairs were attached to trees in this section. 🙂
The turkeys in the front. Love their gobble sound. It always gives me a chuckle.
Passing under one of the roads.
Running through Paeroa. We’ve driven through the town a few times in the past – never thought we’d be running through here as part of a hundee.
One of the road crossings in Paeroa.
Paeroa aid station, which is also the start of the half marathon.
Finally we reached the Karangahake Gorge which is the most scenic part of the course.
Just soldering on to the finish.
Some event signage en route.
On our way to the 1km long tunnel. The exit of the tunnel is just a tiny white dot.
Was it not for the lack of sleep, cold air in the tunnel and my tired body, the tunnel might have been quite enjoyable.
The four of us (Gerry, Evander, Elee and me) were within shouting distance for at least 99% of the course.
Jog time. As the kilometres passed it was getting harder and harder to start running after our walk breaks.
Great to see these two again, and they even “organised” a duck for our amusement (just peeking around the corner at the left of the bridge).
The final aid station.
Much more variety in the last part of the course.
Hitting a sheltered patch.
At long last we reached Waihi.
And got company on the road.
Cute little girls mimicking the Hauraki Rail Trail sign, showing us the way.
So tired, but so relieved to have made it to the finish.
As we were driving up to Thames on Friday morning, the thought of wanting to attempt a 100km run on the tiny amount of training we’ve done the past five months, was not something my mind was willing to deal with. It just ignored the prospect and pretended it wasn’t happening. Only after a good few kilometres into the race did it start to sink in that I was totally and utterly buggered. Continue reading
Date: 1 September 2018
Distance: 28km (14km one way)
Time: 4:22 (approx)
At the start of the walk at the i-Site – just the two of us.
Not sure whether to wear a windproof jacket or a warm jacket, Gerry stopped to swop his top layers.
The sea of orange shirts up ahead.
Wharite Peak covered in a thick cloud.
Soon the orange snake were behind us, as well as ahead of us.
Young and old came out to support.
Early on the gravel road the gradient was still manageable.
Until we started to climb considerably.
The windfarm remains quite a sight from up here.
Up, up, up.
The snow-covered Mt Ruapehu in the hazy distance.
Finally at the trig.
Running downhill is so much easier.
Tracey in the middle, only a few hundred metres from the top.
Going down is fun, until afterwards when your quads are minced.
A narrow bridge we all had to cross on the way out of town, which was insanely busy.
We recently found out about a young Palmerston North woman by the name of Tracey, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a couple of years ago. She received a grant from the Mastering Mountains charitable trust to walk the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, and is currently in training by Massey Sport and Exercise student Arbie Hong. In an attempt to raise money for the MS charity, as well as creating awareness about the illness, she organised the Woodville to Wharite Peak walk. Not only did she organise the walk, but also participated to see how she would manage and ended up walking the full 14km up to the peak in only 3.5 hours. With Woodville at about 92 metres above sea level and Wharite Peak at 920 metres, it is a tough uphill and no easy feat. Continue reading
Date: 22 June 2018
There was a time in my life when I thought it was pure madness to run anything further than 27km by yourself in a training run. It already took some brain gymnastics to run anything further than a 21km and not get a medal. But to run ultras you have to also do long training runs and while training for a 5-day stage race back in 2008, we finally got our heads around 23+km training sessions – without medals! We have always tried to do our extra-long-runs (e.g. further than 27km) at events. Events to me is not necessarily a “race”, but often just a LSD training run with the added bonus of having aid stations along the way. Continue reading