First time centurion – the Tarawera Ultra 100km

Date: 7 February 2015
Distance: 100km
Time: 17:25.54

All photos by us, except the ones containing the TUM logo which are courtesy of Photos4sale and TUM. 

Turns out writing about a 100km event is just as hard as doing it. What can you say that hasn’t already been said before? Instead of repeating what you can read about the race on the comprehensive official website, I thought perhaps I should just give a broad overview of my experience of the race weekend.

We drove through to Rotorua (the venue for the race) on the Thursday, two days prior to race day, figuring it might be a good idea before taking on our first 100km run to arrive well in time and settle down before the event. The official opening was quite early on the Friday morning, so even more reason to arrive the day before. After the official race welcome (Powhiri) at Te Aronui a Rua Marae, Te Puia, things moved to the Holiday Inn where registration, the expo, talks, presentations and all the rest took place. It was a jolly occasion, with lots of athletes and their support crews pitching up for the pre-race activities. There was even a rogaine on the Thursday that drew quite a number of participants.

One of the highlights of the proceedings during Friday morning was the keynote talk by Malcolm Law. He really is an extraordinary person, being the first to do the seven Great Walks in NZ in seven days to raise money for leukaemia and blood cancer. This time around he is pushing his limits even further by attempting to scale 50 peaks, and in the process run a total of 50 marathons, in 50 consecutive days, of which the Tarawera Ultra marked the start. Through his extraordinary High-5-O Challenge Malcolm aims to raise $400 000 for Mental Health (having lost a brother-in-law to suicide). One of the things he said that stuck with me, was that if you ever think of doing something, just do it. And that is so true. All the things that I’ve ever thought of doing, but haven’t yet, still taunts me every day (like that PhD!). Another excellent point he made was that if something cannot be scientifically proven to be impossible, then it must be possible. Definitely something to keep in mind next time you feel something is “impossible”. Continue reading

Kepler Challenge training dry run

Date: 22 December 2014
Distance: 60km (some sources give it as 67km – I would love that to be the case!)
Time: 11:58

Things don’t always go according to plan. But sometimes they do. This self-supported run had a bit of both.

We were booked to hike the Kepler Track, a 60km circular route, over Xmas with family. And so I thought to myself, why not run it a couple of days prior to the hike? Luckily it didn’t take much convincing to get Gerry on board as we thought it would make for a great last long run before the Tarawera, and we needed to test our hydration and fuelling needs for these kinds of events anyway.

Continue reading

The magical Marathon

The marathon – most fabled of all running events.

As most of you will know, the marathon, a long distance running event of 42.195 kilometers, was instituted to commemorate the fabled and heroic run of the Greek soldier-messenger Pheidippides, from the Battle of Marathon (hence the name) to Athens.

The story goes that brave Pheidippides ran the entire distance without stopping, exclaiming ‘We have won!’ when he finally reached his destination, and then promptly collapsed and died.

Phidippides

Thinking about it now, a couple of things could’ve contributed to his fate. He may have been over- or undertrained. Continue reading