The David Fletcher Mortgages Urban Trail Run

Date: 11 June 2017
Distance: 12.5km
Time: 1:40

While we were in New Plymouth for the weekend, we figured we might as well participate in another Cut a Trail event. The previous one was most enjoyable and since this one was cheap enough, we thought we’ll give it a go.

As an out-of-towner you can’t pre-enter, meaning you inevitably pay the late entry fee of $15 ($10 for locals if you pre-register at the Frontrunner shop during the course of the week). You also don’t come into account for certain of the spot-prizes if you enter late. But, I guess, these events are small and low-key community events – not really meant for outsiders. That might also explain why there were no water points or toilets. The latter being a bit of a problem when you have x-amount of people queueing for the one public toilet in the area. On the bright side, the banter while waiting in line turned out to be fun. When all the men turned to the bushes (on the East End Reserve, main beach and playground area no less!) one lady casually commented, “it is already full moon, a couple more won’t make a difference”. Continue reading

Doing a hip hop on a half*

*Thanks for the title Graeme!

Date: 14 January 2017
Distance: 21.1km
Time: 3:23

On all accounts, I should not have done this event. Apart from doing two half marathons, one in September and one in October, we haven’t been running for about five months, except for maybe the odd 3 or 4km slow trot-walk-run once every few weeks which is not even worth mentioning. And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that you don’t go running races unprepared. Mind you, I’ve never “run a race”. Rather, I participate in events – there’s a huge difference. Continue reading

Mountain to Surf – New Plymouth

Date: 7 March 2015

Distance: 42.2

Time: 4:19.50

Mountain? There was a mountain? As is the case more often than not, Mt Taranaki was tucked in under a thick blanket of cloud all weekend. So much so, that it was hard to figure out where exactly the mountain is supposed to be on our drive to New Plymouth. If I hadn’t been there and seen Mt Taranaki at numerous previous occasions, I would never have thought there’s a beautiful 2518m high volcanic cone, dusted at the top with snow.

Since TUM we’ve cut back on our weekly kilometres quite a bit. Needless to say, the week after the 100km event saw only a couple of walks with one or so short attempt at a “run”. As we didn’t burn it both ends at the Tarawera, our recovery was quite fast. Not that I’m fully recovered one month after the Tarawera, but I’m not injured and okey to do a little bit of training/maintenance for our next ultra – the Two Oceans 56km in South Africa. Apart from sensitive feet on Gerry’s part and a general lack of energy and lethargy on my side, we are nearly back on track one month after the Tarawera. The Mountain to Surf was placed perfectly in the middle of our post-Tarawera build-up towards the Two Oceans. Continue reading

Taranaki Daily News 21.1km – 2 October 2011

The Rugby World Cup is in full swing, and it is great to see all the supporters’ flags and messages on houses, in paddocks and on cars. Everywhere you look there’s support for people’s favorite teams which in NZ is, of course, the All Blacks.

All the way, as we drove to New Plymouth on Saturday, evidence of the country’s commitment to the RWC is visible as the world cup fever casts its spell on everybody. There’s no escaping the mania that plays off all around us – tonnes and tonnes of little flags representing all the different countries are hanging from every shop and restaurant, while loads of cars are driving around with All Black flags stuck in their doors. The occasional Irish, England or South African flag can also be spotted, but the black flags are hard to miss. An article was even published, giving stats about the amount of extra petrol your car will be using with the drag of each flag sticking out from your window. Continue reading

Bayleys Mountain to Surf Marathon (5 March 2011)

Having done the Mountain to Surf in 2008, our first international marathon, I was very eager to run the race again. My memories of the previous event was generally good, that it was a well organised event, apart from a cold wind and rain in the second half of the run (not that the organisers could do anything about that!). The organisers also offered us accommodation for the night before the event and was generally very kind to us. They made us feel most welcome.

Continue reading