Date: 11 June 2017
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
*Thanks for the title Graeme!
Date: 14 January 2017
Some members of the Manawatu Trail Runners FB group: Suzanne, Nikki, Amanda, Brett, Wouna, Gerry and Michael.
At the event base.
Des and Henriette.
Nervously happy to be out there.
With 540 participants all starting together, you better get yourself to the front if you hope to pose a good time. Luckily not something we had to worry about!
A gradual incline shortly after the start, helping to spread out the field before the first single-track section.
Any uphill was a good excuse for a walk-break.
Alternating sections of gravel road and single track meant that we didn’t have any problems with bottle-necks.
Jogging through a lush green section.
Had to do a few takes to get this pic with Mt Taranaki in the background.
Back into the forest.
Not sure why I thought that acting like a baboon would prove my steel.
So glad it wasn’t raining or wet going up and down these bare soil stretches.
Enjoying a beautiful morning out on the trails.
Heading back out into an open patch.
A downhill trot…
…followed by an uphill slog.
No getting lost with course markings in abundance.
Luckily we could side-step all the muddy patches.
A mix of sun and shade meant it was never too hot or too cold.
I guess the more competitive runners probably went straight through.
A very scenic stretch, with Lake Mangamahoe in the foreground and Mt Taranaki in the distance.
Running along the banks of Lake Mangamahoe.
Gerry on the first of the two swing bridges.
Still having fun.
The second swing bridge on the half marathon course.
Graeme having a blast on the swing bridge.
Some tree roots to negotiate.
A short stretch run in both directions. But this lot had done a few kilometres in-between and were well ahead of us.
A very curvy section where you really feel like you are going in circles.
A long incline after passing the event base the second time.
Gerry making his way through the young pine forest with Mt Taranaki up ahead.
Gerry photographing the photographer photograping me. 😛
Up and up we went. Just as well, as I had to walk lots anyway.
The Rocky Road stretch. Apart from roots, the only other semi-technical terrain.
Lots of steps, giving our heart and lungs a good workout.
These smiles must have been thanks to the fact that the end was just around the corner.
Very happy to have made it. And getting some medals to boot.
Running a doodle.
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
Date: 7 March 2015
A perfect early morning start in the foothills of Mt Taranaki.
Start-selfie. with our regular pre-marathon mix of excitement and apprehension.
The first few downhill kilometres combined with the great weather, makes it very tempting to go out too fast.
Country roads meandering through dairy farms.
Gerry enjoying an easy run.
Fly fly away.
Friendly volunteer helpers at the well stocked aid stations.
Reaching SH3 – the first stretch on busy roads.
Approaching the halfway mark at Inglewood.
A little out-and-back section in town to make up the distance.
Lots of supporters makes this a jolly changeover.
After a good shower, the rain stopped and our clothes had time to dry out.
Back onto SH3 with congested traffic.
With one kilometre to go, we got another soaking. Coupled with the wind, I was near-hypothermic at the finish.
Happy, but shivering, at the finish.
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
One supporter going the whole nine yards, in Wanganui. When we first passed, a whole lot op people were outside partying. They also had a van painted to match the house.
Another quaint sign in a paddock created with fencing poles.
At the start – Spider Man and all.
Runners in the distance making their way up a hill.
The sign that Gerry is nearing is a permanent sign that the school kids created, warning motorist that they are approaching a school and should drive carefully.
A little girl supporting her mom all the way as dad drove the car further up the road every few kilometres.
Another hill to negotiate.
These chirpy bees livened up the atmosphere for all who were in the area. We recently attended the Rollar Derby held in Palmy and the Taranaki team are known as the The Taranaki Rollar Corps Rumble Bees. We were wondering if these two are part of the team?
A wet finish – just to keep one honest.
Frozen to the bone with the finish in the background.
Gerry, myself and Marianne, with Des and Henriette in the front seats.
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
Gerry and I in the bus at the finish, happy to have survived the ordeal! 😉
This is what greeted us when we arrived at the hotel to catch the bus to the start.
On a bus to Abilene – not!
A sorry-looking bunch of participants waiting to start.
At the gate of the Egmont National Park.
Briefing just before we were off.
Rain, rain and more rain.
Me and Willie at about 12km.
The poor marshals at the water tables, soaking wet.
Lots of cars, also from supporters on the State Highways.
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.