A “user-friendly” test in endurance

When Gerry first told me about the Ultra Interval Challenge, I was very excited as this sort of thing is right up my alley. It is a worldwide initiative where everybody started at the exact same time, irrespective of where you are in the world. In NZ our starting time was 10am on 23 July. The idea was to run 10km every three hours over a 24-hour period. Therefore 8x10km, totalling 80km. Our initial intention was to turn it into a wee event, by having a base camp with supplies, access to toilets, etc, and hopefully, manage to lure some friends into joining, but then we got busy with other stuff and all but forget about the challenge. Continue reading

Ignorence is bliss – Norsewood to Takapau

Date: 12 July 2015

Distance: 21.1km

Time: 2:15.03

Previous: 2014

If it wasn’t for the fact that in my mind it wasn’t going to rain, we would probably not have driven all the way to Hawke’s Bay to do the Norsewood to Takapau fun run again. The last time we checked the weather forecast (the night before), the prediction was for a fine day, overcast and cool, but no rain. So blissfully unaware was I of the updated forecast overnight that I didn’t even bother to pack any wet weather gear!

You can only imagine my surprise then when we found ourselves amidst a drizzle/mist spray during our drive from Palmy to Norsewood. Worst is, our training was also a bit off the rails again – another week of only two training runs, due to bad weather and other unforeseen circumstances. The usual weekend long-run was looming and because of a change in work schedule we ended up having the day free. And what better way to spent a Sunday morning than with other runners/walkers on an event. It was meant to be. Continue reading

Lake Kaniere track

Date: 3 January 2015
Distance: 22.8km
Time: 3:37

In the setting and frame of mind of The Luminaries (Gerry is finally making the time to read Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Prize winning book), we arrived the evening before in Hokitika – historically a gold mining town. Driving up and down the city centre streets we tried to picture various scenes in the book, wondering which buildings (or remnants of buildings) might have featured in the story, which of the hotels might be the one where Moody walked into the closed meeting of the twelve men who’s collective experiences make up the novel. Standing at the “spit”, staring out at the ocean as the sun goes down, had us wondering if this was where some of the fictional characters in the book had also stood. This piece of land, the neighbouring harbour, and our subsequent drive up to Lake Kaniere, conjured up vivid visions of scenes from the book.

We saw the Lake Kaniere Track in a local brochure and decided it looked ideal for a trail run. What better way to experience a place than to do it by foot? New Zealand is literally a network of trails in every nook and cranny of the country. It is a trail runners paradise. Not only are you safe from muggings, but since there are no natural dangers like snakes, scorpions or spiders that can kill you, it really is the setting for an invigorating, stress-free run. Continue reading

Kepler Track – round #2 (24-27 December 2014)

A few years ago, Gerry and I did a similar stint: we ran the Fish River Canyon in Namibia, rested a day, then started walking the route again with my sister and her family the day after. I guess there is something zen-like about doing the same route over and over, especially in such a short timeframe.

After our one-day run of the Kepler Track two days before, we again started walking it with family after one rest day. This time with Johann and Nettie. Admittedly I was quite knackered after the 60km track, but the fall on top of the mountain probably made up for the biggest part of my muscle soreness. The 50 shades of green-yellow-purple egg on my arm was still prominent, very sore and always in the way. I kept on bumping it against everything.

Continue reading

Tongariro Alpine Crossing – 19.4 kilometres


“New Zealand’s oldest national park and a dual World Heritage Site. The Tongariro National Park is rich in both cultural identity and dramatic, awe-inspiring natural scenery. Unique landforms, including the volcanic peaks of Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu ensure the Tongariro Alpine Crossing is considered a world-renowned trek.

The Tongariro Alpine Crossing is heralded as the best one-day trek available in New Zealand, while others say it ranks among the top ten single-day treks in the world.

Many who complete the 19.4-kilometre journey will tell you the climbs can be steep and the weather unpredictable, though worth it in every aspect.” [http://www.tongarirocrossing.org.nz]

Since relocating to NZ a few years ago, we’ve wanted to do the full crossing. But every time something else comes up. Or the weather turns nasty. Or the mountain pops, causing a track closure for about nine months. You know how it goes. This time we had our hearts set on Labour Weekend when we could be joined by Johann and Nettie. Continue reading