Date: 8 April 2017
Previous: 2014, 2016
Race headquarters – new venue.
Follow the sign – not the arrow! 🙂
Nice to see Anita briefly before the start. She told me how she won the Taihape Half and got third place at the Martinborough Round the Vines female category! That’s fantastic – well done!
Seeing everyone disappear, while we were having a leisurely walk in the forest.
Graeme coming through the first water point.
As well as Derek, still going strong.
Fellow Manawatu Striders mate, Viv.
Graeme, Ross and another Strider.
Cheryl and Steph catching up at about 6km, having done 27km already.
We donned pink for the occasion – Cheryl’s favourite colour.
Gerry having a very easy run.
Cheryl and Steph, not even looking tired.
The girl of the moment – Cheryl about to complete her very first marathon.
Photo time! Not far now.
On the home stretch.
When we caught up with the 10 and 5km runners and walkers, the road got a bit congested, but didn’t slow us down at all.
Well done, Cheryl, on completing your first marathon! And Steph for running the whole way with her! As Patricia said – welcome to the marathon club. 🙂
A few months ago, a friend of ours won an entry for the marathon of this event. She has been keen to do a marathon for such a long time, and what better motivation than to win an entry. It was going to be her very first marathon and Gerry and I thought we’d like to join her. But, life had other plans, and we couldn’t get the miles done in time for a full marathon, so decided to join only for the second half of her run. Continue reading
3 July 2016
Beautiful Mt Ruapehu.
Icy roads causing accidents and a holdup on the way.
And away we go, just in time to catch the last participants crossing the narrow start chute.
The wide open area of the paddock helped to quickly spread out the field.
Up and up we went.
Until we came across this little congested bottleneck.
A beautiful sunny morning and crisp air.
This is one of the worst bits.
A nice and easy stretch on the edge of the forest.
The first water point with freezingly cold water.
Cold, cold, cold in the forest.
Finally a bit of sun again.
The start of the out-and-back stretch up a shingle/gravel road.
Gerry at the turning point and second water station.
Frosty conditions and very cold temperatures kept us going to try and keep warm.
What does this even mean?
It almost felt like we were running in a freezer.
The final, very chirpy waterpoint.
The long walk up a 1.5km hill, 3km before the finish.
Finally the finish area came into sight.
Back on the cattle tracks.
A long queue of participants waiting for a sausage sizzle and a beer.
Glad we did!
After four days on the road travelling to Auckland, back down to Wellington and back to Palmy the night before the Tauhara, I was a little reluctant to get up at 4am to travel to Taupo for this event. It was just all becoming a little too much. But, we were entered, and events usually cheer me up, so despite no running (and a lot of sitting!) for four days, we took to the road once again to see what this event was all about. Continue reading
Date: 19 March
Distance: 21.1 (21.5km with our GPS)
At the start on a beautiful sunny morning in the country.
Jogging up the first hill that you encounter shortly after the start.
Running along the rolling hills is pure bliss.
Crossing a gorge before heading down a dirt road.
Some shelter from the trees keeping us from overheating.
High-5! Pete on his way back from the out-and-back stretch.
A jolly waterpoint at the turn of the out-and-back bit.
The volunteer water girl even offered to take our photo.
Interesting tree formations on the horizon as we jogged along the country roads.
Drinking in the beauty of the surroundings does wonders to keep your energy levels up.
Reaching the section of road comprising the out-and-back 10km event, things got increasingly social.
From about the 16 to 20km points you face a slow and steady uphill.
Firefighters doing the 10km as training for the Sky Tower challenge.
Over the last few kilometres we passed many 10km walkers.
Gerry trying his luck passing close to the whomping willow!
The finish in sight on the last long downhill.
As we drove up from Palmy for this event, I was counting my lucky stars that the weather was really good. Warm. Yet again. At last year’s event, the temperature was a bit cooler but still great. This year was just perfect for me, but I suspect at 20 degrees Celsius it was a bit on the hot side for most other participants. Continue reading
Date: 29 August 2015
Having a laugh at the finish, l-to-r: Kevin, Wouna, Gerry, Greg, Marian, Peter, Cath and in front Steph, Cheryl and Rob. Photo supplied by Cheryl, and taken by the late Stuart Hilder. The four walkers (Bruce, Evan, Denise and David) were having lunch already.
Shortly before the start. Steph, Cath, Greg, Cheryl, Denise, Bruce and Evan. Photo from Cheryl, taken by Trevor.
Cath, myself and Cheryl passing the deer farm.
Cath on a nice downhill section.
Gerry passing one of the muddy parts.
Cheryl and I only just visible in the distance.
Gerry and Cath rounding the corners ….
Cheryl screaming past with Palmy in the distance.
Steph and Greg still in sight up ahead.
The muddy stretch nearly over.
Cath negotiating one of the worst patches.
Cheryl still having fun in the windfarm.
Shenanigans on top of the world.
Easy going from here on a well-maintained gravel road.
A lovely run among the wind turbines.
Cath and Gerry arriving at the finish at The Bridge Cafe.
We had to have medals for our first running of the North Rage Road. 🙂
Having a quiet gravel road on top of a mountain with virtually no traffic, through a wind farm with wide open expanses, has to be the ultimate playing ground for runners, walkers and mountain bikers alike. Wonderful scenery in all directions, literally in our backyard, makes it hard not to want to run there all the time. Except, of course, on days with inclement weather. With views from the top of the Tararuas and great scenery in all directions, it is inevitable that you will be exposed to the elements. Continue reading
All smiles in the early morning.
After starting on a good gravel road, the route soon gives way to a jeep track.
Between about 4 and 10kms, the route is quite rough – definitely 4×4 terrain.
Along the route, there are many service roads turn-offs which could potentially be confusing, but these are all locked with huge “No entry” signs, so no risks of missing the correct route.
It’s not all windmills – there are some trees too.
For the most part, North Range Road is pleasantly undulating.
Some small puddles can be jumped…
…while bigger ones have to be negotiated more carefully.
The result of stepping into a muddy section on the side of one of the larger water puddles.
A great morning for a run.
The majestic wind turbines form a scenic backdrop for the run.
Still very happy with my new Salomon hydration pack – it fits like a dream.
The windfarm features a range of different turbine types.
We only met two other people en route – this mountain-biker coming past from behind, and later a hiker passing us in the opposite direction.
What a view!
For the most part, the route consists of very well-maintained gravel roads.
The route winds its way through the hills and valleys of the Tararuas.
Flying down one of the downhills of Hall Block Road.
When you get to the end of the track at Gorge Road, it’s just a small distance to the Bridge Cafe.
Very stoked with our new training route – what a great morning out!
One of the problems when training for ultra-long events, is that you need to spend a lot of time on the road. Which means, unless you are inordinately blessed with a limitless supply of training routes and trails close to where you live, you are bound to end up traversing the same routes over and over. Using events as training runs is a great way to break the monotony, mix things up and keep your running exciting, but given the cost of many races in NZ, it also is one of the best ways to blow your budget faster than you can say “marathon”, as we dearly discovered during these past few months. Continue reading