Kepler Challenge 1.12.07 Te Anau NZ 60km 7.58 158th/400
this race sucks.
it costs a lot (in entry and travel).
te anau is a damn hard place to get to.
the 3 hour time difference screws me up (due to the race start being 3am brissie time).
and most of all crowded races piss me off big-time and its a field of 400.
despite this its one of my favorites.
i wont say my fav but pretty close to it.
when you look across at the south fiord and the distant mountains you could get struck by lightning and still die a happy man...
its really 2 races in one...
the first 28km is a flat/warm up bit (5.6km) then a 1200m climb (tree line at 900m) with approx a 10km 'mountain section' before numerous steps and switchbacks take you back down in a quad smashing hurry.
the last 32km is a slog along winding, slightly tree-rooted ups/downs to the finish.
i guess the first part appeals to the 'adventurer/trail runner' in me and the later the ultra-runner.
* pre-race gear check: showed the lady my featherlite montane jacket. she said very loudly, with several people in the queue behind 'gee thats small, i've never seen one that small! that's amazingly tiny!!'.
never had a woman tell me that and feel so proud.
* managing to stick with my splits.
which for future reference were 1.48 (luxmore hut), 3.10 (hanging valley), 4.00 (iris burn), 6.03 (motarau hut), 6.47 (bridge), 7.58 finish.
this was an hour better than last year which sounds like a lot but i did waste a lot of time with the camera!
had to do the last 9.5km in 73 mins to finish sub8 and really had to grit the teeth hard. did a similar thing last year with my 74 min last section for a 8.59 finish.
timing is everything!!
sounds easy to churn out 7.5min kms but every hill seems so damn steep at the end and the quads hurt right from the first decent from luxmore saddle at 17km!
* managing to run about half the big uphill.
well thats my story anyway and i'm sticking to it - noone can say otherwise!
passed maybe 50 people on the way up.
needless to say thats kinda easy when youre gravitationally gifted.
but it still feels gooooooooooood and i always do it with a smile on my face and breathing softly even if it kills on the inside :)
* the japanese dude who stopped to take a picture then bolted past me on the next downhill (on narrow/unsteady singletrack).
i dont think he understood what 'fcking tool' meant as he did this another 3 times.
he did however have a rather entertaining habit of running downhill with his hands (wearing white gloves!!) waving in the air.
the locals had a big chuckle.
* almost losing it with 12km to go.
knew i had to make a right turn at a bridge and did so but ran into someone else a short time later who said he hadnt seen anyone for 10mins. bugger!!
was going up a steep hill at the time and got a case of the 'stopsies' before gathering myself again after checking with the person i crossed the bridge with (20secs behind).
i pictured myself as a leaf in the wind and for some stupid reason it actually worked :)
* out of 400 people in the race meeting a CR next to me in the gear check line-up at luxmore hut
* catching up again with fats, amjan, darlo and bryan. nice to meet mph.
* those views!!
thanks for the comments fellow knobheads.
and tesso the last time i offered to show a politician my 6 pack the police were involved.
next big thing is bogong.
maybe fats fatass inbetween.
my quads hurt.