Cass Lagoon & Camp Lyndon

After our boxing day run with Tim in the seaward Kaikoura’s, Jane and I drove back to Castle Hill on the Sunday and gave our legs a bit of a rest. But with a warm day on the cards yesterday the rest didn’t last long. We got off to a slowish start but after giving Jane about a 25min head start I started off running up the Cass River and caught up to Jane at the Cass Hut. We run together until Cass Saddle and then I hammered the down hill to Hamilton Hut, taking a hair over 2hrs to reach from the car. We then run and walk up to Lagoon Saddle in about 2hrs, before I again blasted the down hill to Coral Lynn, taking about 4hr50min for the loop.
Today I waited until the hottest part of the day (30!) and drove up the BR road for a bit. I run up the road and the track to Camp Saddle and down the scree to the Craigieburn Valley single track. Down the valley and over Lyndon and down the “luge” to the car- probably my favorite 1.5hr loop!
This caps off a solid block of training, my best since before the Molesworth. About 16hrs running in the last 7days and I am feeling strong! A few easy days out in the Pass and then maybe the 67km St James track on the 2nd and in a few weeks a 64k out and back on the Routeburn.

Mt Fyfe Run

Tim, Jane and I ran up Mt Fyfe, down to Kowhai Saddle and out Kowhai River on boxing day. Pretty impressive run to say the least! It starts with a bloody steep 4wd track all the way to My Fyfe’s 1601m summit and then gets interesting with a great ridge run along scree and down to Kowhai Saddle.

Its then pretty slow going, rock hoping and a little scrub bashing out to the Kowhai Hut, were we had some really good running before running down the river bed.  It was about 5hrs20mins, which included a few stops, mostly to get stones out of our shoes. The run was finished with a swim in the Kowhai River and the day was topped off with a BBQ over looking the Pacific Ocean

Early morning Avalanche Peak

We spent a few nights out in Arthur’s Pass last week and with the late shift at work I got up early to run up Avalanche Peak before starting work at 930.

This is the first time that I have been up the Avalanche Peak track since doing the race in March and it was good to reacquaint my self with this steep and rugged track. I feel pretty sluggest as I got stated just after 6am and with no warm up rolled straight into the steepness. It was a little cool in the valley but once above tree line I had warmed up and was loving being out in what is often the best part of the day. I reached to top in 62mins, about 7mins off my fastest time up the 1100m climb. I stopped my watch and sat down on the summit enjoying the view and how peaceful it is at this time in the morning. This of course did not last as 3 young kea flew in and started squawking away happily. The run down to the village was pretty slow as my right ankle was still felling a little tender. The round tip took me 1hr51mins.

White Xmas

Looks like we are in for a white Xmas out here in Castle Hill with fresh snow on Castle Hill Peak over night. Just a dusting but made it a bit chilly for my first run on over a week since twisting my ankle pretty badly on the Whafedale Track last Sunday. Felt amazing to “wake up” my legs with a easy 30mins. Took it very slowly, especially on the down hills. The only thing worse than twisting a ankle is re twisting one thats still healing.

Wharfdale Track

Went for a great little run around Mt Oxford today on the Wharfdale track, starting at View Hill car park. It was the first time that I have run (or done anything) in this area and was pretty impressed. It was very windy in Castle Hill today and we hoped to get away from the wind and rain a little by heading east. It was still very windy in exposed places, but no rain and even pretty calm as I got deep into the single track. I was feeling good, tired after 10+hrs running in the 7 days previous, but good all the same. I made it to the Wharfdale Hut in 1hr13mins and turned back for the car after refilling my water. I moved fast over the new terrain and was aiming to “negative split” the run, meaning that I would run the 2nd half faster than the first. All was going to plan until the slightest of twists to my right ankle…….. The  Wharfdale track, and this spot especially are not technical, so how I came to grief  I am not sure. The result was a slow and what I imagine to be a sorry looking half run, half hobble back to the car, finishing up in 2hrs38mins. I stopped and soaked my ankle in a cold stream and laced my shoe a little tighter to help with the swelling, but it’s a little puffy now.  I feel like I have been pushing it a little hard the last 7-10 days, so this could be my body telling me to slow down? A few easy days are on the menu and they won’t hurt.

Pick of the Week- NZ’s Busiest Trail Run Week?, Kepler Report

The week starting on the 28th of November to the 5th of December was possibly the busiest week for trail/mountain running in NZ all year. It started with the Heaphy Five 0 on Saturday the 28th. The race had a turnout similar to a ski mountaineering race in NZ, with only 35 on the start line for the 2nd running of this race. Heavy rain and reports of chest high rivers added to slower times than last year and the race was won by Dave Heatley in 7hr57min.
On the Sunday Mal Law started out on his 7 in 7 Challenge, an epic 360km on the 7 “Great Walks” of NZ. Continue reading