Mt Lyford Challenge Report/Photos

We headed up to Lyford on Saturday and after setting up camp at the lodge headed up and had a little look at the course. I was able to suss out the last 3km down hill section of the race. Then we rested up and fueled up for the next day. My day started pretty leisurely compared to the rest of the folks camping out at the Mt Lyford lodge as they were all doing the Vasque – Mt Terako Extreme Challenge. I did manage to get up and catch the start of the Extreme race and wish Jane and a few other good luck, with what was going to be a pretty big day out.

Ian Reeves leads out the pack at the start of the Extreme Challange

Jane in the lead and all smiles right from the start
Jane in the lead and all smiles right from the start
Jane took the lead of the woman’s race at the gun and never looked back, beating 2009 winner Veronica Ulfves by 8mins, running a pretty respectable 4hr01mins, but still 15mins off Lara Princes 2008 course record. In the men’s Extreme Ian Reeves lead all the way down lottery creek before being pass by Billy Hebberd and Calvin Watson, with Billy going on to win in 3:12:06. Good friends Gary Mac was 3rd in the vets class and Rae Anne was the 1st Vet woman.

Steve Nairn coming in for a sub 4hr run. Pretty good for only his 2nd running race!

Jane still smiling, even after 20km and 2000m vert, as Luke the race director congratulates her and a small boy applauds her performance.

My race went more or less to plan, well to my plan any way. I went out pretty easy to get a feel for the competition before taking the lead about 5mins into the race. Kerry Fass, who won the ’08 Flagpole Race and has run a 70min half, was right behind me. I was pretty sure I didn’t want Kerry and his leg speed any were near me when we hit the ski rd section of the race, so I made a move on the steep tree section to put a bit of space between Kerry and myself. I was able to maintain and I think even increase this gap above the bush line. This climb was mostly power walking, with some runnable sections, so when we got to the down hill I was ready to to let the legs go. I still had heaps in me, the climb was steep, but over and done with in 35mins, and I didn’t find it that taxing. I was happy to be done with the ski road and onto the steep single track to the finish. I himmed and harred a little over shoe choice for this race, but was stoked I opted for my Inov-8 212’s. These little guys have some meaty grip on them and it really help on the super steep and slick single track. I always set goals before a race and the goal for this race was to see if I could get close the course record of 58mins48sec set by James Coubrough last year. James was a member of the NZ mountain running team last year and was NZ’s top finisher at the world champs, so I knew getting close to his time would be a good thing. I didn’t really get close to it in the end, rather I was 4mins off his time, but I am not complaining. The result give’s me a huge confidence boost for my up coming race’s.
I think the coolest thing about this event was the SWAZI – Junior Challenge, it was really cool to see a bunch of kids getting out and ripping around the 3km course and having a great time.
Full Results HERE

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