First Turns

The weather forecast finally delivered, with the southerly arriving and the heavy rain turning to snow! We got a few cms of wet snow down in the village when we woke up Thursday morning, so I knew after my little reconnaissance up BR from the day before that we should be able to go for a skin up hill at the very least. Jane, Oscar and I got lucky as we were able to drive high to 1500m and started skinning from there. It was thin, but after only 100m vert we were skinning through new snow on top of a supportable crust- very promising. As we skinned higher I was amazing how good every thing was looking. I had prepared my self for skinning up and walking down, but we would be skiing!

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Big Outting

Well big for me anyway!

I headed over to Oxford yesterday and started out at Coopers Creek parking lot.  We are looking after our neighbors dog,Oscar, for a month. The little fella is full of energy and has been my most consistent training partner over the summer. Generally I only take him out a little 30-45min runs around CHV and I haven’t done a “big” run since January, so it was gonna be a interested day out for both of us. We climbed up the Mt Oxford track going at a descent pace. About 3/4 of the way up we come up on group who had a little dog taging along with them. It wasn’t their dog and as they predicted he was pretty keen to hang out with Oscar and started to tag along behind us. I tried to scare the new dog away as I didn’t really want to be held responsible for it, but it would not leave, so the 3 of us head up to Mt Oxfords 1364m summit, reaching it in 68mins. The down hill was super fun and we reached the Whafedale track and headed down stream before turning onto the track to Black Hill. After about 50mins of climbing the 3 of us reached the Black Hill Hut and I refilled my water and headed up to Black Hill (1335m). I am not sure if  made it to Black Hill or not, as there were a few little peaks along the ridge, but my Suunto read well over 1335m? We blasted back down to the Whafedale track again and started the long hull back to Coppers Creak. By this time we had been going for about 4hrs. I had downed 4 Gu’s and one of the new Carbo Shotz Energy Bar’s, which I was think would have been enough, but I was fading a little. I held out as long as I could till I had my last Gu and was able to drink heaps of water along the way. The final section along the  “link track” was pretty painful, for me at least, Oscar and our new friend, the mystery dog, were still cranking, even with out Gu’s and energy bars!  I stopped my watch at 5hr40min and 2616m climbed. A big day out for me. I think apart from the Molesworth 84km race this was my biggest run ever. If I am going to be competitive at the Kepler in December these kinds of runs are going to be key- big vert and smashing my quads on the down hills for 3hrs and then having 1.5hrs+ of runnable trail at the end. I don’t know how regular these runs will be once winter gets underway as I plan on skiing most days, with a small run a few times a week, plus a 90-120min run once a week, with the Kepler in mind. I have been running pretty descent since October now- I am so ready ski……..

Yesterdays 5.5hr, 2600m run. Mike Steel calls this a 40km, 2000m loop

The Tour 2010

24th May 2010 up date- CANCELLED

Sorry folks, The Tour is cancelled for 2010. To much else on my plate for this winter and the races here just aren’t getting the numbers to make all the effort and stress worth it………

Just finished updating The Tour web site-

I got all the info updated, including entry and race maps, so go check it out! There are a few things that still need confirmed, but I am confident that all will be good and confirmed soon, so have gone ahead with this years plan. Should be a awesome event this year. Last year participants asked for a bigger, more challenging course and I think that this year (if the weather, snow conditions play ball) we will deliver are great event for the back country ski community to take part in. Look forward to seeing you on the start line!

A bit of fresh snow above 1600m today. It feels like the first “real” snow fall of winter- more forecast for later in the week!


Not yet, not when I am running around shirtless like yesterday, with out a flake of snow in the Craigieburns, but I sure am ready for winter to arrive with some snow. I can’t wait till I have to shovel snow off the car and put chains on to go ski, or even better- ski from home!

In the past I would have been sitting back waiting for winter, but this autumn I want to make the most of my summer fitness and keep running until I can start skinning/skiing every day. I hope to make it into the 60km Kepler Challenge that is in early December and plan on logging most of my winter training on skis. To make sure I don’t neglect my running over the winter months I am most likely going to enter the 50km Great Naseby Water Race at the end of August. 5 x 10km laps will not be the most exciting race, but I think it will serve the purpose of keeping my running legs in sharp so I can crank in to the running at the end of winter.

Can’t wait till we are doing this again! Jane in Tarn Basin- 2nd MAY ’09

Lionel Fox X-Country

I lined up yesterday in my first x-country race in a long time. I think the last race I did was in Alburn, at Sierra Community College in N. California and must have been late 2000. I joined Sumner Running Club (SRC) a month or so ago when I raced the NZ Mtn Running Champs and got asked to join a team for the race this past Saturday. Running a  cross race is something that I never really envisioned doing again, but I have to say I was surprised how much I enjoyed it! I was running 3rd in our time, with Dallas leading out, Marty 2nd, handing off to me and Tane finishing things off. It seemed like most teams lead out with there fasted runner and Dallas was up against it, but come in solid, around 7th. Marty is a bit of a bad ass and had made up a bunch of places in the first lap and by the time he tagged me we were in 2nd place. I had no idea how I was gonna go. I got Plantar Fasciiti just after the Mt Champs (which explains my painful heal at the Routburn!) and have been taking things real easy since. This course was surprising fun, with a few short sharp ups and downs and I pulled in the University Club runner about half way into the first lap. By the time I got to Tane we had 30+secs on the Uni Club and knowing Tane’s speed I was sure we had it in the bag. I then turned to see Phil Costley waiting to run Uni’s anchor leg. Being a 63 half and 2hr13 full guy, as well as having the Kelper record and about 30 NZ titles I knew Tane would have a real flight holding Phil off. After the first lap they were neck and neck and Tane did a great job, with SRC coming in 2nd by less than 20sec.

The results are pretty intresting. I felt like a must have done a fast time, and was the fastest 3rd leg runner of the day, but the slowest on the SRC team, which is pretty cool really. Don’t know how many more x-country races I’ll do this winter. I guess it will depend on the skiing that day……

Check out the SRC web site for race report. Nice work to the SRC master men who won the masters, lead out by Gavin running a smoking hot time (2nd fasted of the day) barefoot!