Tarawera 100km Predictions

I have been described as being “wound up like kid in a lollie store” for the upcoming Tarawera Ultra Marathon (TuM), and that really is not to far off the mark. We are now just days away from the TuM and things are really heating up for the front of the pack in the mens 100km event (there are 60, 80 and rely events as well) so it seems like a good time for a little prediction post on the mens field of the TuM.  There is all kinds of talk about this race, which has been great to see. Big name runners have been flowing in and more to the point I think there are some lesser knows that will shake things up also, all with a eye on the newly carved Suter Memorial Trophy. There is a little talk around 4 runners in particular and if you can be asked there is a very colorful blow by blow account of how the race might play out on Sportz Hub.

Now, just like in my Kepler Predication post take the following with a grain of salt, try not to get hurt feeling if your name is not listed here and try not to fold under the pressure if it is…….

Top 3-

This is such a tough call on who I think could win this between Sam and Vajin. Could go either way

1-Sam Wreford- 2:19 marathon and 5.03 Kepler- Sam run his Kepler a few years ago over which time he has speed up a lot. From what I have seen, or have not seen in results, he will be coming in with fresh legs and ready to go. Word on the street is Sam is looking for a 2:14 marathon in the hope of making it to London 2012. His upper hand may come in the form of his pacer.

2- Vajin Armstrong- 5:03 Kepler and 2010 winner, 2011 Mototapu Marathon winner- Vajin will be hard to beat come Saturday, with possibly his only weakness being a little tired still after racing (and winning) the Mototapu Marathon this past Saturday. It sounded like a easy win and he does some monster miles, so recovery may not be an issue. If it is, we will find out some were around Tarawera Falls on Saturday afternoon.

3- Hiroki Ishikawa- 5:15 Kepler and winner of US “Grand Slam” of ultras- No doubt Hiroki will have other things on his mind with what is going on in his home land of Japan right now , but come race day I am sure he’ll be very focussed. He has a huge advantage over Sam and Vajin in that he has raced 100km before and this experience will show I am sure.  Hiroki recently run a 19hr 100mile at Rocky Raccoon, which is not overly fast for that course, but he would have made him strong.

Others that will be in the mix-

Paul Stables- 7:40ish at 2009 Molesworth. Paul run a very smart and patient race at Molesworth in ’09, if he has put in the work and does the same come Saturday he might up set the “big 4”

Kristian Day- young guy that run  just under 7hrs at Kaweka this year. If he is smart and patient in his race plan, look out!

Jo Petersen- 2nd last year at Tarawera, will have undoubtedly improved, but enough to get in the top 3 for a second year?

Darren Blackwell- the forums say he could go close to 9hrs

Chris Noble- some Aussie guy that keeps being talked up?? I know nothing re race results………

My Self- 5:30 Kepler, 3:45 50k at Naseby- I feel like I’v done the work and am really looking forward to spending a day out on some new trails and meeting some new people. Mostly been injury free unlike my Kepler build up.

Possible starter– Blair McWhirter- 1st at 2011 Buller Marathon and 3rd at Avalanche Peak a week later- It will just add to the field even more!

I am not at all up to date with the womans 100k or the 80/60km fields, so sorry, not grand predictions on those. It will be a great race I am sure.

Would love to hear your top 5!


14 thoughts on “Tarawera 100km Predictions

  1. This is just nuts,it took me 11.46 to run the 85k last year and yes i am fitter and wiser this year but 9hrs? My goal is to run the 100 in roughly the same time as last years time.No preasure:)
    Good luck G2G.

  2. Hmmm, no mention of me (Glenn larsen) in the 60k event. Overweight, undertrained (3 year taper process) and a “Blistering” (literally) run of 4:27 at Buller Marathon surely puts him in contention??

  3. The Contenders:
    Vajin Armstrong
    Sam Wreford
    Grant Guise
    Hiroki Ishikawa
    Blair McWhirter

    These guys can all run fast(ish) and most have experience. Vajin and Sam will clear off and go head to head. Anyone who goes with them is silly and will die. Tarawera has a lot of smooth ground/roads and they are road runners. GTG is easily the best rough ground runner in the field and will make up time on the rough bits. Hiroki has been talked up a lot, either he’s been sandbagging or just isn’t in form. But 19 hours for a flat 100 miles is actually quite slow. If Blair McWhirter enters, he and GTG should work together and hope that the Wreford/Armstrong combination kill each other.

    Winning Time – Don’t be surprised if it’s near 8 hours!!!!!! But I’ll say 8:30 with GTG, Hiroki and McWhirter coming in around 9:00

    Some Other Names
    Dave Heatley
    Paul Stables
    Kristian Day
    Dave has been around the block a few times and is fit. Good for a 9:30 if all goes well. Paul Stables 1st Ultra was Molesworth where he cruised past a vomitting GTG. Again should be good for a 9:30-10:00. Kristian as another who is probably not right in the head and should go run for 24 hours. I’d bet money he could do 220k Like me, too slow to be really competitive at such a short distance 😛 9:30

    Others Mentioned in Dispatches
    Shaun Cooper
    Chris Noble
    Darren Blackwell
    Shaun hasn’t actually been mentioned, but back in the day he represented NZ at 100k, he also counted my laps for about 15 hours during my 1st 24hour. Nice guy, hope he has a good day and gets a top 10. Chris Noble, sorry fulla, race times suggest you’re about an hour slower than the Heatley, Stables, Day bunch. That sort of comment is bound to backfire again. Oh well, if it’s used for motivation then it’s all good.

    Blacky – Good luck fulla. I think you’ve got a smart goal. Don’t carry too much stuff though and give plenty of shit to Kerry for being a blouse and not running.

    Darkhorses – Bound to be at least 2 not mentioned that run under 10 hours.

    Ladies – Sorry, have wasted half a morning at working sorting out the blokes. There were no obvious names so could be quite a battle. Sue Rundle will be up there though.


    ps Spoke to Vajin outside the Fudge Shop in Arrowtown. He looked like he’d been taking sugar through an IV. He’s a little bit excited.

  4. Update – Screw you guys. My race just got uber competitive. Northburn has put up a start list. McWhirter is entered in that, along with Lukes, 4 names and some others.

  5. Anyone keen to run it backwards first?

    In all honesty though, I’m pretty surprised to see my name even mentioned in these lists floating around especially noting the caliber of the runners. Of course I’m not melancholic enough to talk myself down, and I have been known to become quite lycanthropic after one to many electrolyte drinks.

    There will surely be blood though, and perhaps some other types of bodily fluid if we are lucky.

    Hopeing for a good run and looking foward to seeing you guys!


  6. Great to read the comments and that NZ ultra is in good spirits. Keep smiling at the end. Pain is temporary…Bring on the racing!

  7. Re the ladies,i think Lisa Nicholl AKA lsdrunner will be right up there.I know she was gutted at coming 2nd last year and with the western states 100 on her horizon will be determined to do well.I also see Penny Kirkwood has entered TuM 100k and Northburn 100mi…..a busy lady.

  8. The Girls – aaaaargh, harder to pick than a broken nose. Very little form, variety of events/countries etc so comparrison near impossible.

    Kelly Cronin from the US has run a 4:13 50k, pretty sure that makes her the fastest in the field.

    Amy Campbell has a 10 hour Taupo 100k and experience, Sue Rundle will be there or there abouts as will Andrea Kaltenbaugh and Claire Akin-Smith.

    If I add anymore names to the list I’ll be just like the moon man and cover all the options. But just in case it all goes well I’ll chuck Lisa Nichol in there. Back is shagged and probably couldn’t even get from the car to the start line at the moment 😛 Is actually entered in the 85k but if she isn’t crawling I’d imagine she’ll carry on to the finish.

  9. Predicition
    “Winning Time – Don’t be surprised if it’s near 8 hours!!!!!! But I’ll say 8:30 with GTG, Hiroki and McWhirter coming in around 9:00”

    Wreford 8:36
    Armstrong 8:42
    Guise 9:06

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