Had a great weekend up on Taranaki with Paul, Anna and Matt.
I arrived Friday and we headed straight to Dawson Falls and hit the trails. Saturday morning Anna and Matt cranked into it at 630, by 845 Anna was back at the Camp House with the woman’s ascent and round trip records! Matt arrived not long after on his first of 4 peaks under his belt. I headed up the “Razor Back” to explore and couldn’t help myself but head up to the summit of Taranaki- an easyish 1hr27mins.I then headed back to the camp house to rest up for my RTM run the next day. Matt returned and left again, before returning with the “4 Summits” record.
Sunday seemed pretty nice weather wise, but when we arrived at Stratford Plateau it was quite a bit cooler and the clouds looked a lot darker to the south- where we were about to go! Not long after Dawson Falls, on the Fanthams Peak Track, the rain and wind really started to drive in. It made this long staired section even less pleasant. The Upper Lake Dive track had some really nice sections, it also had a few “you fall you die” sections, as did the Brames Falls track. Once out of the cold wind and rain (I got really cold here for a while, I can’t remember the last time I felt like that in the hills) I enjoyed myself, flowing and stumbling down the rough, technical trail. Paul and Matt went into the Kahui track junction, with the goal of getting some photos and video- it was also a great chance for me to grab some coke and an avocado sandwhich. I then headed off, climbing up to Kahui Hut, as we had been told this was fast and flowing, a better option than the lower track- it was. I started to fall off the pace as my mind drifted on the climb up to Holly Hut. I had been taking photos and updating facebook with my progress and even had called Jane to see how her and Isabella were. I love the loneliness that trail running, especially this kind of run, can offer you, its one of the reasons I run, to be alone. To have quite time. Problem is I tend to bore easy and have a little ADD and this was kicking in on the climb up to Holly Hut. Lucky I was still motivated and kept pushing. With the upper track that connected Kahui and Holly Huts closed since Greg Babour set his 5hr17 time back in ’92 (which cut out the Stony River track and a heap of vertical loss and gain) I wasn’t feeling too much pressure to go near that time. The Taranaki Speed Record web site says “The route now diverts through lower bush tracks lengthening the circumnavigation by about an hour at record pace.” OK, there may have been a little pressure to get within 1hr of Greg’s time. I realized not long after Holly Hut that if I was to do this I was gonna have to start pushing it. I started to get into the flow around the Boomerang Slip and Dieffenbach Cliffs- this is a great section of trail that I had run a number of times 4-5yrs ago and had been waiting all day to run on. Once at Tahurangi Lodge it was all downhill and I really opened it up for the first time all day, a great way to finish. 6hr08mins- pretty happy, but there is so much time to lose off that. I can’t wait to see what time gets thrown down, hopefully in the near future!
Below are some photos. No captions, no no. I will let you make up your own captions, make up the story yourself, it will probably be more interesting this way!
Huge thanks to Paul, Anna and Matt Check out their blogs/websites for more cool photos and stories! They each tell there own story very well – Great weekend team! And thanks to Salomon Running and Greg!
OK, so I was going to talk about my next race and other race plans- but before that I have to talk about a race I am gonna do before all that! I wasn’t going to go, but Adrian has put together a great looking event in the Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon this weekend and I can’t say away. Should be a good time and a great last long training run before I race the Hong Kong 100km on the 18th February!