CDR- Round 2….

Off today to Canmore (and then on to Grande Cache) for the 125km Canadain Death Race. This will be my 2nd crack at the CDR, with a 3rd place last year.

A recent (last 4 months) total change up in training and more recently an over haul of my diet and a greater focus on core/strength work I feel like a totally different runner from 12months last year.

Final prep talks last nice with the one and only Marty Lukes (sadly not over a punt this time) and Christophe via skype.

Ricky Gates before last years CDR and his course record run

I can’t wait to get to Canmore and have  a little trail time with fellow Salomon team mates Jeremy, Julia and PV.

I will hopefully get a few updates out from Canada and I am sure PV will be twitting/facebooking updates come race day!



I am scared, scared shitless about my next race coming up.

There, I said it, I got that off my chest and feel better for it. I will be out of my depth, hugely under prepared and very very much a fish out of water as I line up tomorrow in the Canterbury Cross Country Champs– 12km at Halswell. SRC are the duty club so I will for the first time in 3 years of being a  member pull my weight and help out getting things set up pre race. Then my race kicks off 1440, but Jane is going to line up in her 1st ever cross country race and first race as a SRC member tomorrow also! I guess I will warm up with little Bella while Jane is racing- so that means Jane will have to crank out her 8km in 35mins, or our little princess will be left to her own devices for a while…

The other race I have coming up I am a lot lot more positive about! The 125km Canadian Death Race is now about 16days away and I am feeling good and ready to go- not too ready, but getting there. Other than a niggle on my ankle which is some what of a mystery (all the “good” injuries are) as to how and what?

Last weekend I had my final long run and then a good hill session, both runs in the Port Hills, accompanied by GaryM and George Dog and wearing some flash new Salomon SpeedCross3s courtesy of The team at Salomon NZ/Snoworld.

.Looking past CDR I have some pretty exciting race plans coming up for the summer- I can’t remember the last time I was looking so far ahead. At this stage I think I will be lining up in the following-

Yurebrilla 56km, Xterra Waihi60km, Kepler 60km, Kaweka Mt Marathon, Shotover Moonlight Mt Marathon and The Hillary 50mile (if that last race gets the green light?). We’ll see, might add Tararua 35km in also if it works and need to balance racing with family, work and “fun runs”.

But first things first – CDR!! oh, and that scary 12km tomorrow….

Foggy and Castle Hill Peak

Another good week of training, some good speed stuff, capped off by a good hill session on Saturday and then some fun on Sunday- climbing Foggy and Castle Hill Peaks from Posters Pass. About 47-48mins to Foggy which s well off my person FKT of 36min from Pass to Foggy Peak, but not fast conditions and there was lots of stops and photo taking. 1hr40 to Castle Hill Peak, where I spent about 10mins hanging out and then 2hr50 I was back at the car where Jane and Bella were waiting. We headed into Springfeild for coffee- the big treat from the week!

Trig M track- only real snow free option around home for hill repeats

On the climb to 1741m Foggy Peak

On the ridge about half way between Foggy and Castle Hill Peaks

Getting closer and more interesting

Foggy Peak (left) and Castle Hill Peak viewed from highway 73 driving back to Castle Hill


So I am thinking about removing the “Ski” from this blog’s title, so little have I skied this year it is boarding on embarrassing. I hate to admit it, but without a doubt the way shit went down in regards to ski related gear a few months ago has sadly dampened my enthusiasm for skiing. That and trail running, for now at least, is just so darn fun! It is an interesting place I find myself in with regards to running at present. With all of life’s little changes coming at once I feel like there has been a big change, but with the lifestyle chosen, consistence has never really been, well consisant. I committed to racing the CDR for the 2nd time about 7-8 months ago. I knew way back then it was going to mean less skiing and more running during this time of year. I have been very tempted a few times to blow off “training” and go “play” (the 2 blur into one more often than not) many a time since the hills around home have been covered in snow. But staying on track, following the training program, keeping the focus on the CDR and remembering the commitment I made to turn up to that race knowing I have done everything possible to prepare has in itself been very satisfying.

Craigieburn’s looking all snowy and tempting

I was feeling pretty tired last week after being dragged around by Vajin on the Sunday and doing a solid back to back weekend, lucky last week was an easy week! This week and next are lots of good high intensity training (might even have a blat at the Canterbury XC Champs). I found it odd to drive away from the mountains here and into snow free Port Hills for training last month, but I managed to top that oddity by driving out Oxford way to do a tempo session on the flat farm roads in the area this week. Coming up I have some fun training- it is not based on time, distance or heart rate- it’s all about the vertical gained! Hopefully I can complete that around here on foot on some snow free trails.

Other news- I have been very luck to receive support from Mother Nature’s, the New Zealand importer/distributor of Udo’s Oli, as well as some of the other great products in the Flora range. Mother Natures is a family business operating for over 30 years mainly supplying healthy Snack Foods and recently have started bringing in the oily Udo’s goodness! You might recognise Udo’s 369 Blend as it is pretty popular among the US ultra running community- it’s what the cool kids use, not wanting to be on the out I tried Udo’s last year when I was in Canada for the CDR. It tastes good and is good for you. I have been loading up on it this past week, so hopefully just the ticket to help with recovery coming into CDR. If you are keen on getting some, or just want to learn more about Udo’s 369 check out Ollie Pacific Heath. They have some good videos on the 369 and recipes also.