After my previous run at Lake Rotokare I did an inner city run in New Plymouth that I had done before. It starts right at the ocean and follows the Te Henui Walkway for just over 5km upstream and of course then you turn and head back. Pleasant running for the city and well worth it.
But this is about my Thursday night run where I decided to head for the hills! The big hill really, Mt Taranaki (that was Mount Egmont when I grew up). I had run a couple of trails on the South side around Dawson Falls, but this was my first visit to the Main area.
One of the things I recommend you always take advantage of is an information centre - if the area you are in has one, then use it. This was a perfect example. I popped in to check my planned route and talked to the lady on duty. My plan was to run up the Summit Track then turn off and head down to Maketawa Hut. She quickly pointed out that the loop would work much better the other way and she was so right!
After the great advice I also donned my Inov8 X-Talons to give me maximum grip on the way down and up!
The trail starts on the low side of the carpark outside the info centre and winds down for pretty much exactly 1km... that doesn't mean it will be speedy! That first downhill km took me over 10 minutes.... it is great, highly technical, lots of tree roots, mud and ups and downs including a couple of ladders.
Then the climb starts, quite a slog too... 37 minutes to do 2.7km. To be fair I was snapping pics along the way and stopped at the Hut just over halfway up. Worth finding an excuse to do a much longer run here just to stay in the hut... what an amazing outlook it has... would be incredible to wake and watch the sun rise in the distance!
Just past the hut I hit the first snow, not a lot, but enough to say I had run through my first white stuff for the year.
It wasn't too far past that when I hit the main Summit Trail heading back down the hill... more of a road than a trail... I was more thankful than ever that I had taken the advice.
|Yes, that is the Trail!|
|Look for ubiquitous Orange Triangle|
Then back to my Motel for the most important part of the day... my travelling Craft Beer... there may be another craft beer brewed in New Plymouth, but I haven't looked too hard as Mike's Brewery - New Zealand's oldest craft only brewery - produce so many fabulous beers. I had purchased two... not my favourite VCP - but more on that in the next post, but a very nice Taranaki India Pale Ale and my second favourite dark beer the Chocolate Milk Stout which was my after the Mount brew this day...
It is a creamy and very dark stout with a nice taste of chocolate that lingers in the mouth after swallowing. Not too bubbly, like the best stouts and porters it has a nice subtle bubble. Very very smooth and a perfect end to a memorable run!