My last post was the Big O... 19km of fun at Okataina and that was supposed to be the last run for a few weeks before a trip to the Hawkes Bay... my things can change quickly.
Feeling good after the Big O, I decided on Friday to run a race that weekend... the decision then was whether to come out of 'road retirement' and run the Tauranga Half or run the local 3D Trail Half in the Redwoods... the latter was more expensive, but closer and - being trail - won the day.
After some pretty average weather, the day dawned fine and cold (pretty normal for this winter). A good crowd was gathered in the Redwoods and the half and quarter marathons both ran the same loop... obviously twice around for us.
Being trails I know really well, I knew how difficult the run would be and started out at a good steady pace from the start right next to the big 'sail' in the Redwoods by the Information Centre.
After a little 'canter' through the bottom trail we hit the uphill that Tarawera Ultra runners will know so well from the start of their race... a nice climb to get you warm. But where the TUM runners are mostly happy to walk it, looking to the latter parts of the race... in a half we have to run... and a slog it is! Instead of taking the last section up on to Tokorangi Pa Road, the race veers left to continue on what is known as the Green Trail and head back down into the Redwoods.
I was going ok here, just cruising. Once into the Redwoods again we hung a left and followed the main trail for a wee bit before heading into some lovely single trail that led to a nice uphill trail I like to call Back Trail... this trail does go all the way up to Tokorangi Pa Road and is a fantastic run. Lots of winding bits and switchbacks.
Up onto Tokorangi Pa Rd and we turned left to continue up, at the next intersection where the Black Trail and the TUM trail head left, we went to the 'right of the 2 lefthand trails' and on up Tokorangi Pa Road. 3 steady, but runnable climbs later and we were at the top of T Pa Rd and the downhill begins.... firstly down the main Black Trail, then veering off where TUM does to a rapid bit of downhill, just the right angle to really let the brakes off and 'flow' down the hill.
At the bottom of that bit, a slight climb and over to the new Tanks to Town trail, a small climb on that, then down and down and down again, to be spat out by Tarawera Rd.
|Elina Usher, winner of the Female Multisport race|
Up the long grassy strip between the trees and back into the forest for a few zig-zags before suddenly we were at the Start/Finish... then we ran it again.
1:03 for the first lap, 1:04 for the second... very happy with that and 3rd in age group.
Overall I enjoyed this much more than I expected. With over 800m of vertical climbing I expected to find this really hard, but the weight I have lost has made it a little easier to cope with the climbing... more weight to lose though.
This would be a great race to run in 5's as was bourne out when Keith Crook and I ran one circuit a few weeks after, the surface is largely soft and pleasant running and this is a race I would highly recommend.
Prizegiving was that night with an absolute truckload of prize draws... of which I won nothing (surprise surprise) and a great crowd. Mark Watson was the presenter and some great guests like Robin Judkins.
Make some time next year to head to the 3D... I only ran the trail run, but there were kayak races, mtb races, multi-sport events... stuff for the kids... a complete package!
Well done guys on a first class day!