Sunday, December 19, 2010

Build up

2hr run in the lovely rain today. Start of build to 6-7 hrs for Tarawera Ultra. 40 mins extra each week.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Goat

A long Taper and a few good nights sleep made all the difference for me at the Mt Ruapehu 21k run that is 'The Goat'. I had decided to run in my Inov8 212 raptors. This was a bold move as these lightweight trail shoes might have meant the death of my ankles on such a treacherous trail. However they proved to be the perfect choice. They dealt with the terrain amazingly and were light enough to make uphill bursts an easy option. The 1km downhill start, at 1600m above sea level, on a tarmac road spread the field out so that by the time we hit the trail there was no bunching. We started in waves and I was in wave 1 in about 70th place when we hit the trail proper. The sun beat down mercilessly and the 2 litres of water I carried were adequate but with plenty of freshwater streams along the route I could have taken a small bottle and refilled it on the run. The trail was by no means dry and there were plenty of runners slipping and sliding on the muddier uphill sections. My raptors dealt with all of that and I slipped once. After attacking the first big hill I layed back on the descent and had several runners pass me including 5 or 6 from wave 2. I took it easy on the next ascent but made a move on the downhill overtaking about 15 runners. I keep up the power on the next big hill and made another 10 places. Taking it easy up to the big waterfall climb I sustained a moderate climbing pace. I had enough energy to pick up another 10 places on the downhill and ascent to the Last mile where a tarmac road ascent to the finish awaited. I was exhausted by this point and it was all I could do to walk, run, walk, run. Halfway up I was given some water by a spectator and some jelly beans by a young girl.....they were just what I needed. I ran the last 500 metres and was able to pick up another place on the flat to the finish cheered on by some Welsh supporters in the crowd. This was a mighty tough race. I finished in 2:46. I was 49th overall (out of 500) and 4th in my age grade. This was my first race as a Port Talbot Harrier.......result. Quads not to bad but calves are screaming......

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Goat is upon me.

Ok The Goat is one week away. I've done a nice long 3 week taper so we'll see how that works out.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Goat behehehkons

Tapering for the goat starts next week. Although paradoxically this means more running but less long runs. The sun is torturing me but hopefully all this punishment will pay off.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Feeling hot hot hot

Ok so the Sun has returned with a vengence. I have cut my training down to 4 days with most of the sessions in the heat of the day. I'm trying to get used to running in the heat. I've also cut back my sessions by 15 mins.....cos it's hot out there.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Light training

Bad cold reduces training but better to rest. Recovered now and will start goat training on Tuesday.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Training for the Goat.

Today is day 1 of training for the pig that is the goat. Billat test today to establish good training paces, followed by a nice 40 min run. Let it train, let it train, let it train.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Stormy weather

Ok so it's been high winds and rain for the past two weeks which suits me fine. I've been resting a calf injury and doing light running every other day. Back to full strength now and will start back on training plan at 70% tomorrow with a 1.5hr long slow run (which aren't really that slow anymore).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rest is not rest.

Ok so been taking it easy for the last two weeks. Just doing 70% of usual training as the next race isn't until December. Been concentrating more on my form and breathing. Start back on weights and core next week. Slight pain in right calf shortened my run today only 30mins of an easy 50 could feel it pulling yesterday, am icing it and will take a day off tomorrow. All my training is now on hills except for my VO2 MAX stress training.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

X-Terra 6 Shakespeare Bay.

Ran this pretty fast and went hard last year in 1:30. It's the shortest race in the series but has a long technical coastal section. I took the race start easy as well as the coastal section as I knew there were a few hills to climb at the end. I had enough in the tank to run the hills at the end and an easy trot to the finish. I took 4 mins off my time last year coming in at 1:26 and felt fresh and relaxed at the end. Knew my third place in series was assured so just wanted to see how a more relaxed approach to this race would leave me feeling at the end. Answer I could have easily run it again even faster. Wore my NB's but they felt heavy after the sea. Think the inov8's would have been lighter but not sure how they would have coped on the slippery coastal section?

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Went out for a 3hr run last weekend in the Waitaks on 2 hrs sleep. Hard going on a muddy trail on a slow run when you've had hardly any sleep. Back to 100% training with a taper week coming up for last run in the Xterra series next Saturday.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

X-Terra 5 Whitford.

Didn't want to take any wrong turns so made extra sure I was always on the right track. Lots of hill climbs so went out quite fast to get to first hills. Made good time through the mudbath that the trail had become. Walked a few of the later hills as I'd used up a lot of energy at start. Made a few places in the last 2k's. Lost only 2 places through the entire race. 1:53 for the 18k's but with the 800m of ascent it felt a lot longer. No injuries and feel quite fresh after race.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

x-terra 4 Woodhill

After slowly building back to near race level I wa gutted to have taken a wrong turn adding at least 20 minutes to my race.............grrrrrrr

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rest week over.

After no running and a generally lazy (physically) week it's time to get back into training. 30 min jog tomorrow then 60% of last training regime. Think I've rested enough. Need to get some speed for Woodhill 21k on the 25th.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Xterra 3 Waiuku

This race gave me just 5 days to rest after the Hillary trail Ultra. I'd only run once in the week to check out my ankles and make sure I was fit to race. My legs were still tired but I was sure I'd be able to finish the race. The course isn't the toughest climbing trail but it was mostly sand. I started off at my usual pace but soon realised that I'd have to gear down if I wanted to complete the course as My muscles were starting to tighten after 3k's. I ran in my inov 8's but ny NB's or Scotts would have been just as effective and more comfortable. I settled into a steady pace and managed to run the whole course. I finished in 1:48 (21 mins faster than last year) and am pleased that I was able to run the entire course of 19.5 k's. Time to take a weeks rest before getting back to normal training.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Midnight Hillary Trail run

At Midnight on June the 25th a group of runners under the leadership of inspirational and legendary runner Malcolm Law, ran the 70+ Kilometer Hillary trail. Following is an account as well as I can remember it. I have omitted using the names of my fellow runners and support team as while in the trance induced state brought on by fatigue, exhilaration and exhaustion I may forget to mention someone. You all know who you are and I thank you in all sincerity for the camaraderie and support both mentally and physically that I received from you all. I didn’t know if I could finish this run or what 16 hours running through the toughest environment I have encountered would do to me. I still don’t know and hope to spend many years musing on this with the greatest and fondest memories. I used this run to raise awareness and funds for The Braveheart Youth Trust whose work I will continue to support. Thank you all to those who sponsored me. You are good people.

24 hours of rain previous to our run had ensured that this was going to be 16hrs of muddy wet and slippery trails. We met at the Arataki Visitors Centre in good spirits and glad that the rain had stopped; a cloudy moonlit night accompanied the start of our epic journey. We were made up of seasoned Ultra Marathon runners, long distance runners, multisport and Ironman competitors and novice Ultra runners like myself. We agreed to stop at major intersections en route to use the shoe clean facilities along the trails and regroup to make sure we were all safe and accounted for. At midnight, with our headlamps on full beam, we began. The trail started off muddy but relatively clear of debris with the odd fallen tree on the track and a few deadly overhead branches and dangling vines. We stopped to regroup once or twice in the mist shrouded bush as the clouds parted and the moon shone on the wet muddy travelers on the wild west Coast.

The first leg would see us to the Huia dam and then down into Huia for our first meeting with the support team. Next was the climb up to the Karamatura forks. We made steady progress up the slippery trail stopping to regroup before dropping down the Omanawanui track where its sheer cliff drops down into the Manukau Heads. At Whatipu we met our support team and re-filled our hydration systems. A quick bite to eat and we were off climbing out of Whatipu, up the Gibbons track. The rain had made its mark here with deep mud filled ruts which brought most of us to our hands and knees and some much closer (ha ha). Along the Muir track we filed, making our way to the zig zag trail that drops down into the Pararaha Valley. This trail is fast and deadly in the summer but right then it became a mudslide and your eye was constantly looking for the next tree to hold onto. The roar of nearby streams revealed that they had now become raging torrents. I also noticed that parts of the waterlogged trail had started to landslide. At the bottom you could look up and see a zig zag trail of headlamps making its way down the track accompanied by shouts of balance.
Regrouping once more at the hut in the Pararaha Valley, we stopped to treat our wounds and inspect our torn clothing. There is a stream crossing next which in the summer is nice and cool on your feet. Swollen to a small lake this crossing soothed the thighs of the taller runners while the smaller received a more bracing caress. Onwards and upwards on the Buck Taylor track then down the Zion Hill track into Karekare. Here we replenished ourselves meeting with the ever more welcome sight of our support team. Here several members of the run were leaving us and others joining.

Daybreak had arrived and the headlights stowed. There was yet more ascent to start us on our way to Piha along the Comans track and onto the AhuAhu track to meet with Te Ahuahu rd then Piha Road. This is a real road and the people who were driving on it that Saturday morning encountered a group of bedraggled muddy runners that caused them to toot their horns and wave. Whether in support or sympathy I did not know or get the chance to ask for we were off again into the bush. The track now was quite firm underfoot and the going was good as we made our way to the amazing Kitekite Waterfalls. We stopped to admire the falls. Like all the waterways we had so far encountered these were also torrential from their embrace with massive amounts of rainfall.

Like an oasis in the desert were our support crew and none more so than at Piha, Where civilization loomed large in the shape of pies and coffee cups. Out of Piha we traveled along the beach and then more ascents climbing the White Track up to Anawhata Road. Leaving Anawhata Road we joined the ankle deep in mud Kuataika track. This track raised and fell until it reached the summit of the Kuataika. This was a massive climb with its false descents that allowed you to think you’d finally reached the summit only to be confronted by more ascents, a real test of mental stamina. The descent down the Houghton Track was by now as painful as the ascents, if not more so. At the bottom there is a lake whose track around it was swamped in water. The trails were now in full daylight and all fallen tress and low branches were thankfully clearly visible. The trail then leads either over or around a vast bank of sand to the next pit stop at Te Henga (Bethells). Here we had our final water top-up and nourishment from our support team before the final push onto Muriwai. The track here hugs the coast and cliffside taking in every jutting out piece of land into the Tasman Sea. The views are stunning as are the drops off the sheer cliff faces. Previously the road ahead had been hidden as you were running through the dark or in bush and rainforest, now the distance was clear and painfully so. Another climb away from the coast brought us onto Constable Road then Oaia Road. Finally we were on a track down onto Muriwai Beach and at the end of the Hillary Trail. Our Ultra Marathon of 16hrs was over.

The Hillary trail is an amazing trail on the West coast of The North Island of New Zealand. It is rugged and challenging just like those who travel it and the man whose name it bares. The views are amazing and the countryside and coast are of insurmountable beauty. The trail is protected and preserved by the ARC. All the runners who took part observed and abided by the codes and laws pursuant to the protection of the land and trees. Words cannot express the high regard with which I hold my fellow runners who displayed mental and physical powers, at which they excel, that we as Human Beings have gifted to us, but which our modern world seems to have forgotten. I’d like to thank them also for keeping me on the right track as I was often lost and in particular one runner who was my ‘GPS’. We would never had been able to complete the run without the help of our support team and if there is any way in which you will ever need my support you will only need ask. Lastly I would like to thank Malcolm Law for making this possible and the great work he does for The Leukemia and Blood Foundation. Mal will be running his amazing 7in7 Challenge again this year and if you don’t already know about it, go on line here and be amazed…

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Ran the Riverhead 18k yesterday and done it in 1:36. Used my new Inov8 Talons and they are the business for muddy clay uphills and downhills. Started off pretty hard then settled into some climbs. Had a few chasers on the uphills but put some distance on em on the downhills. Ran pretty hard through the rest of the course and had enough in the tank to open up on the last 2k. Did get some cramp as I hit the waterlogged last 500 metres but finished in 10th place.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Long long run

Ok so last Sat ran from 8:00pm until 4 in the morning. Took a 6kg pack and took 3x 20 min eat- walk breaks. It was all mountain and trail running. Felt ok next day, foot was a bit clicky and sore but hey what wouldn't be after that? Rested for 2 days then back to normal training. Have just bought a pair of inov8 Talons. They are super light and grippy. Not as robust as my NB's but probably just the thing for the 21k Riverhead race on the 16th. Will break em in and we'll see how they go. Have started using the scotts shoes I won at Whatipu earlier this year. They are light but not much grip, great for my interval training on the field though.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Training- Long runs

Done a 4.5 hr run on Sat with a full backpack(6kgs) probly covered 30kms in the dark on a 20 min circuit of Mt Eden.(13 circuits). Felt good the next day and had no problems scoffing food on the run. Had a meal bar an up and go plus a red bull some nuts and a can of tuna. Also downed 3 energy gels. Felt quite comfortable in long sleeved running top and base tights and shorts. No hat or gloves needed but a better camelbak would do me the world of good. Seen a great one in shop in Ponsonby hope they sponsor me and supply me with one? 30 min jog tonight and back to regular training tomorrow.

Monday, May 17, 2010

1st X-Terra run at Hunua

This is one of the tougher races in the series and my time last year was 2:24. I was hoping to get close to 2:00 this year but sadly it was not to be. Two days before the race I caught a cold which had not cleared by the day of the race. I started off with good intentions but didn't have the energy to keep up the pace. As soon as my feet got wet in the first stream crossing my feet felt like lead. 15 mins into the race I then impaled my calf on a dead branch sticking into the trail as I overtook someone. The next half hour was dead leg and I ended up finishing 2:13. St Johns Ambulance cleaned me up and I now await the riddance of this cold and my next training run.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Cape Brett 17Km

Did the Cape Brett 17Km in 2:00 flat. It was a really hot day and I headed out at the front of the pack to find cover from the relentless sun. Pushed about as hard as I could and am happy with my 8th place finish. Also took 3rd place for my age group. This race has some serious climbs and I think all my hill training paid off.

Hillary Trail 71Km run

So I'm running the 71Km Hillary trail. I've got 8 weeks to get myself in order for this. I'm upping my long runs from 2.5 hrs to 4hrs and plan an 8hr day out running and walking. I'm going to stick to my usual running pattern through the week as it's a great lactic threshold and VO2 max stress routine. I'm going to have to get used to eating on my long runs and will have to carry a heavier pack than usual. I think the run will take between 12-14 hrs. It starts at midnight so will have to start training in the dark. It's an extreme off road/mountain trail through bush, rainforest and rugged coastline. What on earth am I doing?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

4th race 2010

Ok Rangitoto- Motutapu dual on Saturday. It's a 21k mountain (Volcano) and trail run. It is mostly trail but lots of lava flow sections with big uphills and downhills. My time last year was 2:40. Update: Finished in 2:06 It was, of course, really hot.