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Posts Tagged ‘trail running’

Mt. Climie Repeats

Training for Northburn 100 stepped-up a gear this weekend, with a full eight hours spent on the trails. I managed 50km of repeats up and down Mt. Climie (Tunnel Gulley), running in Northburn-style….walking uphill using the poles and jogging the flat and the downhill.

Mind was numbed, toes were munged…..but it felt great to knock-off 1/3 of the total Northburn climb in one outing. Looking forward to doing it again soon!

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Aorangi Undulator

There’s a few new trail running events emerging in the greater Wellington area at the moment, and one of the very best is the Aorangi Undulator.

The Undulator has an intimidating tagline; “It’s Not For The Weak”, and it certainly lives-up to it. Distance-wise it is “only” 30km, but this race is all about the terrain and the climb. Heaps of stream crossings, gnarly root-covered tracks, and navigational challenges all await those brave enough to take the event on.

I made this short video of my day on the course, it shows a bit of the climbing and fun in the rivers. It also shows what happens when you fall on your arse whilst filming yourself running up a hill 😉

This is a great event. Even though it was the first year of the race everything went very smoothly. Race marshals were present at crucial stages, the course was mostly clear, and everybody had a fantastic day out in the sunshine. I’ll definitely be back in November 2014!

You can learn more about the race here: http://chrismartinc.wix.com/aorangi-undulator

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I bought myself a great little gadget called a “StickPic”. This ingenious device lets you stick a camera on the end of a trekking pole (safely!). The end result? It’s like having a miniature helicam following you on your run 🙂

Check-out my test footage taken from a run up the Lower Hutt firebreaks. It sure made the run more fun, and I was amazed at how easy it was to get good footage using the StickPic. I was using a US$50 camera bought from The Warehouse – cheap!

If you’re interested, you can get you own StickPic at http://www.thestickpic.com/

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Mukamuka Munter

A couple of weeks back I took part in a cool trail running event – the Mukamuka Munter.

Originally scheduled as a coastal run and a trail-less ridge crossing, bad weather forced the organisers to run the “alternate course”. The new course was a few kms shorter, but had a heck of a lot more climb. It was held in the Rimutaka Forest Park, about 10km from Wainuiomata at the bottom of New Zealand’s North Island. Beautiful part of the country, but that was mostly forgotten as the competitors shambled their way up the steep, slippery tracks. Lots of climb, lots of mud, but also lots of fun.

Here’s an elevation graph – note that I lost GPS signal a couple of times during the race, so some segments of the graph look alarmingly like either a rope climb or a short fall from a cliff!

Mukamuka Munter - alternate route elevation

Mukamuka Munter - alternate route elevation

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Yesterday I competed in the duathlon category of the Porirua Grand Traverse.

This is a great event held annually in April. The event started off with a 33km mountain bike through the Battle Hill and Belmont regional parks. The tracks were pretty slippery after a solid day of rain before the event, so there was a lot of muddy-looking riders at the finish. There was a lot of fog at the top of the hills too which made for some very atmospheric riding. The elevation for the MTB ride and a map of the course are below (click on the map for a larger version).

MTB - ElevationMTB Map

After transitioning at Bishop Viard College (big thanks to my wonderful wife Sarah and son Ryan for being my support crew!) I set off on the run. After a tough climp up Colonial Knob (700 steps in a 1km stretch!) we soon moved into private farm land. A quick descent followed and we were running along a beautiful coast line – a very attractive part of the world. At one point I had to wade through a rock pool due to the tide, but by that stage I was glad of the soothing effect of the water on my aching legs! Run elevation and map are below.

Run - ElevationRun Map

 Overall, the Porirua Grand Traverse is a great event, lots of fun and very well organised. I will definitely be back next year – here’s hoping for some dry tracks!

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Keen OchocoKeen OchocoKeen Ochoco

On holiday in Australia I picked-up a new pair of Keen Ochoco trail running shoes. They are my first pair of Keens; in the past I normally have run in Brooks Adrenaline GTS 6/7 and Icebug trail running shoes. Although I have only owned them for a short period of time I thought that I would write an early-bird review.

My first impressions when wearing the shoes were that they felt very snug and stable – more like a low-cut walking shoe than a pair of runners. Cushioning across the shoe is good, the base is nice and supportive, and the sole has plenty of gnarly grip.

I took the shoes for a couple of runs over the past week; one in Sydney and one in Brisbane. I was pleased that they seem equally at home on both tarmac and track. Grip was good on the downhills, even on some steep, potentially slippery sections of wet asphalt.

Keen push these shoes for their waterproofing (they brand the fabric used ‘eVent’). In Brisbane I had an ideal opportunity to test this out – a 70 minute run in a tropical downpour J Within ten minutes of running I was completely drenched – but my feet remained dry. The shoes performed very well in the wet terrain, offering a very stable and confident ride. No shoes can keep heavy rain out forever, but my feet stayed dry through the rain and running through small creeks for an impressive 40 minutes. If this had been a run through similar terrain on a dry day I am confident that I would have stayed dry throughout the run.

Drainage on the shoes was not great – I was stuck with heavy, sploshing feet for the rest of my run. So if you are planning on taking on river crossings then these shoes aren’t ideal – I would recommend the Teva X1 Racer instead as an excellent quick-venting trail running shoe. But if most of your course involves dry land, with perhaps some shallow water crossings, then the Keen Ochoco are definitely worth considering.

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