It has been a big weekend for running in New Zealand and Hamilton Road Runners have been out enjoying the events.
Locally, the Summer Series of Fun Runs kicked off with the Blueberry Run in Ohapo. The weather forecast was grim, but the lure of blueberry pies & ice cream was strong. And luck was on their side in the end - a dryish day, if a bit humid.
Further afield, the start line of the ever popular Tarawera Ultra Marathon was proving less friendly. Super wet and muddy conditions added an extra challenge for the die-hard participants, competing in events between 62 Km (solo or relay) and 162! Km. Mega Kudos goes to all finishers for this year's events, but we have to give an extra thumbs up to two of our members for maximum trail madness:
Earning a highly coveted Pounamu for running the 100 mile course within 35 hours, Paula Klein amazes us all again with her determination and grit. She's philosophical on Facebook now, after the event, about the struggles:
"Blisters will heal, toe nails fall off (who needs toe nails anyway) and antibiotics will heal the infection I picked up along the way. I am incredibly proud and grateful that I can physically achieve these massive goals and that I have so many kind and caring friends."
Also on the start line, again, was serial TUM finisher Ross Dewstow. Having run the 87Km course this year in a very respectable 17:20, he is now in possession of an enviable collection of medals and honorable race numbers for ALL the event courses & distances. Ross has starred as a finisher in... the four person relay (during a cyclone!), two person relay, marathon (three times!), 50Km, 62Km, 87Km AND 102Km - Whew!
"The set is full and it does make me happy to realise just what I have done. Wouldn’t change it for the world."
Further still from home, a Hamilton Road Runner could be found at the Buller Gorge Marathon. Weather conditions were much kinder here, for an idyllic run through some top New Zealand scenery. Chris was in good company, with five participants from Hamilton in the events, as well as family from Christchurch completing the Half Marathon distance for the first time. Well done them!
Tarawera Ultra Marathon (TUM)
Buller Gorge Marathon