Saturday, 19 April 2014

A fun filled Easter Weekend..!

On my last post I mentioned I was going to have a go at some of the local races over the Easter Weekend here in New Zealand. I was determined to take advantage of the store being closed due to the public holiday, so it all started on Easter Friday where I had entered the Lake Hayes Tri 10km trail race. Now some of you may remember that I did actually race this back at Christmas too in 25 degree heat well this time round it was the total opposite ! Very chilly and windy made the course once again a challenging event. The race is held twice a year once at Christmas and the other at Easter so it gets lots of the same runners which is great.. Back at Christmas I finished up in 3rd and suffered a lot on the far side of the lake due to being exposed to the blistering heat (For a Welshman anyhow!) this time round the runner who won last time was here again and a few new faces. Gem was racing once again and hoping to improve on her Christmas time too and our new house mate Rachael decided at the last minute to have a crack.
Race number 1. Map and profile!
From the gun the lead runner just went with out looking back, what left myself and 2 other runners in chase (including last events winner) for me I was set on trying to keep as close as possible to him or better still obviously get my own back from Christmas… As we passed through the 5km mark our little pack of 3 had been reduced to 2 and still moving pretty well, I decided at the far end of the lake that I would make a move on a steep incline and make my bid for 2nd place and strangely that's exactly what happened (for a change!!) I raced up the hill and glanced over my shoulder to see 3rd place had slowed down on the incline. The final 4km was all about hanging on and my goal was done, I was never going to catch 1st so my main focus was to stay 2nd and take it home. On crossing the finish line I looked down at my Suunto Ambit 2 and was pleased to see I had actually taken off just over 4 minutes from last time I raced this course, obviously growing up with wind and rain helped me today! Not too long after Gem had a storming run to win the ladies race overall and was over the line in also a much quicker time than last time.. My new house mate Rachael also had a very strong run to finish middle of the pack .. Overall a good day all round!
On the Saturday I had a chilled morning followed by a 17km walk along the lakefront trails and a 22km mountain bike ride in the evening to turn the legs over which at this time was starting to stiffen. A good feast in the evening and an early night ready for Sundays race..
Nathan racing vest and Hoka One One trail shoes.. Good to go!
7:00am soon come around on the clock and it was time to go again, this time The Arm Run 26km trail race,  I was racing this one alone as Gem and Rachael had to work, so I found myself cycling 22.5km to the start line of the trail race as a warm up.. Today's weather was much better still a little wind around and cooler temperature but no rain in sight! 10:00am and we were off , the start was enough to kill anyone off it was a steep rugged trail climb for the first 15minutes before descending onto the lake front trail of Jacks Point. On hitting the front I felt it might flatten out a little how wrong was I! The trail went for almost 10km of up and down, up and down along this amazing single file track. Every now and again you were hit by the strong winds of the lake but nothing too challenging. I quickly realised that again I wasn't going to catch the lead runner.. he had ran a very strong first 15km over the undulating trails to gain his lead and he wasn't going to just give it up, I glanced over my shoulder to see no one else in sight.. I had put a big gap in between me and 3rd overall at this point. As I hit the 20km mark my legs had started to stiffen I was slowing slightly mile by mile but determined to hold onto my second overall. The final 5km down my usual trail run into work felt like double the normal distance and each hill felt steeper! Luckily I managed to hold onto my 2nd overall place just like 2 days before, on crossing the line I stopped the watch and noticed my legs were a little stiff the course had just over 1200ft of climbing involved along the single technical trails.. All great fun, and some good miles in the legs for TNF100 in Australia in 4 weeks from now.
Race number 2 - Map and profile!
A great Easter weekend all in all and some good time spent on the legs, clocking up my distance tallying  97km in total for my weekend. Then a perfect way to finish off my weekend with a easy run with Emily and Lar to get over the 100km mark for the weekend..
Back to the grind tomorrow in the store and a little recovery before my last few longer runs before TNF100!
Thanks to Nathan Sports as always for keeping me hydrated along the way as always, for anyone who is looking for a light, comfortable, multi function pack to carry their water and bits and bobs along the way you should check Nathan Sports for their selection of packs to hand held hydration solutions - http://www.nathansports.com . And again Hoka One One trail running shoes for keeping my legs moving and as fresh as possible over the couple of days! Always responsive, cushioned ride with less impact soreness on the legs. Well worth the buy if your in the market for new shoes..

Cheers for following everyone! Hope everyone had an awesome Easter and of course a tone of chocolate..
Paul

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