Monday, 21 July 2014

3rd Time Lucky!

I have been quieter on my blog over the last 2-3 weeks, this is down to just been enjoying some good miles. Not worrying about pace or speed just going out and enjoying the trails around Queenstown here in New Zealand. With the winter snow finally here on the tops of the mountains I have enjoyed getting up high and seeing what the area has to offer whilst coated in a blanket of snow! One of my favorite routes has to be from home into to Queenstown followed by the Tiki Trail behind the Skyline Gondola then round the back and over Ben Lomond Saddle before taking a hard left and climbing to the summit of Ben Lomond at 5735ft with 360 degree views from the peak. With less and less people taking this route in the winter it was great fun having to make my own tracks through the knee deep snow to the summit. 27km return route from home makes this a great one to tackle on my days off..   
Ben Lomond Summit

Being just outside the main town also offers me many of lower trails to play with around the Lake of Wakatipu where I have spend many hours over this last few months trying to find some winter fitness. I do actually feel a little stronger as the month has gone with finding climbing the inclines becoming a little easier on the legs! 
View over Lake Wakatipu from the trails.. 

Saturday the 19th of July saw me take on third race in the monthly series over in Jackspoint. The first time I ran the 5km being a week after my 100km ultra but since then I have raced the full 10km multi-terrain distance and again was set for the 10km this month. I was interested to see how this month would go as I hadn't done much speed over the last month but worked more on becoming a stronger runner and spending time in the mountains. The course actually is made up of 3 climbs and 3 descents in total so in theory it was a course to be racing for the type of training I was doing. 

10:00 am came by and we were off! A solo runner went off into the lead and I played chase with another runner from the start line. As we took on the first of 3 climbs I decided to push the pace a little as I was feeling good and see what happened with the other 2 runners. I caught up to the lead runner and pushed on into first, at the top of the climb I took a quick glance over my shoulder to see a fellow runner who I had ran with the first part of the race had come with me. We hit the first descent side by side and both keeping a good pace, on the second climb we ran up together before coming to the little out and back part of the course before heading out to the furthest part of the course and the final climb. 
Jackspoint Trails!

As we approached the final climb I decided to push up hard and put a little gap between myself and second overall. I had gained a little but not as much as I would of liked as I knew that the fellow runner I was racing was a very good strong runner and it would be touch and go to the finish if I didn't manage to make the break away now.... I kicked again on the descent and as we hit the flat before finally pulling away with 1.5km left of the race. I knew from the 9km mark it was all flat running or down hill and I used this to my advantage to hold on till the end to finish the day off with a win on my 3rd attempt of coming to this monthly series of races. And clocking the quickest time I have run over the course by over 70 seconds. Overall a good morning of racing followed by a great afternoon on the trails as me and Gem decided to run home after the race clocking another 17km over some breath taking trails with postcard views all around! 
Winter in the Southern Alps of NZ..

Back to some winter training now, even tho it hasn't felt like winter on some days! Still managing to get the shorts and vest out on some training runs. This weekend will see participate in a team relay over the 'Peak to Peak Adventure Race' with my house mates! Not haven done anything like this before I'm excited to see how it plays out, we all have our disciplines to race over. From Downhill Skiing - Downhill MTN Biking - Kayaking - Running - Uphill Road Biking. :-) 
Keeping hydrated by my Nathan Sports Race Pack!

Next month I'll have a go at a new race for 2014, a 13km up hill time trail race from the car park on the road side to the ski resort at the top or the Remarkables Mountain Range. Looking forward to this event as I have trained over this route before and it's a lung/leg buster within minutes..... 

Thanks again to everyone who follows me and supports me along the way! Much appreciated..
Paul x 

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