Back to the real world, physio appointments and home trails. The climbs I used to consider steep do not seem so steep anymore. I hope that remains, but as demonstrated by a skulk of Russian silver foxes in the sixties- we do adapt quickly to our environment. Skulk, funny word that, SKUULK – sorry, slipped into Miranda mode. Back now!
Whoops, wrong Silver Fox
Last weekend Athletics NZ hosted a coaching conference, two excellent speakers, Margo Jennings- coach of Kellie Holmes and Maria Mutola, and Arch Jelley, the sharpest 90 year old in NZ. I’d love to let you in on some of their secrets, but tough, you didn’t drive to Papakura.
Margo Jennings, Arch Jelley, Maria Hassan
Attending that was a no-brainer, signing up for my first ultra a few days prior took a little more thought. Chamonix Mont-Blanc has a lot to answer for- the “learn- French” podcasts crowding my ipod, weekly climbing lessons, and perhaps most alarmingly, a strange desire to partake in trail ultras. It is the whole UTMB thing you see, it is infectious. So I’ll start with the Kepler, then a race that begins less than 3km from our letter box- the Tarawera Ultra Marathon (100k of trails), next March. Once upon a time the 1500m was my favourite event, how did this happen…I still can’t quite say 100km out loud. They have “pacers” in the later stages of some ultras, what is that about? I gather it is an American thing. CK1 does not really know either but he has kindly offered to pace me for the last 10km or so, as evidently “it will be amusing to watch”.
Tarawera Ultra Marathon (TuM) start 2012
Speaking of ultras, what a run by NB athlete Tony K in the Cavalls del Vent overnight, 2nd to Kilian. Evidently horrendous conditions, only 183 finishers from 1000 starters, but I am still envious of all those racing through the Pyrenees. Will be curbing Sky Running pangs by following the extensive online coverage.
Good luck to my old mountain running team mate Dougal Thorburn who is about to embark on a ten km world record attempt- 10km pushing a pram (with child) at the New Balance Hill Free event in two weeks time. He has to break 34:19. No time for nappy changes.
Dougall in training.
Home trails! Redwoods. © Biss Images.
Next weekend it is time to link up with not a skulk of foxes, but a cast of Hawks at the NZ Road Relay Champs in Nelson. Last year our women’s team was a surprise silver with a few new faces and secret weapons. The team has held together well, can’t wait to see how things play out…
Interview last week with the Back Country Runner website: