Mon 10/03. First day was spent on an 8-mile run in the redwood forest of Rotorua before paying Paul Charteris, TUM Race Organiser a visit to help out with anything that needed doing. He needed any help he could get with the enormity of the task at hand. Photo album.
Looking out over Rotorua.
Crater Lake at the foot of Rainbow Mountain (4-photo stitch).
I hired a GoPro helmet camera to capture some of our journey through the treetops but haven't had a chance yet to edit something together. In the meantime, here's the photo album to be going on with.
Zip lines through the treetops - Rotorua Canopy Tours.
Government Gardens with museum.
The end of the TUM 'Fun Run' at the Te Puia geyser field.
Race Director Paul Charteris announced at the race briefing that the race had to be shortened. With high winds and driving rain forecast, later parts of the course where aid station access was by boat could not be supported reliably or safely. Paul's emotions ran high as he made the announcement that the event would be disrupted for a second year. Last year was high fire risk. This year was headed for the same until Lusi turned it into high wind and water risk instead. Photo album.
Last year's winner Sage Canaday (in green) represents the 'TUM tribe' at the Maori welcome ceremony.
Waiting to start.
Marshal Tim Day guides us back to the start on the 12km loop.
Storm clouds gather.
Plenty of support and very busy at the aid station back at the start.
Paulo, Wayne, Nick at Okareka on the outward leg.
Paulo makes a quick exit from Millar Road aid station.
A modified out-and-back course has one major advantage - we get to see the faster runners on the return leg. It makes the event more inclusive and involving and gives us a glimpse of what it's like up there near the front. My longest low point meant plenty of walking and plenty of opportunity to take photographs, until the approach to Okataina when I began to let rip on the descents.
Leader Sage Canaday heading for his second win.
Yun Yanqiao second.
Vajin Armstrong third.
Elastic band collection at the turnaround.
A very wet Okataina on the return leg.
Ross Steele on the way back to Millar Road.
Final Coke fill at Millar Road.
Like last year we were running over the toughest part of the TUM course. Apparently there is more ascent over this 73km course than there is over the normal linear 100km course, which I have yet to experience. No wonder I always seem to slow down and suffer, especially on the outward leg to Okataina. With effective fuelling I did fall into the groove by the return leg, though. It felt just like home as I ran down those narrow muddy technical trails as if on a fell race, overtaking all before me. The only unrealistic part was the warmth of the rain. With the temperature at 18 deg C I felt quite comfortable in vest and shorts while others were wrapped up in their waterproofs to protect them from this alien environment. Time splits showed my time was 3:00:55 from Okareka to Okataina and 2:49:55 from Okataina back to Okareka.
Paul Charteris presents the iconic carved wooden TUM medal.
My photo album is here, and here's the official documentary by Ninmo Productions:
My final six days in New Zealand were spent sightseeing with Wayne around the Rotorua area and running the Cornwall parkrun in Auckland.