Northburn100- A chat with Lisa and Terry

The 2nd running of the Northburn 100 is this weekend and we will be down covering the race with live updates, which we are really excited about! We also have been lucky enough to chat with 2 of the main players behind the race- Lisa Tamati and Terry Davis.

TheBackcountryRunner (TBR)-Lisa, tells us, for those who don’t know, how the Northburn100 came about-

Lisa Tamati (LT)- NB came about after glen Christiansen from the Golden Gate resort invited me down to give a talk one night in the town of Cromwell, I fell in love with the region and Glen and I were brewing up race plans within mins. I had been looking for a place to run a 100mile and had planned to do it in Taranaki my home town but someone beat me to it (Taranaki Steelformers 100 Mile Run). Then Glen spoke to keen endurance athlete Tom Pinckney owner of the gorgeous Northburn station and the race was born, Tom and I set up our own company and the rest is history so to speak.

TBR-Terry, how did you come on board and what’s your role in the event?

Terry Davis

Terry Davis (TD)- I was approached by Glen Christiensen and Tom Pinkeny to provide the ‘event management’ component to the team. (check

TBR-NB100 2011 and NB100 2012- what differences can we expect to see from the inaugural race from last year, what things are remaining?

LT- last year’s event was fantastic and very successful, we tried our best to make everyone very welcome and to provide an amazing running experience. My goal was to have the toughest 100 miler in the southern hemisphere and I believe I have made it. We got awarded 4 qualification points for Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc the highest amount available giving kiwis and Aussies a chance to qualify.

TD- The main differnce is changing the order of the loops – last year we finished on a 50km loop thinking that would be nicer than a 60k loop – but it was a nighmare from a marshal point of view and had potential for muck-ups due to runners going all over the show. Also this year we started with a loop to the left, one in the middle and a finish over on the right of the mountain – easier to keep track of everyone… and actually, because we have such a good aid station with a bag drop up the mountain the last 60km is probably a nicer way to finish than the brutally steep 2nd 50k loop of last year.

We have also changed the 50k race from the 2nd 50k loop to the first 50k loop. Much more manageable but also it’s a nicer 50ks – our concern last year was that about 10ks of it are ‘off track’ just following sheep trails or markers over alpine ‘tundra’ type terrain… But many of the 100kers and 160kers said it was their favourate part so – better for everyone.

TBR-And for the future of NB100?

LT- We are pleased with the amount of international competitors this year and hope to attract more kiwis next time. Unfortunately we clash a bit time wise with the fabulous Tarawera Ultra so we will try and do something about that for the future.

TBR-Terry- how’s the weather and course conditions looking for the weekend?

TD- The forecasts are getting better everytime I look at them! I think there will be a wee bit of rain on Saturday – the night will be cool and breezy but not too wet and Sunday is looking good at this stage! It is a shame there is no snow likely – honestly, it was the highlight for many of the runners who had to endure it last year! People don’t do this sort of thing to be comfortable.

The course is ‘hard-packed’ and fast – the rain forecast won’t turn much of it to mud at all… there has been more growth than usual this last year so ankle gaitors are highly reccommended – otherwise you will get your socks full of seeds and rubbish – gaiters are great to keep the wee stones out of your shoes too which don’t matter so much for a 20k run but in this event can cause a DNF

TBR-Lisa- off the cuff- who are you picking for the wins across the 3 events (male and females)??

LT- Not sure who is going to win this year it’s such a difficult race it’s hard to make a prognosis, Salomon have a top crew coming  and my friend Ray Sanchez from the States who I ran with in the Himalayas last August in The High race. He is definitely a contender. Tracey Woodford is also back and I tip her to be on top again all going to plan.

TBR-Where do you see people coming unstuck during the race? And what key to success would both of you recommend to runners come 6am this Saturday?

TD- look after your feet at all costs!! have plenty of spare socks and gear in your ‘drop bags’. take it easy on the steep down-hills.

Lisa Tamati

LT- This race is extremely tough… the ascent for the 100 miler is over 8000m. So a key is starting out really gently and slowly and consistency is the key, not stopping at the very comfortable check points too long. the fact that we have three different loops but which go through the main vineyard check point with lots of food and supporters is brilliant but makes it also hard to leave on round two or three and the longer you dally the harder it is.

The other key is not to tear downhill and shake the hell out of your legs too early; they will be shaking messes by the end. Also keeping as warm and dry as poss. If the weather turns to shit up on the top range it can be very frightening and we have a set up a great network of support for the night sections and have spared no expense with our medical team and 4wd drive ambulance, helicopter on call, doctors etc. as we want our people to have a great adventure but to be safe as well. That is my priority. So my key advice- start out slow and taper off, take it gentle on the down hills for those quads and walk the steep ups, (won’t have a choice probably) and don’t stop for too longer periods. You are in a race a long long race and the pressure has to remain on if you are to get through this mammoth challenge.

TBR-Final thoughts….

LT- This is a challenge of champions and anyone who starts it is a winner and those who finish, bloody tough and bloody lucky.

Thanks so much for making time to chat Terry and Lisa, all the best for the race this weekend!

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