Northburn 100 this weekend, held on Northburn Station just outside Cromwell, seemed to have a bit of everything. The race itself is crazy hard, with the 100mile having over 8000 vertical meters of climbing, but what stood out for me this past weekend was the weather- easily the most changeable weather I can remember- gale winds that knocked people to the ground, warm temps, heavy rain, clear, starry skys and even a hail storm and a dusting of snow.
I guess I feel a little burnt out on the NB100 after doing the live updates- but far out that was a blast! This is not a personal blog, so I will not get into it too much, but as my first “official” outing for this new website it was a really good time and the feedback and support we were getting via the live feed and from the amount of traffic this website has gotten during its first week of being up and running has been pretty choice- thanks for the support!
Back to the Northburn100!
The racing was exciting and not just for those top spots, but as the day wore on and a new one started, following all of those racing was a real treat. Below are a few of the highlights
- Blair McWhirter- not only is Blair super-fast, he is also one of the nicest guys around. I ran and videoed him coming into the 39km check point and he chatted away about his race. You couldn’t tell he had run 39km, 2000+ vertical meters and we were jogging uphill during the video! No surprize he smoked the 50k, winning by 40mins.
- Damien Seller- the Frenchmen picked the Northburn 100km as his first 100k race and nailed it. He was all smiles. Best part of the day Damien? “right now… if someone can get me a beer”
- Ray Sanchez- he was the favourite on paper pre-race and that was before he started talking about finishing the 100mile in 20hrs! Ray’s ultra-résumé is impressive and the article in the OTD where he stated his finishing time goal really brought an extra element of excitement to the race. Never mind that he got lost for 4hrs just before Mt Horn and DNFed at 100k, during the early stages of the race it was all Sanchez. Best part, chatting with him on Sunday morning it sound like he might be back next year.
- “Grand Central Station”- that’s what the big tent at the start/finish area was like, (where runners came back to at the end of each of the 3 laps), especially at the end of lap 1. It was madness, as runners, pacers, crew and supporters beavered around. Rachael and Emma kept the score board up to date, while the Cromwell Loins Club had the cheeseburgers cranking.
- Terry and Ed (Highland Events), Lisa and Tom- they put on a great event- seeing Tom fang around on his dirt bike was a highlight.
- Glenn Sutton- 5+hr faster than last year – 26hrs33min and the overall win! Didn’t see THAT coming did you? Great run Glenn!
- Andre and Gordi- this side story is a gem. Gordi’s light was playing up during the 2nd lap and as a result they spent the next 20 or so hours together. Strangers on the start line, these 2 lads could not have had more opposite NB build ups. Gordi injured and hardly trained couldn’t stay away and was a late entry- about 1 week before the race. Andre on the other hand has raced his ass off the last few months, including TuM a week before. Following these 2 along during the race was really good fun.
- Sam Gash- she won the woman’s 100k, smiling the whole way I am sure!
- Jim Kerse- yeah Jim dnf’d during the 2ndlap of the 100miler- but the guy is 60+yrs old and a total legend in the NZ ultra-scene. You simply can’t not have huge respect for Jim.
- Jean Beaumont – she won the woman’s 100mile, was only 14mins behind Glenn, and her new course record will be very hard to beat! It was her first 100mile race- no pacer, no crew, no support team. I was lucky enough to run a few sections with her getting photos and video and was so impressed. Jean also busted out the quote of the weekend to one Matt Bixley “So…you just got Beaumonted”- this is because she ran faster than Matt’s 2nd place finish time from 2011. She is also my new hero- sorry Marty Lukes, you are last week’s news buddy.
- All those that had the guts to stand on that start line at 6am Saturday morning! It was a real pleasure to track your progress throughout the day(s).
1st Place Finishers-
50km- Blair McWhirter and Emma Bilous
100km- Damien Seller and Samantha Gash
100mile- Glenn Sutton and Jean Beaumont