T42 Preview

Total SportsT42 is coming up this weekend, and while the field may not have the depth the Routeburn Classic did this past weekend (we really don’t know as we haven’t seen a start list? And as such are not claiming this to be a “full preview”), it should have some quality racing at the front of the pack. We have confirmation of 3 lads that we expect to be in the first handful across the line, if not the first 3. Here is what they had to say.

Kugs claiming it in 2010

Barefoot Inc sponsored athlete James “Kugs” Kugler-  seemed to be struggling to find form earlier in the year, but Kugs seems to be hitting his stride again, just in time for the T42. Now under the guidance of Sam Warriner he has had some soild results of late, including placing 1st= at the Tarawera 60km.

“I am finally starting to log some consistent running and my form and fitness are improving as a result so I am looking forward to T42.
There are two things I like about T42, the first is that it is net downhill, though there are plenty of ups in between, the second is that psychologically it is a great feeling to be catching and passing mountain bikers for just over three hours.
Kerry Suter and Craig Kirkwood are both going to be on the start line. Craig is a phenomenal road runner, though it is hard to know what sort of form he is in. I’d say Kerry will have the edge on Craig, the track is relatively benign, which is when Suter is at his best. There are bound to be others, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see young Sam Manson toeing the start line. Where do I fit into the mix, I’m not sure, and not that worried.

I was extremely fit when I set the course record in 2010, I’d love to see it broken, and Suter has been providing some great commentary about how easy it going to be. We’ll see come Saturday. One thing is for sure, anyone who does think they are going to break the record better keep some in reserve for the final hill. I recall being well on track to go under 3:00 with a couple of km to go, only to find out there is another 100m climb in the final 2km.”

Here is a link to Kug’s 2010 T42 race report

Kerry winning TuM in 2009

Fellow Barefoot Inc sponsored athlete Kerry Suter- Seems to be getting back into the swing of things after laying low for a while. He took out the half at the Nugget a few weeks ago and is raring to go come Saturday. It sounds like Kerry is looking forward to the classic challenge of a marathon distance, without the classic road and pavement. When quizzed on his expectations for Saturday’s T42 “I’ll be catching a bus to the start line and running the 42km back to where I parked my car in the least time possible. I’d like to think I’ve done enough training to get there in 3 hours something. I just hope that something isn’t 120 minutes.”


And then there is 2:13 marathoner Craig Kirkwood. We managed to get a quick interview in with Craig, here is what he had to say-

BCR- How has your build up been to the T42?

CK- I wouldn’t say that I have had a specific build up for this event; in fact all I am doing at the moment is trying to return to fitness. I had approx. seven months off last year and early this year with repeated calf strains. They have come right now, but it has rendered me relatively unfit. Despite my poor showing at the Rotorua half marathon, I feel like am in reasonable form…just lacking the miles.

Craig at the 2006 WMRT

BCR- You are a pretty handy road marathoner- do you spend much time training off road on trails, or is most of your running on the roads still?

CK- Like most runners I enjoy getting off the pavement, however, I am the kind of runner who thrives when I can get into a rhythm. This is not a great trait for technical off road stuff, but I do enjoy it.

BCR - Preparation for a road marathon and the T42 off road marathon- what’s different and what’s the same with your build up/training?

CK- As I said, I haven’t really done anything specific for this event. I am going to be very underdone.

BCR- Are we going to see more of Craig Kirkwood on the trails in the future?

CK- I have done a couple of trail races over the years including Tois, Kauri, & Tussock Traverse, but the fact that I am not very good technically really frustrates me. I tend to put high expectations on myself and I hate not being able to perform as I would expect. The Tarawera 100km does interest me…maybe in a couple years. I am doing Ironman Melbourne in March 2013.

BCR- What are your expectations going into the race and who do you see as your main competition?

CK- I would expect to be in the top 5, but I really am just coming down for the experience. I haven’t seen any kind of start list, but I would expect Kugs (James Kugler), and Kerry Suter to take me apart at the moment.



Comments- Like we said at the start of this preview- it’s not really a preview as we haven’t seen a start list and don’t know who is/isn’t running. This is where YOU come in! If you know of someone who’s racing and might be battling at the front, we would love to hear. Especially in the women’s race. Or if you want to share your picks- please leave a comment.

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  1. For the females – Jean Beaumont is running the T42 Marathon

    • Great, thanks for that Vicky!
      Jean is one tough cookie. Assuming she has recovered from Northburn she will be battling near the front forsure.

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