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Big O Trail Run

The Big O trail run is this weekend and race director Shaun Collins from Lactic Turkey Events has been nice enough to give us his thoughts on the race (as well as pass on some of the info he gave to real media). Here are some of Shaun’s thoughts on the (new) Big O.

It has to be the scenery that makes this trail run special compared to others. The standard for trail running events are all there – friendly people, great atmosphere, mud, sweat, hard work, sore legs and body and a great challenge for all. The difference is that this event is in a very quiet part of the world which seems untouched. Not many people use this area so it’s new to many participants. The new course takes in the stunningly scenic tracks on both sides of Lake Okataina, views of Lake Rotorua and Rotorua City (from a trig), run past and in some cases through 3,500 year old craters – all on a mix of well-established wide and narrow native bush walking tracks. The old course was a complete loop of Lake Okataina. This was unique because we used some private farmland to join the existing DOC Eastern and Western Okataiana walkways. So it formed a Big O.

I have heard track conditions are great and a nice running surface will be there for all. It doesn’t get very muddy even in the rain (last year it poured down for 2 days before but was still nice running). I’ll be out on Friday marking course so can update the running conditions and send some photos. Someone ran the short course last weekend and saw a baby wallaby on the course.

In the 35km event there is some great competition. We have Angus Bell, Chris Morrisey, Nick Hirshfield, Sam Manson and Kerry Suter if he decides to show (note- I chatted with Kerry about a week ago and he said he was NOT racing, but who knows for sure?).
This will be awesome on this new course we’ve had to make up. With its out and backs these guys will keep seeing each other a few times during the event, which will make for great close racing.
At a quick glance of the 260 people entered I couldn’t see any names in the shorter 19km event and no top ladies. Tarawera 100km Women’s winner Nicola Gildersleev was nearly coming to do the 35km but at the last minute said she’d come down with a case of plantar fasciitis. 

Really looking forward to seeing how the new course goes. It’s not as iconic as the full loop but should prove an exciting new format. Weather looks mint so it will be clear and cold so promises to be a great event. We’ll try and send out some splits as the day unfolds. Not too great a reception from the event centre but sometimes you can send something out.

Looks like a great new course and hats off to Shaun for pulling off the event and setting out the new course after short notice of the private land use issues. Weather also sounds like it will be great. We will put out any race updates we hear on our FaceBook and Twitter pages as the race plays out.


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A Backcountry Running Community for New Zealand trail, mountain and ultra runners- We want this to be the place you come for all things trail running including race previews and reports, interviews with New Zealand runners and hopefully a whole lot more! Our aim is to provide as much original content- previews/reports/interviews on New Zealand trail, mountain and ultra races. We can't be everywhere- so feel free to get in touch if you have the scoop on a race or event.

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