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Big O Trail Run- Chris Morrissey Race Report

Chris Morrissey clocked up another trail running win at yesterday’s Big O Trail Run and sent us in his race report  for the BCR masses to read – enjoy!

Just thought I’d give you a bit of a run down on how the race went near the front.
The Big O trail run got its name from circumnavigating Lake Okataina. This year however the format changed due to access not being granted to private land at the southern end of the lake. So the Big X was born.
The intial stage along the flats was quite sedate as Angus and I exchanged details on when our first antenatal classes were. Short conversation because as soon as we hit the first hill/rise Angus eased away. I didn’t bother to give chase and after about 10 minutes he was out of sigte. I kept a consistant pace just making sure whoever was following me was still breathing hard. On one of the switch backs near the summit I took a glimpse to see Nick Hirshfeld was on my tail. After an impressive result at the Routeburn earlier this year he would be one to watch and could possibly catch Angus on the downhill to grab the $100 King of the mountain prize. Unfortunately for Nick his race ended soon after with an injury to his knee.
Angus went on to collect the hill prize money and was still out of sigte when I came past the start finish. The following out and back descended into a shallow crater where I found I was less than thirty seconds behind. Strangely the ascent out of the crater seemed steeper and longer than the descent five minutes earlier on the same track. During the hands on knees ascent I could see I was gaining but trying not to get too carried away with the chase.
Back at the start finish we were close until Angus stopped for a drink and I went passed. An unexpected change of focus from chasing to leading hit me like a brick with a bit of an energy low. Fortunately it was a small brick. After the first two legs the long course joins up with the 19km course. The majority of the track is wide enough to avoid too much congestion but there was still a lot of running on the rough edge to pass. At the final turn around on the eastern Okataina walkway I took a split before descending and appraching Phil Murry of Cambridge 1 min 20 down the hill. Phil had come through from fourth with Sam Manson in pursuit.
The final ascent to the finish went well with my focus being on catching as many short course competitors as I could.
Does the course work? I quite liked it. The hill prime is a nice little addition. The fact that you get to gauge where you’re at with the out and backs is nice. The only down fall is the congestion but changing the start times could improve on that. Whether the race regains it’s original format as an O around the lake or remains an X at the northern end of the lake it’s still a fantastic location and well worth the effort .

Thanks for the report Chris and congratulations on the win!

 


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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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