Dennis de Monchy Kaimai Killer Race Report

Dennis crossing the finish line at Waihi. Photo- Paul Petch-

Dennis de Monchy dominated on his local trails during Saturdays Kaimai Killer 60km Ultra. Virtually leading from start to finish – in trying condition’s Dennis thrived to win Total Sports  inaugural ultra in great fashion. Below is his report of how his day went-

If I could design my perfect trail run, the only thing I would add to the Xterra Waihi 60k course would be hot pools at the finish! And maybe get the coffee van to stay open for a few more of the ultra runners finishing.

Wandering to the start line in the dark after a quick sprint to retrieve my forgotten number, I was looking forward to a couple of hours of running by torch light through the technical, narrow trails that cover the Kaimais. I knew this was one of my strengths and aimed to make Grant Guise and Kristian Day work hard through to Franklin rd at 9k knowing that they probably had better leg speed when we’d hit the flat and fast tram tracks.

We started with a 20m sprint to the stile, I leapt over first then put on a burst, 200m down the windy track I turned around and couldn’t see any lights! Through Franklin rd I gained a 4 min gap on Grant and could just see his torch as I jumped back over the fence after detouring round a big bull that had had its sleep disturbed. Back into the bush and the slow grind uphill always expecting Grant to come cruising past making it look easy.

Between Ananui Falls and Waitawheta hut on one of the climbs I heard someone behind me clearing their nose, but couldn’t see them so had no idea who it was. The unknown factor was Matty Gummer, an English fell runner currently living in HB. Through the Waitawheta hut junction at 3 hours I was still on my own but knowing I was being hunted down. Onto the tramtrack and finally some flowing running, though 5 min in I needed a toilet stop and heard some footsteps go past, who was it? A small surge and I caught Grant and we ran together having a good gossip through to the Daly’s clearing turn off. A slow grind up to the hut was a good time to fuel up on Fi’s(my wife) tasty flapjacks, and a couple gels so when the track flattened again after the hut I could start running. This is where I’d suffered during my course recon and also where I dropped Grant, so I kept a steady pace without pushing too hard.

4.44 in and I was cruising back through Dickies Flat( start/ finish), the drizzle had started and I was starting to suffer. I grabbed a few gels and a sandwich and hurried through knowing I didn’t want to get caught up in the short course start and traffic jams on the bridges. Over the first bridge was fine, but I had to jump the queue of 50 people for the second bridge and enjoyed the slower walk through the 200m tunnel grateful I’d kept my headtorch. Some cramp kicking in in the quads on the flatter track through the gorge, but this was offset by having plenty of people to chat to as I ran past.

The climb up Mt Karangahake was tough even though it’s a runnable gradient for the most part, just before Dubbo track Mark Richardson came past doing the 19k and this spurred me on to get the legs moving again and have a bit of a yarn with him, till he turned left and I had to keep slowly grinding up the muddy hill. I thought my North Face Hayasa’s (shoes) may have been a bad choice as the rain became heavier and the mud increased, but they were perfect in the end as I hit the highpoint and started the 8km(?) descent to the finish on very slick trails.

With a huge grin on my face I was starting to have fun! 54k into a race and the legs were feeling better than ever, skiing down the steep clay and mud in places and passing the shorter course runners that seemed to be struggling in the conditions. I loved the left hand turn at Dubbo track knowing it was only 3k to the finish, all downhill and allowing myself to start thinking I’d nailed this one! Through the final mud bath, down to the river and then a short run along the river to the finish. It was done, I’d finally got a win in a long trail race, and with some decent competition.

Kaimai Killer poduim- Grant Guise 2nd, Dennis de Monchy 1st and Darren Blackwell 3rd

I couldn’t believe it, 7.03 for 60km is a tough course in tough conditions, but the most fun I’ve ever had in a race, and that was the view of most people I spoke to who’d completed the Ultra course.

Thanks to Totalsport for a fantastic course, The North Face for the brilliant shoes and clothing, and my beautiful wife and 2 young children for letting me spend a lot of family time out running!


BCR’s Xterra Waihi Report HERE

Glenn Hughes Xterra National Champ Report HERE

Photography from the day by Paul Petch HERE

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2 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Nice report Dennis! And congrats again on the win!

  2. congrats on the win and great report indeed. Funny about the bull, It was q bit scary to run even 50m away from it.

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