It was a while ago now that BCR asked me for a race Report for the Kaweka Mountain Marathon. Considering there has already been two awesome reports on that beast there is not a load left for me to say. I will touch upon it anyhow while discussing my last few big weeks pre Tarawera. I hope I am interesting enough for y’all.
Pre Kaweka I had a week and a half off (once again) because my hip and knee were playing up. This has been a re-occurring saga and I know well enough now to simply think “here we go again” with out any major tantrums. I assume it’s from those 16 months when I was pretty much incapable of bending my knee pre-surgery and my limp has left me a fair few imbalances that I am having to work through. I gamely headed up along the track on Tuesday and Wednesday anyhow, to do that awesome marking that you all appreciated. Walking made it seem a hell of long way.
Still no running Thursday and Friday but I forked out the cash for a massage to loosen those bastard muscles that have been causing the grief and lined up that morning with my fingers crossed. For some crazy reason Chris Morresy motioned me to go first through the start control… was he taking the piss?
It was a long, hot days work; with more then the usual amount of walking. Seeing as I finished 30 minutes behind Chris and third overall, I am assuming everyone walked; a lot. The BCR Kaweka Mountain Marathon is defiantly one of my favourite races, technical and harsh and a lot of fun. With descents one can bound down crying “I am Kilian” and “I love thee Montanges” (In my defence I was drugged up by accidentally taking Kristian’s prescription 800mg ibuprofen instead of my supermarket 40mg, just don’t tell the anti doping agency). Not only did this make me cry out inane spanglish Kilian utterances, it also made the ridges spin and blur to such a degree that I considered pulling out during the first half. Note to self, do not enter mountain runs whilst drunk or stoned, some claim it helps with surfing performance, definitely not the case with running.
Instead I sat with my head between my knees on the summit of Kaweka J as first, second, and third place pulled away. I managed to gather myself enough to think it’d be safe to descend trials spur and went for it. That decent is super fun, especially when playing catch up.
The only other events of the day were booting a baby eel and tripping on my shoelaces. Although I agree with concept that calories are the currency in the montanges, I am vegetarian. So with a few swearwords I turned and run back up to the river to release him. The tripping also induced a few swear words, but first a long and heart felt ‘Uuuuurgh’. Luckily hobbling soon became jogging soon became running and it gave me a good excuse not to try and run the final ascent of Kuripopango due to a nicely torn up thigh that wouldn’t play the game. There was no way I was going to run it unless they moved the start line to its base.
Since then I’ve been running fairly consistently, thank god. I’m getting a bit anxious that I’m still having these issues so close to Tarawera. To reassure myself I spent another four hours in the Kawekas this Tuesday and followed it with a course recce on Wednesday.
Kristian and I meet up with a runner from Auckland who took us out at a whopping pace. They both stopped near or close to Okitina. I put my headphones in and picked up the pace to try and reach 60km in exactly 6 hours; stopping the watch at 6.00, which was spooky accurate. I am more than a little reassured by that, as it was on top of a big week and with a lot more stopping then I would on race day.
Looking ahead I have the Moonlight Mountain Marathon next Saturday which is promising to be blast. I am looking forward to running a new course. I aim to follow it up with another long run on the Sunday and then it’s all downhill till March the 16th. I keep telling myself that no-one has the perfect race build up, and feel I have done well to manage the issues without ending up with any actual injuries in-spite of the pressure of Tarawera.