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New Zealand Mountain Running Champs- Marjolein Cook Race Report

Marjolein Cook

Marjolein Cook charging up the first climb. Photo Sharon Wray

What a fun course for the 2013 Athletic New Zealand Mountain Running champs. The sweet technical downhill to finish with, pretty much made you forget the sour climb up the ‘hill(s) of hell’. It was great catching up with Sally & Helen (who I like to see as my ‘team mates’ even though it was due to circumstances I represented the Netherlands at the worlds last year, while NZ would have been my preferred option) and having those 2 legends line up at the start guaranteed some healthy competition. I was worried that my long distance / Motutapu training would have left me behind on this short, intense course, but to my surprise I found myself passing Helen (who’s been running really strongly and is always rather intimidating to line up next to with her fit appearance!) on the uphill about one third up Spoonhill. I managed to keep the lead, except for the ‘flat’ bits on the fire-breaks where Sally came zooming past me with her quick efficient stride. I somehow scrambled my way up the hill of hell just a little bit faster than her and extended the lead coming down Spoonhill which I just absolutely loved. I’ve mountain biked down there multiple times, but have to say running down there is just as fun! It was a bit of an anti-climax not being eligible to win the NZ title, due to an IMO unsuitable rule for a national event. How does me representing the Netherlands at the worlds last year affect competing at the nationals of a country I’ve been living in for over 5 years now (and would like to call home)? All in all, it was a very fun day out and I honestly can’t grasp why the numbers are so slim for such a cool national event?! Fingers crossed I can get my citizenship (application under exceptional circumstances) in time for the worlds in Poland this year – I would love to represent NZ this year, and now I am a married woman I don’t have to worry about losing my Dutch passport (what’s with all these rules?!). Let’s hope I can officially call Helen & Sally my team mates for the 2013 worlds…

Full Results HERE

(BIG)Photo Galleys by Sharon Wray of 9km race HERE12km race HERE and Prize Giving HERE


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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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