The 10th edition of the iconic Routeburn Classic is almost upon us and as always things are shaping up to be a great day in Fiorland and Aspiring National Parks. Starting on the Milford Highway at the divide, the Routeburn Classic follows the Routeburn Track, a Great Walk that re traces Maori Greenstone trails.
Last year saw both the men’s and women’s records fall, with Braden Currie (2:44:29) and Whitney Dagg (3:26:30) setting the new standard for what is arguably New Zealand’s premier non ultra distance trail or mountain running race. If conditions are favourable expect winning times in this year’s race to go close to those set last year.
Whitney Dagg is back and sounds to be in very good shape. Whitney is using the Routeburn as a training run for TNF100km in Australia 3 weeks later (and there is even whispers that she will run back to the divide after finishing).
Last year’s runner up Helen Gillespie (in 3hr31) will no doubt be looking to pick off another 5mins on her time from last year, now having course knowledge.
2008 Routeburn Classic winner Everline Coombe (3hr38) is returning and said to be one to watch also.
2011 Kepler Challenge winner Vic Beck will have the endurance to match it with any of the above names and will certainly feature.
Last year’s winner Braden Currie is not on the start list and we hear he will be off shore racing, but you never know…
No one has ever run the Routeburn Classic as fast as Nick Hirschfeld and placed 2nd. Nick is back again and has to be the red hot favourite after being 2nd the last 2 years (in 2hr47 and 2hr 52). It will take another record breaking win to beat Nick like it has in 2012 and 2011 and I don’t see any names on the start list that can do that.
Dougal Allan from Wanaka is one name that is not on the list, but rumoured to be racing and could really shake things up. But I heard the same rumour about Dougal racing the Shotover Moonlight earlier this year….
Back to names on the list- Mitch Munro is a young guy with a lot of talent, running 2hr58 at last years Routeburn.
Luke Hurring would be one of the “faster” runners lining up, with success on the track and road, not to mention good genes in the form of his father Russell. He has the Arrowsmith Thee Run Marathon record, so doesn’t mind the hills.
There is a “Jimmy Hawkridge” on the start list- we are not sure if this is Jim that won the 2007 Routeburn with 2hr58 or not? A little mystery never hurt….
Phil Wood- the big man has gone sub 3hr here in the past and it is great to see him back at the Routeburn again!
Did we miss someone? Do you know someone that is in great form? Please let us know what you think!
If you are keen to be apart of the 10th Routeburn Classic on April 27th spots are still avalible- visit Goodtimes.net for details.