Taranaki Round the Mountain

On the 8th November Tago Mharapara took on the 160km Taranaki Round the Mountain Race, with the goal of not only finishing but also raising money for the UpsideDowns Trust*. Below is Tago’s race repost that he pusbkished on “Daily Mile”, but we wanted to repost as we think it is a great story and having be in touch with Tago during his build on to this massive event.

Tago 22km in with Michael Rodliffe crewing.

Tago 22km in with Michael Rodliffe crewing.

There are 3 things I learned on this adventure-

  • 1. Not all pain is significant.
  • 2. A patient crew/support team is worth its weight in gold.
  • 3. Let’s not do this again.

This was an event of 3 thirds for me.

From 0-60km life was awesome. I was running 4km every 28mins followed by 2mins of walking & eating. It was pretty hot when we started but the temps dropped significantly after sundown such that I had to wear a long sleeved tech shirt. I felt as if my right hammy could go at any time so I kept my strides short & pace even.

From 60-110km which was most of the night, things got considerably harder. I had been up since 5.45am the previous day & fatigue was starting to compound with general soreness. It was then that my feet started to report serious pain. My pace started to slow but paradoxically, the pain subsided when I ran & intensified when I walked. My feet were like tenderised steak. If I could have kept running to control pain I would have but after 80kms other things (i.e., quads, ITB) were screaming & I could only run in 15min bursts. Somehow, I managed to cross the three digit barrier & my pacer kept me awake & focused.

120km down, "just" a marathon to go.

120km down, “just” a marathon to go.

The final 50km was plain HARD! I probably walked 35-40km’s of it. I was heel planting & minimizing contact with the rest of the foot. Not efficient at all but it allowed for forward movement. I had many dark moments between 120-140km when I even thought about quitting. However, my crew, especially Bev kept updating my facebook status and relaying messages from my virtual cheer section reminding me of how well I had been going & to focus on 1km at a time. So, I did that & somehow got to 140km. Now, you may not notice this on the Movescount link below but there are 2 significant & undulating hills at about 130kms. You cannot imagine how F’d off I was about that situation. What kind of a sadist would put this at the end of an ultra??? Again, my crew coaxed & cajoled and somehow I worked through it. As I walked in to the town of New Plymouth, I was now doing 13min per km.

My spirit was good but my feet were done. That is when Bev told me the fundraising had crossed $5000 & I was so elated I forgot about sore feet and pushed through. Not surprisingly the last 500 meters was an uphill climb. Bastards! Anyway, it’s over & I am only starting to take it all in. 13 slightly disturbed people started this journey with me and 10 of us managed to finish thanks to all the support we received. I ate many things including, white bread, avocados, tomatoes, almond butter, tuna sushi, custard & fruit, cookies, candy, doritos, coke, ginger beer, gatorade, grapes, pineapple, bananas, oranges.

Tago’s Move-

*At last count Tago raised $6467 for the Upside Downs Trust!

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