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Taniwha 60km Winners Interviews

taniwha_logoThe Taniwha off road race was run in the Waikato on 9 November. The race is run by Total Sport, supported by the  Waikato River trails and the participant’s have an opportunity to raise money for a charitable organisation called Shine (keeping homes safer) in return for their entry fee refunded. 

It was two up and coming athletes from the Hamilton Hawks Athletic Club who took out the coveted 60km trail race titles. Shannon-Leigh Litt had a chance to catch up with Anthony Hancy and Louise Kowalewski and  found out a little more about the 2013 Taniwha winners.

Anthony and Louise pre Taniwha

Anthony and Louise pre Taniwha

Interview with Anthony Hancy:
What was the toughest part of the race for you and did you have a race strategy?
AH: It was about the 36km mark the hills just keep coming.  My plan was to run every hill hard and just take it easy on the flats and road.I felt 10x better then my first ultra in The length of the Lake Taupo. Training every night on the Hakarimata Steps in  Ngaruawahia helps heaps with a course like this.
What is your favourite training distance?
AH: I’ve always loved the long run  (35 to 50km) at an easy pace. It really helps my running even when you’re not actually training for a Marathon or ultra It.just gives me options to run any run I want to. Plus I like hanging out with all my running buddy’s on theses runs.
littlebrownrunner

Anthony aka “LittleBrownRunner”.

What nutrition and hydration did you use in the race?
AH: For nutrition I used about 7 squeezy  leppin gels and one gu gel. I also used Chia seeds soaked in water and just refueled at every aid station. I had a ultimate direction race pack which worked very well it is nice and light. I also I use a  hand held bottle  which is stored in the front of the pack because the ones that come with the bag were a bit to big for me.

When did you discover running?
 AH: I used to play rugby under 85kg for about 2 years but it just never clicked and so I took up running because my wife’s mum and dad use to do marathons so I thought I would give it a go and there I was signing up at Hamilton City Hawks.
What did your training look like leading up to the race ?

AH: I run my favourite hill, the Hakirmata and steps in Ngarawahia every other night and my regular training with my running club Hamilton City Hawks.  I then taper 3 weeks out and focus on speed work for those last days. 
Next race?
AH: Tarawera 100km Ultra and can’t forget spookers
Do you have any tips for people new to running marathons/ultras?
AH: Don’t forget to carb load the night before… Don’t rush out, take it easy at the start.  Run to complete it not run to a time, leave that for the next one.  Sign up an awesome support crew, you will need it :-)
Interview with woman’s winner Louise (Kovo) Kowalewsk:
What was the toughest part of the race for you?
LK: Starting out slow….
What is your favourite training distance?
LK: I enjoy the longer runs, it’s ‘my time’ – time to think and chill. I also enjoy the longer harder runs as a mental and physical challenge – the feel of satisfaction coming home knowing you have achieved…
What is your goal in 2014 with your running?
LK: To do a under 3:10 at Rotorua marathon… and to continue to enjoy running…
Do you have a favourite type of terrain to run on?
LK: I prefer off road, but anything new is always exciting…
Who supported you during the race and are there any mentors you have that help you with training?
LK: I owe my love and thanks to a lot of people on the day and in the lead up to the event -
1. Hamilton Hawks peps for encouragement and support especially Marcus Daws and Brendon Woolerton who ran with me through out the day…and all those who helped me train and prepare for it (you all know who you are)
2. Colin from Trek n Travel for helping me with all my gear and words of encouragement
3. Graham Dudfeild my coach, who always had faith in me and took the time to take me for longer training runs, and on the day supplied me with water and words of support and encouragement.
4. Lastly, my biggest fan and supporter throughout all the training and on the day goes to my partner Jim! massive support and biggest motivator to do the hard yards to get results.
KovoWhat was your plan with hydration and nutrition throughout the race?
LK: My plan was to eat and drink something (gels, gu, bananas, cliff bars and r-line) every 30minutes through out the race…earlier the better….(thanks Graham and Kerry :) )
Did you have a race strategy?
LK: To finish smiling! ( I did) – in under six hours (I did)!
Had you run the course or parts of the course before?
LK: Marcus took me running 9km of the course a couple of weeks earlier – the part just after the first change over, although none of it looked familiar :).
Who or what is an inspiration for you?
LK: My parents and anyone who puts their shoes on and gives it a go…no matter what pace.
Full results for The Taniwha HERE
Big thanks to Shannon-Leigh Litt for doing this interview for BCR.

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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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