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The Kaweka Mountain Marathon Preview

The mightiest Mountain event in Aoteroa kicks off bright an early at 6am tomorrow morning, and local lad Kristain Day gives us a run down on The Kaweka.

1465117_225511010959803_1157953842_nThe Kaweka Mountain marathon, a re-birth of the fabled Kaweka Challenge of old, could arguably be the most difficult and gnarly race of it’s class in the country. With over 3600m of vertical ascent in the 50km and over 2500m in the 36km it’s no easy feat, a testament to the fact that very few people return to take on the beast, and the majority of racers this year are new comers. Made up of eager and naive souls yet to experience the hardship that true New Zealand backcountry can offer.

Looking through the 50km route, dubbed “The kaweka Klassic” there is only one name that stands out in the Womans field, Nadine Mckinnon (35) is likely to be uncontested tomorrow, especially with the omission of Ruby Muir who is out due to lingering issues with her body. Second and third could be taken by anybody at this point, although Lisa Porter (25) of Hawkes Bay and Meg Buddle (20) of the Coromandle may both have youth and fitness on their side to give them an edge (Lisa has been training hard on the course over the summer)….

1471074_242759072568330_2011477958_nAgain with the lads, all bets should be on young gun Lucas Duross (18) from Havelock North. Since quitting Triathlon a year or so ago, Lucas has become a back country Goat and should be one to watch in future years. Frequently pounding both myself and 2nd place runner at last weeks Big Easy Matty Gummer into the bogs of the Ruahines or local trail races.

Likely to be rounding out the podium and duking it out for 2nd will be previous winner Dougie Kyle (29) of Eskdale and Chris Townley, who will be feeling the pain of the last two days (hes run the course twice already…)

So far the weather looks likely to be blowing forty bastards with a bit of rain, so conditions will be testing to say the least.

You can keep up to date with the Kaweka on their FaceBook page.


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  1. A little harsh to say “very few people return to take on the beast”. Nearly half the field had completed the event at least once and a reasonable number more than once. We gave out commemorative glasses for 5 and 10 year finishers this year, and several more are well on the way to a commemorative glass. One chappy has completed 23 out of the 24 Kaweka events.

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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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