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Coming at you This Week- SMMM

A bit of a mixed bag coming at you on the NZ trail/mountain running calendar this week.

Before we get into that- make sure you check out the 2014 Vibram Tarawera Ultra Marathon Race Guide that is now available. Looks very nicely done, and a great race guide for what is a great race.

Coming up on the 22nd February-

  • In the Coromandel- the Colville Connection, with marathon, 1/2, 10 and 5km options.
  • In the heart of the Southern Alps, one of New Zealand’s only true mountain running races, the iconic Avalanche Peak Challenge. Maybe not as iconic is the new 13km course- starting and now finishing in Arthur’s Pass Village, but still including the Avalanche Peak summit. This new course has been received with mixed feedback. You can read defending APC champ, Tane Cambridge’s take on it HERE. While I do share many of Tane’s views, I also understand why these changes have been made and it is still a pretty cool course. Just a shame that so much race history will be lost.
  • Speaking of history, this Saturday’s Bedrock50, in the Canterbury foothills, is set to be the 4th and final. It will be a shame to see a race with a lot of potential end, if this is the case.
Epic ridge running, about 25-30km into the SMMM.

Epic ridge running, about 25-30km into the SMMM.

  • In just its 3rd year (it feels like its been around for longer) the Shotover Moonlight Mountain Marathon will be run in the hills just behind Queenstown. Easily one of the highlights on the NZ summer calendar and arguably our premier mountain marathon. Setting this race apart from others is that it is run over  the Ben Lomond High Country Station, which is private and not normally accessible to the public. This and race director, Adrian Bailey’s willingness and motivation to attract and invite NZ’s top trail, ultra and mountain runners.
The top of the big descent down to the Stock Bridge over Moonlight Creek.

The top of the big descent down to the Stock Bridge over Moonlight Creek.

The winner of the first 2 SMMM, Martin Cox, will not be returning this year, so there will be a new winner of this race. And it looks likely to be an Australian. Top kiwis on the start list are Braden Currie and Vajin Armstrong, but sounds like both are not likely to start the race, at this stage. Leading the Aussie charge will be Blake Hose and Ben Duffus. Expect 2013 Northburn 100km winner Matty Able to be in the mix also. Kiwi Jacob Roberts, who has been living in Australia, will be lining up, but is not sure on his form. Jacob has won races like the Avalanche Peak and Routeburn is the past, so is not to be discounted.

In the women- well we have not seen a start list, but do know that the one and only Anna Frost will be on the start line!

Backcountry Runner will be again doing live updates of the SMMM. Make sure you keep an eye on our Facbook page on Saturday for these updates. The quality and frequency of the updates will depend on cell coverage and timing with the helicopter- we will do our best to get some great updates and photos out to you!


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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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