XRERRA Wellington- Red Rocks

Competition was hot on the windswept ridges of Wellingtons South Coast on Sunday 27th April, with local orienteer Shamus Morrison running down Julian Davidson to win the first of the XTERRA Trail Run series for 2014.

223325_10150171685885340_3879735_nGenerally race organisers when faced with a successful and burgeoning event, tend to tone things down – but not these XTERRA people. The long course was somewhere in the 15-20km bracket but the length was made irrelevant by the brutality of the terrain. Two 400 metre altitude climbs within the first ten kilometres and most of the rest was either steep hard downhill or sand.

The start was a prolonged shakeout up the famous Tip Track, with a bunch of 20 odd whittling down as reality kicked in for many. Julian Davidson was off the front producing the kind of climbing that has given him great results in epic races like the Kaweka Challenge and Kepler. Down the rollercoaster spur to the bottom of the now infamous radome track and a pack of four formed briefly chasing Davidson. While the older heavier competitors settled in to a grinding walk hands on knees Morrison realised his advantage and jogged off. The summit couldn’t come soon enough, but when it did Morrison switched into 5km mode running a tick over 3min kilometres for the short stretch of rolling tar sealed road to run Davidson down like a cheetah tracks a gazelle. A final little bump and technical descent to the spectacular coastline gave Morrison all the advantage and motivation he needed to stay ahead to the finish line, in a great time of 1.38.26 well ahead of previous times for this course. The womens long course was provisionally won by Tricia Sloane in 2.07.59

All in all a spectacular day of trail running with slick organisation, the XTERRA crew certainly do a great job of harnessing a crowd.

XTERRA Wellington website HERE.

Next race in there series is McKerrows Revenge, May 11th.

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