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2014 Great Naseby Water Race Preview

Naseby buckelThis weekend the 8th Great Naseby Water Race will take place in the sleepy former gold mining town of Naseby, in Otago. The figure of 8, 10km loop race had a 100mile option added to the 100, 80 and 50km options last year and has quickly become the premier event at GNWR, with the biggest field this year.

50km- The best thing about the 50km field and possibly the whole event is the number of woman entries in the 50km! Actually both the 80km and the 50km have more women on the start list than men! This kind of growth is great for a small sport like ultra trail running! Picking a winner in either of these races is tricky- for me at least. LOTS of familiar names, but none jumping out for the win, which is great to see as the same old names can get boring….

The 100km has a great match up in Ben Aynsley (2013 Naseby 50km winner in 3hr49) and Simon Green (2nd 2014 Northburn 100km)  25/8 Simon has pulled out with injury. They both have similar Kepler times and this should be the “head to head” race of the weekend. Fleur Pawsey is a well known multi-sporter (former Coast to Coast winner) and for doing well at shorter distance trail running races. The GNWR 100km will be her first ultra running race, I believe, and I am excited to see Fleur race!

The woman’s 100mile field is about 1/3 of the size the men’s and it is fair to say Jean Beaumont’s 18hr24min course record from last year should be safe, but it will be a battle none the less. Lisa Nicholl and Penny Kirkwood bring a load of 100mile experience, both having finished big 100mile races overseas. Emma Johns is making the step up after finishing 2nd at the Naseby 100km race last year. She is probably the fastest on the start list, but lacks  100mile experience- but there is only one way to get it! Becky Nixon would have learnt a lot from her 35hr Northburn 100mile finish early in the year and it sounds like she has prepared very well for  Naseby.

2012-08-25 09.32.57

Michael Rodliffe running the 100km at the 2012 Naseby event.

In the mens 100mile race John Bayne heads the field. John has won the 100km here in 9hr37 (2008) and was 2nd in 2011, running 9hr25. And most notably was 2nd in the 100mile behind Marty Lukes last year, running 17hr14. Michael Rodliffe will be (I believe) running his first 100mile race, having place 2nd at the 100km here in 2012, running 9hr23. Grant Guise (yes, I am adding myself into this race preview, but I figure would get more shit for not doing so, than doing so) was first in the 50km at Naseby in 2010, running 3hr45 and has 1 previous 100mile finish, a 23hr Ultra Trail Mt Fuji in 2013. (I was pretty confident a few weeks ago, pre flu and chest infection.)

Much has been said about Greg Yee’s build up and without doubt he would have learnt a lot from last year’s 16laps at Naseby and this year’s Northburn. He, along with Matt Bixley, will be looking to pick up the carnage in the wee hours of Saturday morning and make it onto the podium.

 

Ultimate Direction photo competition- Post your best photos from the Great Naseby Water Race onto the Ultimate Direction New Zealand Facebook page, or on Instagram hashtag them #UDnaseby Photos from the 2014 Naseby- taken by competitors, crew, supporters (anyone) and of any aspect of the event. The winner will get an Ultimate Direction FastDraw10 Handheld, and a BCR cap of their choice.


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