Kaimai Killer – Preview

Waihi_003551Come 5am this Saturday the Karangahake Gorge and Kaimai Ranges will fill up with trail runners in the Blackmore’s XTERRA Trail Challenge Waihi. The event has Trail Tigers, 7.3, 13, 19, 42.2 and 60km options with the 19k doubling as the New Zealand Trail Running Championships and an XTERRA World Champs qualifier.

Total Sport dominate the trail scene in the Upper North Island for a good reason, they make events very accessible for the full range of enthusiast right down to on the day entries, which creates a bit of a problem when trying to write a preview. Number look good again, i.e. should be approaching the 1000 mark on race day which puts it up with the biggest Trail events in New Zealand.

waihi matt60km ’Kaimai Killer’ Ultra.
What the field lacks in size is made up for in the quality of the women’s field. While I doubt that this is a focus event for anyone lining up it will be a great gauge of fitness for some of the bigger events over the summer. UD Ambassador Jo Johansen and Claire Walton, 1 and 2 from this year’s Tarawera will fill out those two spots in no particular order and they will be kept honest by Heather Davidson, 2nd to Jo at the Hillary Ultra and by Claire Akin-Smith who has one of those rare achievements in running, a 3rd place at Kawerau in the Tarawera 100km.

On the men’s side, Grant Guise will run away from everyone after 30 minutes or so when he gets bored. He could be kept honest by local multisporter and handy marathon runner, Josh Garrett. Behind them are another 3 or 4 weekend hacks hoping for some carnage.


New Zealand Trail Running Championships.

Waihi RubyWith late entries expected the current form guide appears to be a couple from Hawkes Bay. Defending Champion Ruby Muir won’t have it easy with Kovo Kowalewski in the field. For the men Kristian Day (6th in 2013) currently heads the line-up, but that alone should spur defending champion Chris Morrissey to put away his zimmer-frame and drive over in the morning.

A great day out and not to be missed. Hang around and enjoy a beer, juice, gourmet sausages and salads in the sun. As well as take some photos for the Ultimate Direction NZ competition.

Post your best photos from the Waihi Xterra Trail Challenge onto the Ultimate Direction New Zealand Facebook page, and/or on Instagram and hashtag them #UDwaihi Photo’s from the 2014 Waihi Xterra Trail Challenge, taken by competitors, crew, supporters (anyone) and of any aspect of the event and any distance. The winner will get an Ultimate Direction FastDraw20 Handheld.

About Mouth of the South

Matt Bixley has written 24 .

Outspoken and opinionated- which is great cause we never have to guess what is on his mind. “The Mouth of the South” started his love of trail running with a 8hr+ Kepler in 2004. Since then he has run 220+km in 24hr while representing New Zealand and now has 5hr50, top 10 finish to his name. You can follow him HERE on his personal blog

4 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. A dead bird told me Matt Battley was planning on coming back for the 19k. Also Jono Jackson let slip that he was going come and hand out a good old fashioned arse kicking.

  2. Thanks Josh, that certainly makes for a better Champs field.

  3. So Josh ran a 6.19 50 miler last weekend with a few hills and plenty of water on the track. Those in his wake included a 2.35 marathoner and myself 50 min back

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