The Goat 2014 Race Preview

The Goat- a hairy, smelly and lets be fair unattractive four legged animal (no offence Mr. goat). Yet this is the chosen animal that almost every trail and mountain runners aspire to be like….Make sense…no? Neither does intentionally signing up for a 21km Mountain run in an active volcanic area!! Yet year after year The Goat never fails to sell out with 600 participants lining up each year

For those of you who have completed the race, I think you would agree that the course lives up to its prestigious name. 21km of rugged mountain running bliss where the ability to run is the least of your concerns. Scrambling, climbing, sliding, jumping and rock hopping are all skills required to make it to the finish line. After you have traversed the central plateau via rocks, streams, rocks….and even more rocks the last thing you want to see is a full kilometer of uphill paved road….yet this is what you must endure to finally cross the line. Once here you can collapse/hyper ventilate/cramp up and congratulate yourself that you have conquered The Goat….although I think ‘Tame’ might be a more appropriate word….I wonder if even the mountain king Sjors Corporaal feels like he conquers a course like this.

As always this race attracts some of New Zealand’s top mountain runners and this year is no different. Read on for a snippet on those to watch at the pointy end of the field.



Dougan on his way to winning the 2013 NZ Mtn Running Champs. Photo- Matt Cleaver.

Men’s Field

Dougan Butler: A New Zealand Mountain Running Champion and representative at the World Mountain Running Champs. No doubt he will be able to use his leg speed against the competition.  Dougan’s experience on challenging terrain from his mountain running successes should see him adapt to the technical and undulating terrain found at the Goat.

Nick Hirschfield: Coming home in 3rd position last year, Nick will be hungry to improve on that performance. With previous Goat experience and hopefully some better weather conditions Nick should be in the mix at the top end of the men’s field.

Richard Ussher: With years of experience in all things sporting Richard knows how to race over tough conditions and tough terrain. He should feel close to home amongst the rocky terrain after numerous trips over the Coast to Coast mountain run. Experience alone might be enough to have Richard run home in 1st spot.

Shay Williamson: This young goat knows the terrain well and as a previous winner of the U23 category, Shay has already nailed the sub 2hr mark at the very youthful age of 17! He is still in the U23 age group but should be right up there with the open men as he storms across the central plateau.


Elina at this years Coast 2  Coast.

Elina at this years Coast 2 Coast.

Women’s Field

Elina Ussher: Like her husband, Elina has buckets of strength in her legs from her multisport background and will draw on her rock hopping skills from her Coast to Coast runs. Elina dominates most races she competes in, so we should expect no less in the Goat. Will a Multisporter win the female race two years in a row?

Shannon Leigh:  This Ultra endurance runner has many long distance titles to her name including a few recent podium results. If she can turn her long distance running successes into the shorter format of the goat she will be one to watch.

Ali Corporaal: Will the Goat legacy continue with this family name as Sjors daughter steps up to the full goat course in the U23 division. It will be exciting to watch the race unfold with experience V youth. Will there be a repeat of a Young Goat taking out the overall female title? Ali is likely to have the talent to achieve this.

 Big thank you to Fiona Dowling for the above race preview! Much appreciated.


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