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Routeburn Classic Preview

 UPDATE 23rd Aprilevent2logo-2

The 2015 Routeburn Classic takes place this weekend, traversing from The Divide on the Milford Road, crossing over Harris Saddle and descending down the Routeburn finishing 32km and 1200mD+ later. This time a year ago I wrote the following about the Routeburn Classic-

“The event has it all and I struggle to name another race in New Zealand, especially in the sub marathon distance that is better.”

Well a year on and I would now go as far to say it is my all time favorite race. A big call I know and one I hope does not upset other racers/race directors, its just, well, it’s the Routeburn Track….. its kind of hard to top a course like this. And there is Evan- BEST pre race brief’s EVER. I am excited to again be lining up, albeit still tenderized from the Buffalo Stampede.

Last year saw some fast times- Nick Hirschfeld finally got the Routeburn monkey off his back, winning in the 2nd fastest time ever at the race, while Sarah Douglas and Jess Simpson both went under Vic Beck’s course record, with Sarah taking line honors in a smoking 3hr17.

Jim Hawkridge racing the 2007? Routeburn Classic.

Jim Hawkridge racing the 2007? Routeburn Classic.

None of the above names are on the start list this year, which leaves things wide open, especially in the women’s race. Hilary TottyEvelyn Armstrong, Katie Bolt and Johanna Jackson should all feature in the race. It is some what wide open and I am looking forward to being proven wrong here!

Another name of interest in the women’s race is Sally Currie, who is married to Routeburn course record holder and 3x Coast 2 Coast winner Braden Currie. 

Floortje Grimmett is a late starter and will defiantly feature. Part of team Tikki Tour in GodZone and recently won the Southern Lakes 10km.

The guys are a little easier. When a New Zealand Mountain Running reps name is on the start list, it is not to hard to pick! Tane Cambridge represented NZ at the 2014 World Mountain Running Champs and earlier this year raced Godzone, so endurance over the 32km course shall not be an issue.

Stafford Thomapson placed 3rd in the Kepler last year and again recently won the Dunedin Three Peaks. Between Stafford and Tane expect an epic battle, one that could get close to Braden’s stout 2hr44min course record.

Mitch Munro ran 2hr58 at the Routeburn a few years ago and was on Tane’s Godzone team (as was Hilary Totty) earlier in the year. He will certainly feature on Saturday. As will Hywel Dinnick and the ever constant Nathan Jones. And I guess the Try Hard writing this race preview…..

Andrew Town is another late entry and maybe he is well past his best days (they don’t call him Old Man Town for nothing) I have to mention him here other wise he will make me fell guilty on the drive to Te Anua. That and he is still likely to be knocking on the 3hr mark- the Routeburn course will suit him well.

A special mention to James Harcombe who will be running his 10th Routeburn Classic this weekend! Nice one James!

 Routeburn Classic website

Outside Sports Routeburn blog


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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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