Great Naseby Water Race 2015 – Preview

Matt runs his beady little eye over the fields before driving over to Naseby for his annual DNF. He is spending Friday crewing for fellow Ultimate Direction and La Sportiva Ambassador, Martin “The Honey Badger” Lukes.

Snow, ice, mud, sun and plenty of soul searching. That more or less describes this weekend activities in Naseby. This isn’t an iRunFar Preview where everyone gets a mention (53 men and 36 women tipped for UTMB), so with 5 distances to choose from and 11 fields to look over I’m not going to cover a whole lot.


credit: Bruce Adams

The major event will always be the longest, and in the 100 miles beginning on Friday the man to beat will be Martin Lukes. There is however plenty of experience and enthusiasm chasing him and he will need to run well to beat the likes of Glenn Kelley, Adam Keen and Glenn Sutton. Glenn Kelley was in good shape at Mt Difficulty earlier this year and is pretty smart with how he approaches his runs. Glenn Sutton, like last year, will be fatigued by Badwater, but you know for a fact he’ll finish and if the legs are OK it will be in the 18 hour range. The dark horse in the field is Adam Keen, he can certainly run, hopefully he does it smart.

The womans field is wide open, but I’ve always been a fan of Koleighne Ford, right back from when we ran the original St James Ultra. Along with Marie Ford and Heather Barnes there could be some competition as the sun comes up in the morning. The other race that is wide open, is that for the wooden spoon. I’ll say right now that Norman Chan has his hand firmly on retaining the title. Why?? Because you know he will finish and will probably glide in just under the official cut-off. Speaking of which, how are you lot deciding the wooden spoon, Official Finish or just finish???

Tim Wright looks to be the favourite for the 100k and Shannon Litt might just take the overall win in the 80k. The 100k is actually the toughest race to finish, making the 6pm cut-off to start your last lap requires a consistent effort all day. 80 minute laps might seem easy but when you stack that up against 90 minute laps for a 24 hour hundred miles, it actually becomes quite hard.

The 50k looks like there will be a couple of guys duking it out in the 3:50 range, Paul Timothy will go out quickly but expect to see 72 minute half marathon runner Adam Carlson sitting there quite comfortably. Adam for the win.

Finally, down to the main event where the serious athletes appear. Think I’m joking, I’ll leave it for your homework to post the PBs of the Olympian lining up with his wife. Great to see them still enjoying their running. Possibly teams record there for the taking in the mixed and maybe even in the mens.

My personal highlight for the weekend, Helen Chignall lining up again, that makes every year for her. Have a great weekend, enjoy your runs, whatever the distance.

Quote: Jamie Sinclair “You’re all special, in both ways”

Vivien Cheng
credit: Richard Healy

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

Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Your name is required

Please enter a valid email address

An email address is required

Please enter your message


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.

Backcountry Runner © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Copyright Back Country Runner.

Design by Paul Petch