Race three of the Xterra series saw us travel down to the Waiuku forest. It was the first time any one of Michael Hale, Ron King, Myles Robinson and Charles Belcher had ventured to this venue. And what a place! The most scenic course thus far – runners were treated to views across the Tasman and over to Port Waikato.
The wiseguys at Totalsport started the field 50m in front of a car-sized puddle, making for a messy beginning. King moved quickly to hang on the front pack as they sped away. Hale and Robinson let the front of the field move ahead as they took it easy – both aware they were underprepared for a super-long offroad run. Belcher paced himself well and allowed himself to surge to maintain contact with a group at the start.
But it was not to be plain sailing for King, who suffered with asthma, dodgy guts and general dislike of sloppy sandy courses. He did however run solidly as usual, coming first amongst us in 1:43:02, taking 7th overall.
Hale and Robinson ran together for the first 30 minutes, then Hale got a break and was never seen again. He continued to pace himself very well, catching others over the middle section and both he and his calf managed to keep it together right to the finish, crossing the line very pleased in 1:49:00
Robinson was not to have such a pleasant day. His race pace slowed as he fell victim to the bonk. But who could blame him – he had been focussed for the last few months on wooing Natalie and with great success in that arena (congrats on the engagement buddy!).
Belcher, despite a repeated wardrobe malfunction (laces untied), managed to hustle and was filled with fresh vigour upon seeing Robinson up ahead. He sped past to finish in 2:03:29, with Robinson 2:05:32.
So next race is in three weeks on Sunday July 25at Woodhill forest. Checkhttp://totalsport.co.nz/events/run/index_woodhill.php
See you there!