The Rev’s Tarawera 2012 Picks

Many have already called this year’s race one of the most competitive fields in NZ ultra running history.

I will not repeat these front of pack calls, but focus on the performance of the 4 MEC associates running this year.


Ron “the” King

+ Knows how to keep moving amidst the hurt (veteran of all day bike rides, rode NZ on a fixie in a fortnight)

+ Excellent pre-event training mileage

  • Peak week of around 140km
  • Nailed a 69km, 10hr offroad beast in late Feb

+ Has trained specifically for this event (focussed, and representative training)

– Untested at the distance

Predicted: 15-25th, 11-12.5hrs

90% chance of finishing


Jake “Rocky” Parsons

+ Very determined, and realistic in his goals (he WILL finish)

+ Has run 50% of the course before

+ Fittest he has been in his life

– Small background in endurance sports

– Recent toe infection and time off training, on-going knee ache

Predicted: 11-12hrs, place 2/3rds in men’s 85km

70% chance of finishing


Michael “The Rev” Hale

+ In good shape, lots of strength in the legs and core

+ 2 successful Tarawera 85kms

+ Good result at Coastal Challenge 2012 a fortnight ago (4th, 3:21)

– Training build-up interrupted by R) ITB flare. The only two runs over 4hrs resulted in a walk-heavy finish.

Predicted: 18-30th, 11-13hrs or “the walkout finish” – 17hrs.

60% chance of finishing


Shaun “RunningBeast” Collins

+ Veteran of many ultra length events

+ Recently set the Hillary Trail (72km) solo FKT (~10.5hrs)

– Recent sinus infection

Predicted: 15-30th, 11-13hrs

80% chance of finishing


So, there it is. A little bit blurry, I know. If you forced me to call it, I would say the odds are that Ron does 11hrs, Shaun and Jake 11.5 and Michael 12.5. But as we know in an ultra, it can play out very differently. It will be fun seeing what happens, that is for certain.


7 thoughts on “The Rev’s Tarawera 2012 Picks

  1. Nice work guys, but I call BS on the Beast running 11-13, he’ll be 10:00 +/- 15 minutes. When the Beast is fit he a sight to behold.

    • I have to confess I only know the Beast in his more recent profession of as fantastic race director not field crushing race competitor. Your comment suggests he may bring a whole lot more to the Tarawera than just a very good knowledge of the track around Okataina.

  2. Phew! interesting to see our predictions pretty much line up – save my slightly (naively) optimistic margins. Actually, don’t know if this is a relief or new pressure to perform.

    One thing I guess I should have added to the plan in my post is to try not to slavishly run to the numbers – I’m running to the BORG PE (resistance is futile).

  3. Ha! Only just found this post – A nice follow on from Matt’s also great wrap up of the field.

    Was surprised to find myself on it but in reality, I am out looking for a 10-10.5hr time based on my performance on the Hillary Trail at 10.10 a month ago and some rough calculations. I finished it strong with gas in the tank and recovered quickly. Hillary’s only 75km but has more climb and is more technical. I’ve heard from others (admittedly further down the field) that their times on the two courses are similar. Hamish Travers did 100km last year in 11hrs and was fitter at the start of the year when he did Hillary in 10.25. Be interesting to see how this theory pans out?!

    Have not done much since the Hillary due to a cold but looking forward to getting out there for a blast. After 60km It sounds like a mind bugger and just quietly I reckon I’m really mucked up in the head – perfect for this stuff!

  4. Dude, you stole my sub-11 time 😉 Your predictions seemed pretty good save your conservative view on your own performance.

    I was just happy to finish after things started going pear shaped around the 50km mark. Stoked to finish in 12:08, damage could have been much, much worse.

  5. Well well. Yes, my predictions did get pretty close to the mark overall.
    Jake 2/3rds in the 85k solo field, but my time guess was a bit fast. 1 x Check, 1 miss.
    Ron/Shaun in the 11-13hrs and 15-30th places. 4x Check,.
    Me – almost in the 11-13hrs, 16th place. 1.99 x Check.

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