The Rev’s MEC Tarawera Ultra Picks 2013

Picks for Tarawera 2013 – The Fellowship of the Trail

Well, we started off as a good sized group tackling the mighty Tarawera ultra marathon. But a slew of injuries has laid waste to a large number of our fellowship. Some are gone, some are just hanging on, and some are forging on, like Sam and Frodo, far beyond that which they were expected to go. My early picks follow:

Me – 60k

Put the ipod on repeat and get it to play track 3 – the injured calf overture in B minor.

This right calf hacks away at me after a good recovery over the Summer/Christmas period from the last time it flared. It aches when I dont run, and grates when I do. Yet, I still feel strong, and reasonably fit. With no long run since Feb 13, all plans of a speedy 60 are gone, and the question I now face is: will the calf hold out and enable me to run the distance, or will it be a long hike in the woods.

Prediction: Calf OK – 6:15, Calf not OK – 9 to 12hrs

Ron King – 100k

Ron has seemingly found himself aknew in the trails this year. With this fresh fondness for offroad, he has a couple of >60k runs under his belt, along with his 5th place at the super-rough Kaweka Challenge earlier this month. A bit less volume than last year, but more specific and with more experience. look for him to smash his 2012 time. I’m picking 10:30-11:15, and inside the top 20. 

Update due to course change: Finish time is harder to call now, and will be slower than previous years due to more difficult finish. But, I beleive this will play into Ron’s strengths. He is great on the hills, so I’m picking him to use his wisdom in pacing and nutrition and finish strong to be top 20 this year, lets say 11-12 hours.

Todd Calkin/Sam Thom: 78k team

Todd was building into his training but a nasty kite boarding crash into the ground (can someone link the youtube video – it is mean!) has given him some kind of upper back situation.  Jake, his original partner is no better, his running curtailed by ITB issues and lower back pain resulting in his withdraw from the race. Mate, we are all getting old. Fortunately, Todd has pulled in young blood in the form of Sam Thom, who with his recent Ironman training may provide a key anchor for this team to get them to the finish on Saturday. They will have fun, they will finish – time, I dunno, lets say 9hrs.

Caleb Pearson – 85k

Caleb is another with ITBFS issues taking him down. After setting his PB in the Auckland Marathon last October, he has battled back and forth with the injury, but has reluctantly succumbed and surrendered his entry.

Bryce and Myles Robinson – 78k team

Caleb has generously given his entry to the Robinson Bros. Neither of which were training for this event. Bryce – a quick road runner, recently building his distance from 10k/half marathons up. Myles – the old steamtrain, super reliable, strong and completely dedicated to finishing every event he starts – but alas, lacking much in the way of training over the last season. How will these ring-ins fare? I reckon they both have one good leg in them, and then one uglier one. Im guesssing a 9hr finish – should be close racing against Sam and Todd.

Mat Raffills – 85k

Missing from our troop last year due to work commitments, Mat is back for 2013. He has been solidly doing the big runs – logging many solo tags of Te Mata peak over the last few months. He has put the work in, and his ever increasing long runs have faithfully been chalked up. He’s new to the distance, but steadfast in his resolve – he will finish this sucker. He is supported by Nige Turbull, and I’m picking a finish between 11 and 11:30.


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