Tarawera 2015 Pre-event Ramblings

What talent we have in the field this year! Read on for tales of woe and predictions for our MEC cohort this weekend.

We started with nine entered, but how many Maungakiekie Endurance Club athletes will finish the 2015 Tarawera ultramarathon?

Myles Robinson

Alas, brother Myles is a clear DNS. An open-dislocation of your right ankle will tend to interrupt your ultra marathon plans. We hope to see the return of this giant later in the season.

Ron King

Ron is an ultra veteran. Yes, he is a bit old, but I’m talking about how he is wise to the wiles of this event. He has yet to have a 100% performance at TUM, and I reckon this is his year. My pick is a solid, sensible race in the 100k and a sub 11hr finish (and new club CR).

Dave Atkinson

Dave has an 18 month history in running. 9 months since his first marathon. He ran his first ultra in November, the Hillary trail in December… this guy is moving! I’ve been really impressed with his buildup, very consistent. He’s in the 100k and I pick him as a finisher for sure.

Thom Shanks

Thom had a couple of dips in his buildup – an unexpected DNF at Auckland Marathon and a bit of gastro taking him out of the Hillary. But this guy puts in the big runs solo in foreign fields – if that’s whats required. Look for him to run alongside Dave for the first half. The smart money is on Thom to finish this 100k, whether in front or behind Dave is anyone’s guess.

Todd Calkin

Feast or famine. All in or all gone. Todd can be polarised runner, but he may have found a third way. His injuries have been a major set back to his preparation, but he has stuck at it and found a way to keep his foot in the door (so to speak). He’s strapping the ankle and taking on the 60, I think it will be a successful start to a strong year of running for Toddy.

Michael Hale

Ending 2014 with a bag full of endurance was a brilliant start. Spending the next 6 weeks not running was less helpful. Last Friday I was still in pain and had given up, but I’m gonna try another run and if I get through that, I will start the 60k. It would be a super cautious (50% walking for the first 10k) approach. The odds are that the calf flares and I walk out. But if it doesn’t I’m going all the way to Kawerau, baby.

Caleb Pearson

Caleb has elected for the peak late / minimal taper approach. But he’s got many marathons and last year’s 72k to draw upon. He will run smart and get through the low points to finish well in the 100k

Sean Falconer

Sean was the MEC revelation of late 2014, only to be out of running action for months with a series of injuries. He’s a fierce competitor – low on smack talk, high on pushing himself to the very limit. He’s managed a few runs in the last 2 weeks and is aiming to get his body through the 60k. If the injuries stay away, you can guarantee he will make it to the finish at the Falls.

Brent Kelly

Brent and Caleb had a great run together for most of last year’s race. This year could be similar, they both have the experience and similar low-volume buildups. Previously reknown for his fast flat half marathons in training, Brent has done less kms but clocked more vertical gain of late. He will battle through any lows that come to finish the 100k and get that medal. Watch out for him and Caleb – I’d say they’re likely to be running side by side this year as well.


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