Maunga Man 2018

It was back to the scoria trails of Mangere Domain for the 2018 edition of the MEC Maunga Man. Caleb Pearson improved from his 2nd in 2016 to dominate the mens race with a super strong performance, taking the front after 10 minutes and increasing his lead every subsequent loop. Newcomers Tom Hunt and Andrew McDowell filled the minor placings. Olivia Burne got a taste of technical downhill which should come in handy for the Goat, finishing in 7th overall and taking out the Maunga Maiden title.

The kids race was  a highlight, with a dozen kids and preschoolers hurling themselves up and down the crater cone. Lots of smiles and big efforts all round. Macie Dunning was pleased as punch with her win there.

Thanks to all who turned up to compete and support, and special thanks to Stu Hale (photos), Logan James (race coordinator), and Jenny Hale (kids picnic) – race volunteers are the best!  : ) : ) : )

Full results here



TUM 2015 – Data Geeking & Analysis

I had the urge to do some data geeking … so have thrown some of the split data into a spreadsheet and banged out a few graphs. If you’re wired like me (or Ron ;)) you’ll probably find it pretty interesting. I like seeing the ‘story’ of the race after only having experienced it in person from my perspective. Click here for the full spreadsheet with all of the graphs.

I find the ‘Position change’ probably the most interesting one – next to the splits.

Position change each leg
Position change each leg (click for full size)

Strictly looking at the data, I found a few aspects quite interesting:

#1: We should have started a bit closer to the start line in general. I know Caleb & I passed a whole lot of people in the first leg (not showing on the graph as our position at the start line wasn’t recorded), and you can see from the data we all continued moving up the field on our way to Okareka.

#2: The “Changing positions is an inefficient use of energy” award goes to Ron who positioned himself perfectly in the field – and finished in the exact same position as he entered the first aid station – never fluctuating more than 6 places.

#3: The “I love to kill” award goes to Mike who slayed 197 people in the space of 2 legs between Okareka to Tarawera Falls! And then a further 32 over the next 20km to Awaroa. Struth Ruth!

#4: The “soul sisters” award goes to Dave & Thom who’s spirits were so in sync that they finished precisely one hour apart. To the second. Blow me down with a pitchfork!

Splits over distance
Splits over distance (click for full size)

#5:Copy book” race plan execution award – looking at the data is an interesting one. Caleb, Ron, Sean and Thom would all be candidates. Caleb takes this one out though. He ran within himself for the first 70 and then unleashed from Titoki pulling the fastest splits for every stage from there on, aside from being pipped on the last leg by 1 minute.

#6: Ron absolutely killed it to Okataina coming in 45 minutes ahead of the nearest MECer only 37km into the race. Even from there was in the top 2 MEC splits for 2 of the last 4 legs as he powered on & held his guts, nerve & steam!

#7: I get the ‘Lazarus‘ award for getting my ass handed to me (dropping back in the field) the most & on 2 separate legs .. the first according to race plan, the latter on the way to Awaroa due to near death nausea (how dramatic – more about that in my race report). Then coming back from the dead briefly to finish strong & pip the fastest time for the last leg.

#8: Thom started to put the foot down from the falls and finished really strongly – making solid progress up the field every leg.

#9: Sean just gained and gained. He moved constantly up the field – increasing his ‘kill rate’ the closer the end came.

#10: Akie finished strong. After either holding back or doing it tough from Titoki to Fishermans and dropping back in the field a bit, he put the foot down and had a great finish – making some significant gains back up the field in the last 10km.

#11: We all made gains (some quite significant) through the technical stuff to Tarawera Falls.

A relay that Maungakiekie could be into

Hey guys, I saw this slideshow on runners world last night:


It’s of a relay run up and down Mt Fuji. Think running up and down Mt Ngaruhoe, except its 3700m not 2200m. Brutal. I reckon MEC and relays would go really well – the mix of social and competitive is us to a ‘T’.

The post links through to a short film by the same author, well worth a watch.

BTW loving how the training is going – Tuesdays sessions are getting full on! We are gonna have a large and strong contingent at Auckland Marathon. And don’t get me started on Tarawera. All I will say for now is that I reckon we must have the biggest number of entrants of any club. And maybe more to come…

Abel Tasman Inland Photo Journal

While the main MEC crew were burning up the roads of Onehunga I was down in Abel Tasman National Park with a free run pass (friends we were down with were in the official Coastal Classic run).

I used my pass to run an out an back from Marahau up the inland track to a turn around when time was up. Made it as far as Porters Rock. Gorgeous running conditions, though the inland tracks were a little more ‘backcountry’ than I had anticpated making for slow progress (many +10min/km).

Course can be seen here

I’ll only be a couple of hours, promise. In the words of Nixon “I was not lying. I said things that later on seemed to be untrue”
Start of the climb away from coast track
Looking across to Adele Island
Trail spotting going up
Log, log, it’s wet, it’s slippery, it’s wood
Proof I wasn’t alone up there
Tussocky goodness
Looking back towards Richmond Range (?)
Downhill trail spotting

Best Laid Plans

Shaping up to be a busy sunny season, at least according to my calendar. A nice mix of old and new and some frightening implications for training and sleep (unless I quit work, family, or my social calendar). Of course all of these are verbal entries at this stage…

Regardless, I’m going to finally have to work out how to divvy up cycling and running into a meaningful, enjoyable training ‘schedule’, ie. a haphazard collection of social outings, adventures, and solo events.

So chronologically ordered I’m up for:

  1. Hunua Xterra (2nd Sept)
  2. Abel Tasman Coastal Classic (22nd Sept – if that free ticket comes through)
  3. Whaka100 MTB – 100km fixed gear division (20th Oct)
  4. K2 Road- 200km fixed gear division (27th Oct)
  5. West Coaster Adventure Marathon (24th Nov)
  6. Taupo Half Ironman Ride/Run only (8th Dec)
  7. Summer Solstice All-road-trail Ride (21st Dec)
  8. Kaweka Mountain Marathon (2nd Feb)
  9. Tarawera Ultra 100km (16th Mar)

Was hoping to throw in the Huia69 mud assault (a variation of the Hillary Trail) and a self supported Round the Mountain (ie Ruapehu) run but things looking rather full already.

Now who’s going to keep me company here? I want names, I want proof of entry, I want fun times!

MEC 10 Miler 2012 Report

The second Maungakiekie Endurance Club 10 Mile was recently held at the Nikau Cave Cafe in Waikaretu. It was a classic Autumn event – cool and still, with a heavy fog adding to the atmosphere. A hardy crew of runners and walkers had made the drive south.

Although not able to race due to a bit of calf trouble, I kept my mind happy by organizing timing on the day. Richard Drake (who first came up with the idea) had done a superb job of course marking.

The event is an out and back along Waikaretu Valley Road. The road follows the course of a small river with a few gentle hills, then after five km climbs steadily upward to the turn around. It has a rough seal, little traffic and plenty of great views making it ideal for this kind of event.

The merry eventers were set off just after 10 am. There were a mix of MEC regulars, some local Waikaretueans and one large extended family group. Along the beautiful course they were all pleasantly surprised with a family-organised drinks stop at 4km.

How could you refuse a drink from these guys?After the completion of the event, folks were able to enjoy to a hot shower and some good old homestyle cooking from the Nikau Cave Cafe.

So how did it go?

Well, in the 10k walk we had the speedy pair of Anne and Lucy Horne take off. They were first home in 1:34:43.The best rehab for an ACL repair for sure Bec Horne and Janie Rich upgraded their 10k walk to include some good running and finished strong in 1:22:41. Chris Horne did his own thing, coming home in 57:32 after walking an unknown distance. 

Jenny Hale, Natalie and Murray Stephenson walked as a team and were over the line in 1:48:48.

The 10k run served up some sweet surprises. Richard Drake, feeling a bit worse for wear changed from the imperial mile to the metric kilometer and ended up taking out his local event in 45 plus change. After staying with Richard, Trav Reynolds got a bit weary and found Chris Horne to be a perfect recovery buddy. Trav was a starter (and finisher!)  in last year’s edition as well.

He started up his running engines just in time, before was almost mown down at the finish. His 54:22 narrowly held out a fast finishing Stuart Hale who crossed the line in 54:23.

In the full distance, Myles Robinson and Todd Calkin traded places at the front on the way out, both reaching the halfway point in 36:50.

Myles was able to pull ahead on the descent following the turn and crossed in 1:11:14.

Ben Horne raced it well to work his way into second after a wicked-fast descent also. Todd was able to work back into second on the flatter sections and finished in 1:12:45, with Ben next in 1:14:42. 

The ‘local lads’ of Richard Lang and Andrew Woodward looked to be having a good old chat out on their run. THey ran the whole thing together and finished up in 1:18:05.

The Warkworth teachers track club – Vern Dempster and Ian McHale also ran together and  easily took out the Masters section with their time of 1:27:36.

It was a great day, with many smiles at the finish and a few requests for a rematch. Big thanks to the Woodwards and Rich and Nicola Drake for the support and organization at the venue. We will be back.