Xterra Shakespear 2015

Shakespear is always a favorite race of mine, and I was stoked to manage to make it again this year for the 3rd year running. My lead up had been reasonably good – I’ve been relatively injury free this year, although fitting regular training in around a very busy work & family schedule has been a challenge.

This year the course had been modified with the 2nd coastal section being replaced with a hill climb & farm downhill as well as a bush section on the ‘tiri tiri track’ being added near the end. My race plan this year was to try & stay near the front, but not at the expense of pushing too hard through the initial hill climb & bush section down to Army Bay. The technical stuff over the rocks has always been a strength of mine so that’s where I wanted to make some serious gains, while trying to avoid running out of gas for some of the hills in the 2nd half like I did last year.

It was great to see the boys with a strong M.E.C turnout with Dave, Evan, Ron, Todd and myself all lining up to run the super long.

The race started fast as it tends to, with the usual bolters out front. I seeded myself near the front & kept pace with Ron as we climbed the first hills. I felt the cardio workout kicking in near the top of the hills so backed things off a little, letting Ron & a half dozen others break away.

"Team Green" at the start. (Photo stolen from Steve Neary's Strava :))
“Team Green” at the start. (Photo stolen from Steve Neary’s Strava :))

After a fast descent down into the bush, I held back a bit through the Kauri forest, trying to ensure I wasn’t feeling gassed by the time we came out at Army Bay. The tide was high this year which I knew would work to my advantage, forcing us up onto the loose rocky surface near the shoreline instead of being able to pace it along the comparatively smooth rock face further out.

I broke out onto the coastline probably around 15th and I dialed it up a little each time we hit a technical section, while forcing myself to cruise a bit on the flatter sections to keep the cardio under control. I settled in behind Ben Firth who historically I’ve found quick around the rocky section & worked my way up the field with him. This strategy worked well, generally gaining at least one or two places each time things got technical.

Ron gradually eased back into view and I caught & passed him & Ben about 2/3’s through the rocks, eventually working my way temporarily into what turned out to be a brief duel with Kelvin Meade for 3rd behind the air force boys who were nowhere to be seen.

Coming out onto the beach behind Kelvin I eased off the gas a little knowing there was some good hill climbs coming up & Ron hauled me in & passed. I decided to set my pace off him & see if I could keep somewhat in reach. I fell behind a little as we descended through the new section down to Te Haruhi bay (courtesy having to stop to do up a lace – argh!), but started the hill climbs feeling pretty good and managed to slowly pull Ron back in, getting to within 5-10 meters on some of the climbs but with him pulling away again on the downhills & flats.

As we crested the big hill & started to increase the pace along the top, my arch nemesis “cramp” started to bite in my left calf. I backed off & stopped to scull back some powerade at the last aid station at the top of the hill in an effort to ease it up. Suddenly the trail veered off to the right from where we would usually go – something I hadn’t noticed before the race. We dropped steep down into tiritiri trail and through a beautiful bush segment and back up the other side, reconnecting with the usual course on the farm races.

With only a few km and a couple of hills to go, the cramp really started to kick in. Any hope of trying to push Ron along disappeared as he powered along strongly and started pulling away as I was forced to back off on the climbs to prevent a full blown lockdown – very frustrating as I felt I had paced well and had plenty in the cardio tank for a strong finish. While I hadn’t held any hope of overhauling Ron, I did have it in the back of my mind that I may be able to turn the heat up on him a bit & force him into a bit of a duel by bombing down the last downhill & along the beach.

Instead as I crested the last hill the full lockdown cramp kicked in. I had been keeping an eye since we started the hills on the next guy behind us. He was a long way back so I banked on stopping to stretch & see if it would let go. Unfortunately he saw me do this, smelt blood and set about hauling me in.

I set off again but the cramp kicked back in instantly. Aside from Ron I hadn’t shed a single place since coming off the beach & I was bloody determined not to do so in the home stretch, so I bit down hard & started to run as best as I could with the cramp locked on.

I made my way down the last steep hill & managed to hold around 3:50-4:20’s along the beach with a crazy straight legged hobble run. My messed up running style was burning my cardio reserves at an alarming rate, and if it wasn’t for Mr Blue Shirt behind me making startling gains I would have dribbled along a lot slower. Determined not to surrender a spot so close to the end I gave it everything & managed to hold him off – climbing up off the beach, embarrassingly dry retching all the way down the home chute to collapse over the finish line. Talk about style.

I finished behind Ron – coming in 5th at 1:32:46, a bit over a minute slower than last year – although hard to know what impact the changes to the course meant.

Overall, the last 2km aside, I am pretty stoked with the race. My best position in a race so far & I felt I paced well, executed my race plan and finished in front of a bunch of guys who bet me last year. Probably need to start hitting some longer, high intensity hill reps to try & sort out the cramp issues.  Cheers Ron for egging me on along the way 🙂 and congrats to all the boys for strong runs!

M.E.C results:

Ron King – 4th – 1:31:11
Brent Kelly – 5th – 1:32:46
Evan Atkinson – 44th – 1:49:52
Dave Atkinson – ?? – for some reason missing from the current published results.
Todd Calkin – 75th – 1:58:40

Strava Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/305946238/overview

Advertisements

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.

Tarawera v6 2015

Just about didn’t make this one. And I usually have a good go at not making it, so that’s saying something!

Training Summary: Did 23k of actual running in the last 6 weeks. Got some reasonable vertical covered with all the hill hiking I was doing.

Details of previous 10 week’s training totals (see if you can spot where I got injured):

Week 0 – 9.3k, Week 1 – 10k, Week 2 – 14k, Week 3 – 37k

Week 4 -28.5k, Week 5- 30.9k,  Week 6 – 28.3k, Week 7- 86k

Week 8 – 60.5k, Week 9 – 37k, Week 10 – 69.9k

So, I actually sent out an email the week prior to the race when I was convinced it was over for me. No pain free runs since Dec 20. All my usual tricks at speeding recovery had been to no avail. My thoughts switched to how I could recover rather than how I could race.

But I had a painfree walk run with Ron on Tuesday, repeated it with a 3.5k run walk home and thought – I’ve got to give it a go. No way I was missing the race if there was any chance, even a small one that I could take part. So it was great to be down in Rotorua with our biggest MEC contingent ever. We had a fantastic pre-event pasta party at Dave and Evan’s family bach. It was a cool family occasion (and thanks guys for the great pressie).

Team Green ready for a good day's running
Team Green ready for a good day’s running

Race day was as predicted: Cool start (approx 8 degrees) but low winds and mod-warm temps in the afternoon (officially 22 in town). We all met up for the pre-race festivities and I was delighted to be in fine company for the first leg, going out at an easy pace with Dave, Todd, Sean and Thom. We were probably 2/3 of the way back and there was plenty of unavoidable walking in the first 5km. This suited me just fine. That meant no temptation to run on my legs that hadn’t run for more than 6k at a stretch in the last 7 weeks. We had a glorious time laughing our way through the redwood forest and down to Tikitapu. We got in to the Blue Lake aid 30 minutes after Ron and 15 minutes back on Caleb and Brent. I was pumped – no pain in the calf, and the day was looking like it might come together.

We made our way down to Okareka aid station and shortly after our party of five were split. Todd and I were moving faster and got a gap on the other three. I was getting more confident in my calf by the time we left the Miller road Aid station at 21k, and was running more freely on the leg. Over to Okataina we ran together well, catching heaps of people and only stopping occasionally for me to stretch or knead the calf when it felt tight. The downhill to Okataina felt good, and I rolled ahead of Todd who was feeling pretty sore by now. I finished the leg just under 2:17 (over 20 minutes slower than last year). I felt fresh and took on supplies at the aid station before heading out.

Leg 3 was where I really let the brakes off. I was pretty sure my calf would hold for the day, and so started to run my natural pace. I noticed that my heart rate was 10 beats or so higher than I would have expected for the effort, but put that down to the nerves of the big day. I steadily caught group after group (sometimes getting stuck behind for a while on the snaking singletrack) as I made it my goal to reel in Caleb and Brent who had started the leg about 13 minutes ahead of me.

As I ran over the hill to Humphries Bay, a MTBer commented on my singlet and said he had seen a couple of guys in that singlet not too many minutes before. Encouraged by the sense of progress, I kept pushing along. I made it to the Tarawera Falls aid in 7:30 – about 30 minutes slower than 2012, but that was all from the first 2 legs. My watch had frozen on leg 3 so I re-started it at the aid station, filled my bottle and my hat with ice and went into the forestry road section.It wasn’t long before I was caught by Caleb and Brent. I had actually passed them while Brent took a pit-stop, so I waited and we ran as a threesome for a bit. I was feeling good. I had eaten well, and wasn’t too sore. I ended up pulling ahead and so said my goodbyes.

My technology was not aiding my ambition. My watch had 3 meltdowns, and on this part of the trail I became aware that my mp3 player wasn’t gonna work either. That was a bit of a blow, as it was meant to focus and lift me through the last 30-40k.

The scenery is pretty, running form... not so much
The scenery is pretty, running form… not so much

But I wound into Titoki aid still feeling good and making progress. Then it got real. Real hard. My body remembered its lack of training and around the 75k mark I started to slow, feeling tired and sore. The Awaroa loop was tough, I moved OK on the steep uphill, but it was very very sore going down. The heel inserts that had taken the pressure off my calf, had re-allocated it to knees and they cried out in protest. I went from catching up to seeing people pull away, and then getting caught myself. I still had 20k to go and it was a struggle to run at all (interestingly walking was quite fine – unlike meltdowns in 2010 and 2011). I heard a yell and Caleb was roaring down the hill to me. He slowed to talk for a minute and then sped off. I wished him well, so good to see him finish like that, but I took a mental dive as his smart race approach contrasted with mine and I saw my race unravelling at the end. Oh! The beginners error! Made on my 6th TUM, I should have known better. I castigated myself for my foolish leg 3 antics, and questioned my sense in running 100k on such unprepared legs. The self criticism of course made me feel so much better. And I began to walk with a dark grey cloud around me.

I tried to keep myself honest. I stopped and stretched my quads to take the pressure off the knees. I felt a bit freer and ran for a while before the pain took me down again. The aid stations would give a similar, fleeting boost. I was just relieved to see the kms tick over as I pulled into Fishermans bridge at 90k. Dad was there – his impeccable crewing had got me through all day. Every aid station he would give me splits and info and ask what I needed. I no longer need cooling as my speed had reduced. But he was able to pass me my iphone and I plugged that in for the final 10k to the finish.

Not sure if it was just having 10k to go, or the music or what, but I was able to lift into a slow shuffle for the rest of the journey. I actually caught a few people who had taken me earlier. The pain was still there, but was more background now and I made much faster progress. This was better.I crossed the bridge over Tarawera River with about 2k to go, I didn’t really have much more to give this time and I just chugged in over the fields. It was quite emotional getting to the finish line after being in pain and a bit down for a wee while. Heidi was itching to run with me, which made my day, so we held hands and ran the chute together, stopping the clock at 12:16.

Q.E.D. Not quite.
Q.E.D. Not quite.

Brief Reflections:

Nutrition – ate well, did my gels on the half hour plus aid station food.

Hydration – drank water to thirst and felt fine.

Pacing – Started spot on, but worked too hard on leg 2 and especially leg 3.

Preparation – Minimal, and again the ultra had to teach me not to underestimate how much it will require of you.

Philosophical Reflections:

I think because I so love the experience of testing oneself and experiencing the natural environment, I can forget how hard these ultras are. This sometimes leads to me not counting the full cost (until the race day, whereby I will pay the cost, oh yes). I will try to remember this because it feels SO much better to finish strong (even if you are sore) then to self-destruct along the way. What I love about this sport is that anyone can have the perfect race – it’s not about finishing first, it’s about delivering your best performance in all areas on the day. I had three great performances 2012-14 where I squeezed the best race out of my self I could, and I’m gonna make sure I have some more.

But, how crazy is it that I was even able to run? 1 week before I would have been happy to run 10k, and would not have expected to complete this event. So I’m gonna be grateful for my own little on-the-trail miracle recovery. As I said to the guys, what I really love is getting to share this whole thing with friends and family – having the competition and the comradery. And that’s what we did – 8 MECers with whanau in tow took on the Tarawera. Look out for Team Green next year!

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.

Auckland Marathon 2014 – Revrun report

Walk Run the line

The start of the 2014 Auckland marathon was easy, and the finish was hard. Trite but true. It was mild and overcast at 6am and as Ron and I ran together our pace goal of 4:10 min/ks felt very comfortable. That was a good sign, and meant that the hoped for 2:55 and PR was a possibility. I found myself wanting to speed up the race ie fast forward time so I could arrive at the St Heliers turnaround, where I felt the race proper would begin. But we were diligent in our pace setting – not overly structured or dominated by the watch, just holding a very constant effort. It meant that uphill we seemed to get overtaken by our bunch, who we would then fly past on the downhill.
Running down the bridge is so fun. It’s a lovely gradient, and the cityscape on our left was a real treat to take in. Through halfway in 1:27 something – about predicted, feeling good. Check. The conversation flowed as we made our way westward along the waterfront. By the time we pulled into St Heliers, chatter was a bit less frequent, but still there. It had been like a training run with extra tempo.
We saw Ron’s entourage at the turnaround and gave them a smile and wave. I pulled out the ipod and turned on my beats. “Lets do this, Ron!” I called as we started to pick up the tempo. I drew some satisfaction as a runner (probably a good guy) who had tail-gated us for the last half hour dropped off. I think I got carried away though because I went to running 3:45s, which was well above the target pace. The plan was to increase pace at St Heliers, but I think i should have turned it up a half notch instead of a full because although I cleared out on my own and caught all of our original bunch, within a couple of ks I was feeling tight and tiring. I was now back at the same 4:10s but my heart rate was a good 10 beats higher as I worked hard to maintain what previously was easy. Oh well, the dice had rolled and now I had to play. So I dug in, and counted down the remaining kilometres to Victoria Park.

Great family support at Mission Bay
Great family support at Mission Bay

Despite the increasing effort I maintained the pace, albeit for periods where I would falter a bit, and then recorrect. These were getting more and more frequent and by the time I hit Quay Street I lost the battle for even pace. I had picked up another tail-gater courtesy of my swinging pace and when he pulled away at the Ferry Building I had nothing to give. My elapsed time still gave me hope that I could make low 2:55s and so I kept working as best I could. I saw Todd and Jaz outside the PWC building which was a great lift (although puzzling to see Todd who I thought was running behind me). Their video shows me looking a bit grey as my short strides move me along at that point. A few checks over my shoulder reassured me that I wasn’t going to be swallowed, and I ground out the last k, crossing officially in 2:56:44 – my second best time (and best for 10 years). For me: a good result, and nearly a great one.
First Half 1:27:48 Second Half 1:28:53 Net time 2:56:41

Onehunga Half Marathon 2014

Maungakiekie Endurance Club had a remarkable showing at this year’s Onehunga Half Marathon. It was grey, with a little rain and a big Nor-wester which made us work extra hard. Six PBs made for a very successful day. Bring on the Auckland Marathon and spring season!

Brief race report with 5k splits and finish time below:

Ron:
19:26, 19:35, 19:48, 19:45 – 1:23:40

‘What’s funny is that after the first couple of km I was pacing solely on my heart rate/breathing. Great to be surrounded by MEC on the out and back format too.’ (Super consistent splits)!

Mike:
19:40, 19:35, 19:55, 20:37  – 1:24:42
‘Starting pace was just as planned, and I wondered if it was too conservative, then from halfway realised that this was not the case. Struggled in the headwind, and last 6k were a bit slower as I ran out of push. No calf trouble though!’

Caleb:
20:30, 20:20, 19:55, 20:22 – 1:25:57.
‘I was running my 10k pace – planned to go faster than i thought i could and try maintain it.  Felt good the first half, struggled the last 3km in particular. 10k and half marathon PB’s  – very happy with pace.’

Todd: 
20:14, 20:52, 20:25, 20:47 – 1:28.55
‘Quicker than expected. Some highs and lows. Also battled to keep motivated with the headwind. Felt tough from 10k. I ran through 20k at 1:22:18, could have run the half in around 1:26:30, but finished race in 1:28:55.’

Sean:
20.22, 20.28, 21.05, 22.04 – 1.29.53 finish

‘Race plan was a bit ambitious to run start to finish at 4min km but was worth a try, was happy I made it under 1.30’

Thom:
22.16, 22:56, 22:40, 22:53- 1:36.45
‘Had a blow out in split recording but my aim was to maintain a 4:30min/km race and that I did (4.32 ?!) My aim was a 1:35 race so didn’t quite get there at estimated 1:36:45. Suspect a few extra meters in there and headwinds added to the effort. Overall a positive result, an epic crew with a 5 min improvement on Pb.’

Dave:
22:09, 22:57, 23:47, 24:10 – 1:39.37 
‘Overall just super impressed with the crew, we were representing hard out there! I came into the race quite nervous, and at about 13 km I was in my dark place. Dropped off my 4.30 pace but overall happy that I kept under 5s and took 8 mins off my previous PB.’

Evan:
22:06, 23:20, 24:31, 25:19 – 1:41:54
‘Started hot, in attempt to keep up with 4:30/km for the first 10 and see what I could do If I pushed myself. Turns out it was a tad ambitious and the stride length gradually shortened throughout the race. But even my last 5km was still faster than my last PB, so a good day!’

Xterra Riverhead 2013 Report

Guest post by Brent Kelly

– A Soggy Affair

Awakening in the early hours of Sunday, 9th June it became readily apparent I was in for one very wet 23km slog. I was not disappointed, walking (or should I say wading) the sodden last km from finish line to warm up for the race.

Having previously completed my first ever race at Shakespear a few weeks earlier I decided, as a now highly experienced offroad racer, I needed to up the ante on myself and opt for more competitive strategy for this run. In my first race at Shakespear I had never really run with other people before, let alone in a race environment so it was mainly a learning experience to see if I could keep up, make it to the end, and do so in a half decent time.

So this time I set off at pace with the goal of trying to keep up with the front pack – my highly complicated strategy being to ‘run fast for as long as you can’. My idea was to try to follow the ‘fast guys’ as long as possible & then if I ran out of gas before the finish at least I would know for future races that I couldn’t handle the jandle.

Predictably a couple of those RNZAF boys disappeared around the first corner never to be seen again … as they do … but the rest of the pack wound its way up & up the gravel Barlow road & I surprised myself by managing to stay in touch with most of them.

As the trail took to the bush it became very quickly apparent that this race wasn’t just about speed – but also survival. The downhill technique generally consisted of trying not to break your neck in the slippery mud, while the flats were spent navigating large puddles – some of which could swallow you whole should you make the mistake of stepping into the wrong one.

A surprise nasty hill (race lesson #1: study the maps harder) about 7km in nearly killed me as it proceeded to catch me off guard & relentlessly beat me with a stick. I managed to physically recover during the next offroad section but the whole ordeal dropped me back in the field by a handful of places.

As at Shakespear, I seemed to find myself gaining through the offroad sections – managing to work my up the field a little to eventually set off on my own. For most of the race things seemed to proceed in this fashion as I would pull away in the offroad areas & then be caught back up on the gravel road sections.

I must confess to walking a few of the more nasty hills as the race progressed – I figured there was no point being completely gassed for the next few minutes after the hill compared to the small increase in speed of trying to run-slip your way up those sadistic little stretches (whoever designed this course was an angry little man).

As the race progressed my toes started getting somewhat indignant with my shoes preparing me for the very black 2nd toenail I discovered post race (race lesson #2: buy shoes that fit). I started to gas a bit about 5km out from the finish and had to dig deep as I conceded a place or two – but still managed a dash over the last 500m to the finish & overtake a few people – albeit, in hindsight, from different races.

Riverhead 2013 Superlong was a very tough but outstanding 23km course & I was stoked to finish in 10th place with a time slightly over 2hrs. There were a few MEC representing with Todd & Charles also running – and a few notable absentees – Ron running in the short race with his son & Mike out with an injured calf.

MEC Results:
Superlong

10th Brent Kelly 2:01:12

43rd Charles Belcher 2:18:10

50th Todd Calkin 2:21:27

Short

158th Oscar King 1:04:55

159th Ron King 1:04:55