Tarawera – learning to dance in the mud

Report by Paula Klein

Off-road adventures are fairly new to me which means I tend to fall over a lot as I tend not to lift my feet. At Tarawera I did worry about all the rain and tried not to dream of the mud and puddles.

Race day arrived with an early start but we were all very excited and a jacket was not needed as it was very warm. The day was going to be very long as I’d changed to the 85km distance (from 60) on the Friday, but decided to go for the 100km if I made the cut-off.

You have to love the mud!  I gave up trying to go around so with each step it became a lottery to see if your shoes were still on. Tree and foliage assist rocks when going down hills! In short I ran and walked to the Falls, picked up my pacer and headed to Titoki in time to turn right. I’m not sure why I did though as I was wet, cold, chafed and unamused with life. A quick change into my jacket changed my mood and a chatty pacer helped me keep on trucking along.

It was a very long day but I did it, made it to Kawerau before midnight with only a few blisters and sense  of humour intact. And the best part was, I did not fall over and I learnt to dance in the mud!