The Tussock Traverse

Report by Maureen Leonard

We were greeted at the Chateau with 2 friendly faces, Steph and Hadley, both helping and welcoming all. The usual buzz of pre-race day was felt with our race bag & clean shoe checks done, race numbers handed out.

All preparation for a 9 am start was altered when the buses were unable to get us to the start line on time due to soft sand. Glen, Kevin, Clare and Maureen started in the 2nd wave of a well altered start time.

Glen & Kevin pushed up the first 2km hill in the front bunch. The drop off this hill was steep, rugged and rocky but these two were out of sight by the time myself or Clare got there. Rocks were a major focus for each footstep for some time before the river bed sand allowed us to stride out.  (Kevin unfortunately rolled his ankle early in the race, compromising his time.)   The mountainous scenery was awesome and it was a shame not to slow down to take more of this in.

The mid-morning heat was upon us as we neared the middle part of the run. A mixture of narrow tracks, more rocks & riverbeds tired the legs but also gave you a sense of; “ya just gotta keep goin” while twisting, turning, climbing and leaping through the amazing mountainous wilderness.

The 18km mark was a good sight. We had paths to open up the stride only to screech to a halt or fall down some steep steps at 20km, down into the bush. We ran past the beautiful Taranaki Falls.  With Eastside distance on our minds, there were more uphills and many drainage planks to hurdle our tired feet over.  The finish line was just a step out of the bush and any last minute thoughts of a sprint were enjoyably squashed.  Sharp as Hawks, right to the end.

Great results and achievement by all:
Glenn  2.30.06  (4th in age group )  Kevin  2.34.20  (4th )    Maureen  2.54.40  (1st)  Clare  3.12.23  (11th)(way under her own predicted time).

Thanks to Jason Cameron for the event organisation and the special Hawks membership discount. The ice bucket soak was an experience, supplied by the new sponsors Icebug. A spot of rain did not disrupt a well run prize giving ceremony. We were treated with a moving account of William Pike`s personal life-death experience when Mt Ruapehu erupted, in 2007.He has published a book which you may want to check out;  Every Day’s a Good Day. This was definitely one of them.