|1, 2 and 4 - Somewhere between Te Kuiti and Taumarunui|
3 - Progress being made in the knitting department!
5- Tussock Traverse signboard outside Taumarunui
6 - Latitude 39 South sign, Owhango
7 - Sunset on Mt Ruapehu
I counted my Icebreaker Tech T as the thermal top and actually wore it on the day - it was perfect for the warm-but-not-humid conditions. I rolled the jacket and beanie up tightly and tucked it into the bungee cord on my Camelbak belt where I never even noticed them during the race. The belt however, jiggled and bounced around, and caused my Tshirt to keep riding up and I kept having to pull it down and I even heard a race bib safety pin rip it at one stage - despite this sort of thing not happening in training. After a kilometre or so of hitching and adjusting I thought this was not going to work for thirteen kilometres, and I was tempted to ditch it until I realised that it just needed tightening a notch... ;)
Around the 9km mark we descended steeply through some native bush to the Taranaki Falls where I think I was so run-happy hopping around like a mountain goat that I may even have yelled out WOO-HOO while jumping off a rock at one stage!
There was some unwelcome uphill before the finish which I power walked as I was starting to feel it, and I didn't feel too guilty because everyone else was too. Then it was a narrow rocky track and a hop skip and jump through thigh-high scrub down to the finish where.....
Steven was waiting camera in hand for a finishing line photo!
I finished in 1:42:01 - 42nd female out of 113, just sneaking into the top 36%. My current aim is to finish in the top third so I wasn't far off - maybe I could push myself a bit more especially at the start where I am always afraid of going out too fast.
We stayed around for the awards and spot prizes, and watched the first few runners arrive in from the 26km event.
...then stopped to photograph the steam escaping from the crater that erupted recently on Tongariro:
...had a nice post-run ice bath in Lake Taupo to ease my shattered legs:
...ate a hearty meal while enjoying the view south to the volcanic plateau:
... then retired to nether nether land dreaming I was Anna Frost the second...
... and awoke to sore quads and dirty shoes!