Saturday, July 5, 2014

Race Report: Xterra Woodhill 14km Trail Run

Last weekend I ran in the third race of the Blackmores Xterra Trail Series, which was held in Woodhill Forest just west of Auckland.  I missed the first two races due to my niggling ITB, and even then I was a bit nervous about running this race which happened to be about twice as far as I've run recently. But my physiotherapist thought I would be fine, and sure enough I was.  Woodhill is a pine forest right out on the west coast so the ground is mainly sandy soil coated with pine needles - a nice low impact surface that suited me perfectly!


As you can see from the above picture there was also a few muddy patches - it's winter here and there was quite a lot of rain during the week.  My Inov8 Roclite's were brilliant - I could plough straight through the mud and puddles with no fear of slipping.  Being a Southland farm girl helps of course! 


 And you can tell by my dirty knees in this shot that I came a gutser at some stage.  You know the scenario - "what's he doing sitting down..." thud. faceplant.  All in one nanosecond.  I just know TotalSport design their courses to have a hidden-but-exposed tree root somewhere that manages to trip every second runner as they go past!


The course was beautiful in its own way, and the atmosphere inside the forest is like being in another world.  We ran on a mix of forestry roads and single track winding around and around, up and down - a course designed to disorientate!  Although the elevation profile showed a climb around the 5km mark, it was not steep, and it was over before I knew it.  There were lots of ups and downs, and even when it was flat there were ups and downs - like moguls - rather fun to run!

At the 5km drink station I looked down to see a dog on a leash with a race number on his back!  Hehe I haven't seen that before!  (Couldn't find anything in the results either...!)

A few weeks ago I bought some arm sleeves.  They have been a great investment for this time of year when you have that long sleeve/short sleeve dilemma.  This morning was ideal - I needed them for a 9:30 start in the shady forest, but took them off about halfway into the race and stuffed them in my front bungee pocket. Perfect.  How did I ever survive before arm sleeves?


This photo is toward the end where you wind your way around a creek to the finish.  I was walking a bit by this stage, and remember coming around the corner, seeing the photographer and telling myself to keep running for the camera!  Vanity running pure and simple.  The fact that I managed to keep running under photographic duress means I'm obviously lazy to consider walking in the first place, doesn't it?  Must try harder.

Talking of trying harder - if I had finished a mere 3 mins earlier I would have placed in the middle of my age group instead of well down the rankings.  Another reason not to walk!

The numbers:
14.4km forestry trail
Time: 1:38:39
30/43 in age group
255/333 overall
PS - never mind me - my superstar other half was 5th in his age group!


13 comments:

  1. Loved reading your report - interesting how we viewed the up/down course completely differently! I found it irritating ;) I, too, stopped to walk then spotted the photographer and started running again - lazy running at its best! Just noticed your nail polish matched your running top - cool!! Hope to see you at the next race :)

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    1. Yes I should be there! First I need to decide which running top and whether I need to add to my nail polish collection...!

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  2. Congrats on the finish! Nice photos! It helps that you're running a scenic route, but they're so crisp and that one with you leading is perfect.

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    1. We're so lucky to have Photos4Sale who take professional quality photos at a great price - makes them worth buying!

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  3. Glad that your ITB handled that race quite nicely! I think we've all done the "Oh look, there's a photographer, better look like I'm running hard." In fact, at my last marathon, there was a photographer situated at the top of a hill in the last 5K -- it was both a blessing and a curse. At first I was annoyed, but then I sorta wished there were more photographers at the end -- I probably would've finished the race much faster!

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    1. The top of the hill doesn't sound like the place where you'd make a lot of photo sales!
      I have to admit I had a quick walk once I passed the photographer even though the finish line was not far away!

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  4. Congratulations on the race - so glad you were pain free. It looks beautiful as well! I particularly like the first shot where basically you're winning :)

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    1. Hehe, yeah and I look really focused and in control of the race...shame about all the others out in front!

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  5. AnonymousJuly 13, 2014

    Hi Sherry
    have wonderred why u did not sign off from your sewing blog? You were just amazing and I am sure I'm not the only person wondering what happened to you.......

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    1. Hi, I haven't signed off from my sewing blog because I always mean to write another post (several zillion in draft...) but never get around to it for some reason! One of them is that my part time job has evolved to full time, and I haven't been doing much sewing either. I have recently made a gorgeous wedding dress for a friend though, and I'd love to show you all - maybe soon. I miss all my sewing friends!

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  6. Great job and you got a lot of great photos! looks like a beautiful run to do. Being a farmgirl always helps with things :)

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    1. I've never run in a real forest and it was beautiful! Once a farmgirl, always a farmgirl ;)

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  7. Thought I'd commented on this earlier... Congrats on your trail race. Looks like a fun one, and I love all of the pictures that the race photographers captured!

    I don't know if I ever mentioned it, but I'm a farm girl, too. I was raised on a dairy farm, although I live in suburbia now.

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Thanks for commenting!

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