Monday, July 27, 2009

XTerra Race #4 (Waiuku)

XTerra Race 4 Waiuku
Last weekend was race four in the XTerra trail run series. This was the furthest I've had to drive so far. The race HQ was a ways south of Waiuku, nearly two hours from the North Shore, where the Waikato River meets the Tasman Sea. I'm glad I made the trip. Unlike the last race, this time the weather was perfect, and I think this was the best course yet.

That said, you can see from the photos that it had been raining right up to the day of the race. There were a number of large puddles out there, including this one right at the start.

The course itself was amazingly fast. It's almost 3km longer than the Riverhead course, but I finished over an hour faster, and that's got nothing to do with anything I did between those two weekends. ;-)

I actually thought for a minute that I might break two hours for the long course in this race. But once again I'd underestimated the sadistic streak of the race organisers: in the last few klicks some horrific mud pits appeared out of nowhere, and the finish was a load of sand hills. I was so shocked to be struggling with what had seemed an easily reachable goal a few minutes earlier, that I neglected to grab any pictures of the mud pits. They really were one of the nastier surprises of the series. Nice work guys! ;)

So even if I didn't manage to break 2:00, I'm still quite happy to have knocked an hour off my 20k time. I've noticed that I've also broken into the top 10 in the overall rankings for the series long course. As with the Beach Series, mainly by virtue of attendance. But hey, swag is swag (if I can sneak a few places higher by the end)! ;-)

XTerra Race 4 Waiuku

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