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Showing posts from March, 2014

First Kiwi run (Piha 20k)

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I arrived in New Zealand early Monday morning. Ann & John picked me up, we returned to the hotel, I freshened up, and then it was time for a run!  Ann picked one about an hour west of Auckland, on the coast, that sounded good. It started in Piha, a cute seaside town. 
We ran up the beach until it ended in cliffs and steep hillsides. We ran through rocky tidepools trying to find the start of the track (trail) in the route description.
We couldn't find the start of the track and the hills looked too steep to even have a trail, so we started back along the far perimeter of the beach.

Suddenly, behind a dune and under low-hanging trees, we found the signs. Then it was up and up and up, the air thick with the screech of cicadas and warm summer air that felt alien to me, fresh off the plane from winter in the Pacific Northwest.

At the top of the first climb was a detour out to a view from a promontory. We took it, and were rewarded with gorgeous views up and down the wild coast.

We…

Mangawhero Forest, National Park

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The morning after we hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, Ann and I got an early run in before packing up and driving three hours north to Waitomo for a cave tubing adventure. Since our accommodation bordered on the south end of National Park (Tongariro is in the north), we decided to run into the park to see what we could do for an hour.


Luckily we came to this sign just inside the park. We took the Mangawhero Forest track, which took about half an hour, then turned around and ran it the other way. And just for good measure, we added the Rimu walk at the end before running the two blocks back to our apartment. It was a lovely, meandering forest run, and so fun to explore just outside of our (rental) front door. According to my Nike+ it was just over 5 1/2 miles.

20 mile taper

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This weekend's long run was my last one in the States for 6+ weeks and 2 weeks before we run the Tarawera 85k. So technically we should be tapering and I guess we are since we have been going down in milage, but not really if you include the difficulty of the runs in elevation gain. But then again this is Forest Park, how much elevation can you actually gain in 1 run? /sarcasm 
This week I planned the route especially for Susan, 3 miles of climbing right off the bat, from the bottom Saltzman to the top. Well my plan backfired when Susan texted me at 6:30am Saturday morning to say she was too sick to make the run. Our friend Sally was running 15 miles with us this week, she hadn't ran 15 miles since April and that was the first time she had ran more than 9 miles. So not only was she running a lot further than she normally does, she had to run all of Susan's hills. But Sally is a bit of a badass and said she had been looking forward to the run all week. 
When I met Sally at…

Tolinda 24 miler

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Tolinda TH
Tolinda to Leif (10.2)-- .75mi Leif (10.2) to Springville (9.37)-- .83mi Springville (LE 9.37) to FL7-- .71mi FL7 to Ridge-- .32mi Ridge to WW (20.86)-- .4mi WW (20.86) to Saltzman (16.1)-- 4.76mi Saltzman to gate/FL5-- 1.2mi FL5 to WW(16.69)-- 1.03mi (10 total) WW (16.69) to Maple (ww 12.84)-- 3.85mi (13.85 total) Maple to Leif (4.21)-- 3.52mi (17.37 total) Leif (4.21) to Tolinda (le 10.2)-- 5.99mi (23.36 total)
Tolinda to car-- .75mi (24.11 total)