Like all races it’s as easy as you want it to be. I haven’t been running very much, I don’t really want to, so I wanted it to be quite easy. While I don’t really want to run I still want to do events, really hard ones, they’re fun. So I’ve chopped my running in half, no more twice a day runs to and from work. More biking, more recovery and no long runs. I’ve also employed the services of a coach by proxy. I don’t have to pay them anything, they don’t even know they’re coaching me. But if you ask the right questions and look in the right places you can get a program written for you. I feel a bit stink doing it like that, but the information is out there and it’s not rocket science, my injuries are going away and I’m happy about that. A bit fat, but happy none the less.
Back to the Big Easy. It’s no secret that I like what Ed and Terry at Highland Events do. They are outdoors people, Ed climbs and Terry likes his Adventure Racing and tramping. Their events are not “corporatist” and might be described as no frills. There are however a LOT of prizes. The Big Easy was initially started as an MTB race from the Snow Farm, over the Pisa Range, down to Luggate and over the flats to Albert Town. A marathon has been held in conjunction, for I think, 3 years now. It’s easy because it’s downhill. 801m of climb and 2089m of descent in the accurately measured 42.2km I know it’s accurate because Ed said so as we walked towards a random bend on the track some 500m away from where we’d be let of the pass which itself was some random flat on the tracks above the Snow Farm Lodge. It was apparent that it did in fact have to start at that corner to make it a Marathon and not 43km or 41km or some other number that would have been logistically easier to start from.
When we were let of the bus to start walking Mr Jarvis and I promptly walked of up the hill discussing future domination of the World Hide and Seek Championships and everyone followed. Why people followed us I’m not sure, we were going the wrong way. What the hell would we know about directions? So eventually we started, I wanted an easy run, just training for Northburn. But Robert had entered so team supremacy was back on the cards. In a pathetic display of athleticism Robert and walked faster than me to the finish of the Kepler.
So of I went, chasing after the Superstar Spaniard Luis Alonso Marcos. We had 9km of uphill to run at a very nice gradient. I trotted along happily letting Luis run away, hoping that he would be rubbish on the 21km long and technical downhill. He wasn’t rubbish and seemed to grow the gap on all the little down-hills At the top he had 2-3 minutes and at the bottom it was nearly 10, that’s the way it stayed. Fun bloke with mega quads who has had a very cool year running all over the world.
The course itself is stunning if you like big open exposed and rocky surfaces which I do. Lake McKay was a treat and I’d love to go back and visit the place, camp for a night and just sit, look and wonder. The last 10k isn’t the greatest, but that is due to the wisdom of DOC not allowing the use of the Upper Clutha River Track. Ed and Terry have done a great job with the help of landowners and working out a zig-zag type route across paddocks, the airfield and roads to take us back to the finish at the Albert Town Pub. It’s undulating, I should have saved more for it and it was hot. 30+ degrees. So I crossed the line as a disgraceful, flabby bellied, shirtless 40-year-old wearing white lycra. Don’t scroll down if you don’t want to be ill. It’s so wrong but very comfortable.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and shit my hamstrings hurt. I really should do some more training But I’m not going to. I’m pleased the Big Easy has stuck to the last weekend in January, it has clashed with two other events in the past, but they have shifted and the timing suits preparation for other events. There were at least 6 out there who will be toeing the line at Northburn.
The Bixley’s will be back next year. We had a great weekend.
Run of the Day
Mel Aitken winning the women’s race. Mel is relatively new to ‘racing’ having only been making a serious attempt at running for a year or so. She won the Dunedin marathon last year in 3:12 after running a 3:20 in Christchurch. Now hitting the trails and getting better it’s great to see some depth being added to the women’s fields. BCR got a short interview with her at the finish.
Silvervision have a bunch of very cool photo’s as well
|Luis Alonso Marcos||
edit: deMonkey got shitty with my grammer and spelling. Fair enough.