I have next to no experience of running the Tarawera 60k course and didn’t even get to the boring as bat shit 40k road part of the 100k course. But I was asked for advice so this is it.
“Only the 60k” – yeah whatever, that’s further than Kerry Suter is running. Everyone has their own reasons for doing the different distances. I absolutely hate with a passion 100km and it would take a very special course for me to try one again. There’s more chance of me running circles on a track for a day than there is of me lining up in the 100k at Tarawera. So I too, am “only” running the 60k and for me it is “only” a training run. Your reasons are yours, and that’s what makes you happy.
The Course – As pointed out, my experience on the course could be written on the back of a small postage stamp with a marker pen. But I can read a profile. Re-read what I wrote about the Kepler on BCR. It still holds true. “If it feels comfortable and easy, stick with that.”
I think the start in the dark will help people settle down and take it easy for the first hour, as will the fact there’s 700+ starters. It will be slow, be happy and accepting of that. The goal is to be able to run well from Okataina/Humprey’s to the finish and mow down all those people who had piss poor race plans. Remember to suck the life out of them as you go past feeling righteous about how well you’ve done.
Tarawera has a bit more climb than the Kepler, but the Kepler has 80% of its climb in one go in the first quarter. vTUM60 has its vert spread over the entire 60k in shorter blocks, they are more run-able and as a result could possible lead to the unprepared blowing it. So back to the “If it feels comfortable……..” Rumour has it, from Okataina to the Outlet is the best part of the whole event. Hope I get to see it.
JacketGate – I never knew there were so many idiots out there, professing to be trail runners who clearly have no idea or experience of being outside in even moderately challenging conditions. If the conditions play out and a “Cyclone” is going to hit the Bay of Plenty sometime on Saturday. THERE WILL BE NO RACE for a variety of reasons.
a) emergency and rescue services will have higher priorities than a running race
b) volunteers will have higher priorities than a running race
c) there are clearly a bunch of muppets who lack the gear skills and experience to be out in those conditions.
I type this knowing that Paul is making a decision on compulsory gear in the next hour or so, not a decision on the race. Probably not a very clever thing for me to write and could stir trouble. But it’s my opinion.
So the jacket thingy. I think most people don;t know what a Waterproof Jacket actually does. It certainly doesn’t keep you dry for very long. What it does do though, is keep you warm. It minimizes new, cooler water coming in, and minimizes the cooling effect of wind/evaporation. A polypro top doesn;t do that in the same way. They are open weave. WIND + RAIN = COLD
Saturday’s conditions are likely to result in far more people requiring medical attention than heat/dehydration/hyponatremia. Cold and Wet robs people (who are already compromised) of the ability to make sensible decisions. Being hot will slow you down, being cold will kill you.
Chafing – stole this bit from my BCR piece
3B or Vaseline, there are others but 3B is my go to for 24 hour races. Vaseline is good if the chafe has already started. Use liberally before the start and get it right into those places that you don’t want to mention. WASH YOUR HANDS. Boys – the race can get exciting so tape your nipples. Lycra – learn to love it. Unless you are very experienced, if it rains and your shorts get wet, they will lose all their softness. The stitching in the seams swells with water and rubs hell out of your inner-thighs. Vaseline will not fix that problem. For ball chafing, use a sanitary pad. No I am not kidding; I’ve done it several times. If you run far enough, you learn to leave your ego behind and do whatever it takes to keep going (editors note- we don’t advise leading out your “lube” of choice)
Here’s the BCR piece – I’d better do some work now.