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Welcome to my blog which I hope to develop with some interesting material on ultra running both on the trails and road including reports on races and interesting training runs, views on kit and equipment as well as anything else I find of interest. I love running for adventure, opportunity and well being. Enjoy!

Friday, 28 December 2012

Day 17: 42nd Traverse to National Park

Start: 42nd Traverse (half way across) (1,037km)
Finish: National Park (1,113km)
Distance for the day: 76km
Cumulative distance: 1,113km

I’m back! The last two nights I’ve spent in remote places on the trail. Last night, having got in to Owhango for dinner at about 7pm, I decided to take off again with my fast pack to get some more distance in, and get stuck in to the 42nd Traverse (Pukepoto Forest). I probably covered around 15km before I called it a day, setup camp and got my head down for a few hours. The other advantage of this approach is being able to literally get up and go as soon as I wake up.

I woke up naturally around 5.30am and was back on the trail having packed my tent away, by 6am. I ran the remainder of the section without any food/ energy, but was drawn along by the thought of a full breakfast at the van once I popped out the other side. I certainly had a gap to fill then, and managed to put away a crazy amount of food before getting showered (the first since Christmas Day) and getting back on the trail, accompanied by Richard Bowles. It was great to have Richard running alongside me, and we put the world to rights, chatting away for a couple of hours.

I spent the day feeling pretty spaced out, not really knowing too much about what was going on, in my own little daze. Probably just tiredness and fatigue, but my brain is still able to process technical trail running whilst in such a state, which is the main thing….

Unfortunately my route across the Tongariro Alpine Crossing was compromised by the recent eruption, so I had to settle for a road diversion and only a partial crossing, although I added a short out and back to top things up. I certainly don’t feel guilty about the slightly reduced distance after all the road diversions – I’m still well in credit….

Mark joined me for the final section of Tongariro and we enjoyed the varied trail which included volcanic rock, moorland and beautiful lush forest. Having bagged all that it already felt like a complete day, but unfortunately I had another 20km still to go, including 12km on the Whakapapaiti Track with several river crossings, forest and some very boggy bog. That was fine, but just as I was hitting the road ready for the final 7km blast to our overnight destination at National Park, the heavens opened, and boy did it rain….

So now all that remains between me and the start of the 120km Whanganui River descent (I will meet Mark at the remote and iconic Bridge to Knowhere, he will travel up by jet boat) – and at least a day and a half off running – is the small matter of 79km of pretty challenging terrain. Tomorrow will be a long, long day – even by my standards - but hopefully I can pull it off. If not, then I’ll be kipping in the woods somewhere again.

Day 16: Finally out the forest after 54km across the Hauhungaroa Range - epic!

Running alongside the mother ship on Day 16 (Paul Charteris photo)

Final section of Tongariro

Horrible conditions for the final road section tonight

Drowned rat....?


Steve Mee said...

The above photo looks suspiciously like Conic Hill...are you sure you're not on the WHW? Great running and writing Jez. Really enjoying following your journey.


Anonymous said...

It doesn't look like you're negotiating that gate at your normal fleet-footed race pace! ;-)


Anonymous said...

Hi Jez
An awesome adventure, an awesome read. Run fast, run far. I'm following you from afar, but wish I could be running in your footsteps.

And Mark and James - keep up the great work.

Mary and Derek said...

We are from Hayling Island, UK and stayed at the same camp site as Jez and team (Hohoura Heads) the night before his amazing adventure began. Didn't meet Jez, but we're able to chat to the other two and find out what was happening. We are still touring NZ (the easy way, in a camper van!) and it's nice to keep track of how things are going. Beautiful places to be running through --- hope you get chance to appreciate a little of the scenery.

Anonymous said...

What happened on day 15?

Eric Li said...

Hey Jez!

Following your posts and really don't think you are human anymore!

Keep up the good work mate and hope your crew are looking after you well!

Merry xmas and a happy new yr from Germany!


Ant said...

Hi Jez,

Really enjoying your brilliant blog. What a fantastic journey - not sure I envy you but I certainly admire you. Keep at it!!

Best wishes from Spain,


Andy, UK said...

Great running Jez, really enjoying the blog and listening to you on Marathon Talk.