Start: Waitomo (870km)
Finish: Waipa Valley Road (somewhere) (922km)
Distance for the day: 52km
Cumulative distance: 922km
Christmas Day on the trail was mentally very tough. If it had been a straight forward 65-odd kilometer section of trail, and there was nothing to think about in terms of navigation or trail conditions, then it wouldn’t have been too much of a problem. As it turned out, it was more of the tough, windy and undulating running I’m now getting used to in central North Island – deceptively challenging.
|A little bit of Christmas|
Much like in the UK, when the running involves farmland, fields, and a mixture of highland/ lowland sections, it’s often more wiggly, navigationally tricky and actually quite time consuming to run. So rather than a nice long trail carving it’s way across a range or area of forest, it’s a little more fragmented and patience is required. Anyway, you get the picture; it’s been slow going.
After a late night running last night, I didn’t hit the trail until 8.30am this morning – a Christmas morning treat! I certainly didn’t feel very Christmassy but then not many people in New Zealand seem to be that into it, so that helps!
The highlight of the day was a long section up the Mangaokewa River, a seemingly never ending riverside path which meandered, dipped and dived constantly. There were some stunning spots on the riverbank along the way, but I managed to resist the temptation to take a snooze in a riverside meadow.
Tonight we celebrated Christmas along with the photo/ video guys, Matteo and Damiano. It was great fun – fillet steak and sausages on the BBQ by the Brits, and a starter of spaghetti carbonara by the Italians. All rounded off with Christmas pudding and custard. We’re certainly not starving out here, and I’m quite glad to be running tomorrow to burn some of those calories off!
|Preparing the Christmas dinner BBQ|
|Dinner all together|
Tomorrow I shall take off with the fast pack for the first time as I take on the Hauhungaroa Range from mid-morning. Should be good fun…..