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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!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Day 21: Koitiata to Turitea

Start: Koitiata (1,339km)
Finish: Turitea – Greens Road (1,418km)
Distance for the day: 79km
Cumulative distance: 1,418km

Don’t get too excited about the distance covered, it was pretty easy running today - flat, some beach and forest, but mostly road. It was always going to be one the easier days on the whole project, effectively a lead in to the Tararua Range which starts in earnest tomorrow.

The first section of the day along Santoft beach was pretty cool. It is the most bizarre section of beach I’ve ever seen – a really wild moonscape scene with dark grey sand, a relentless westerly prevailing wind and incredible amounts of sizeable driftwood. This shoreline clearly takes a constant battering. Overnight we had high winds and some showers, and the winds remained high all day today. Thankfully I was generally travelling west today so I got nicely blown along, including the beach section.

Thereafter it was a relatively uneventful road run, mostly on quiet-ish back roads, with the odd section of link trail. I did enjoy the notable change in scenery and climate in this south west part of the island – drier, fresher and more open. It almost felt savannah-like at times with pine trees and fields of long dry grass swaying around in the wind. Very mellow and pleasant to be running through. It’s been a sunny but windy day too – lovely running conditions.

Just before lunch I had a surprise visitor – Perry Newburn – a local ultra runner from Feilding which was one of the towns I ran through. Perry has recently completed a perimeter road run around both the North & South Islands of New Zealand, 5,000km in 70 days. What a guy! It felt so special to have someone make the effort to track me down, and then turn up ready to run with me. We enjoyed around 15km together, chit chatting about our respective exploits, it was great to have the company. Many thanks to Perry for joining me.

So we’re now positioned at the foot of the Tararua Range, ready for me to make a start first thing tomorrow. It’s going to be a very challenging couple of days and I suspect it will involve an overnight in a hut somewhere – I need to get my head into the maps later on tonight.

And finally, on a nice positive note, the blustery weather we’ve had over the last day or two is forecast to die out by the weekend, so the kayak crossing of the Cook Straight may be on for the weekend. Keep your fingers crossed – it would certainly add a very satisfying twist to the expedition. 

Santoft Beach

Perry and I on the road.

Route checking!

Entering Palmerston North

About done for the day - by the river in Palmerston North


Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Jez, and Happy Running!
Love from B and the rest of Team Griff. x

Anonymous said...

I am not sure that's what I would call 'easy' but keep going Jez you're doing an amazing job of it all! Woody x

Daniel Wastell said...

Happy New Year Jez, I am really enjoying your adventure through the blogs, keep going and keep enjoying the scenery, Dan

Mike W said...

Hi All and a happy New year , New year, new records. Its amazing what you are doing .the Bloggs are great and I hope we hear from the 'Trainers ' again as it gives a sort of ground up ,insole ,no insight into it all ,fantastic .keep it up Jez and all the bset to the rest of the Team .Mike W

Mike W said...

Hapy New year to you all .New Year new records ! The bloggs are great Jez ,really makes me feel happy with my sofa ....really liked the 'Trainers ' blogg ,right from the sole and gave a great instep into task at hand .Hope you all managed a New Year of sorts .Great effort all round,well done. MikeW

Anonymous said...

Looking at this at Singapore Airport. How proud am I by all this! Well done and good luck for the next few days. May the wind be always at your back.