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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, 4 January 2013

Day 24: Parawai Lodge to Oharui Valley Road


Start: Parawai Lodge (1,515km)
Finish: Oharui Valley Road (1,595km)
Distance for the day: 80km
Cumulative distance: 1,595km

Today’s objective was to get as close to as possible to Wellington, the finish point of the North Island. We made the decision last night, based on careful interrogation of the weather forecasts, to set our Cook Strait departure time as 1pm on Saturday. There seems to be a near perfect weather window which we need to pounce on and, although the timings are tight, the whole exercise has the potential to be super slick and very time efficient – which of course I like.

I started at 7.30am this morning, 30 minutes later than intended, because my alarm clock didn’t go off – again! However I woke up naturally and felt very refreshed which wasn’t such a bad thing. The only real challenge in today’s schedule was the last little part of the Tararua Range which came first; a forest climb up to Pukeatua at 812metres, and then back down the other side. It was fine if a little slow. The views looking back towards the main range were incredible, making the exercise seem worthwhile. From there the running for the rest of the day was gently undulating on a mixture of tarmac, beach and mutli-use trail, so it was all fast.

The highlight was unquestionably the weather for the long coastal section – clear blue skies and a fresh breeze. It was a pretty heavenly setting, although the temptation was to curl up in the long grass next to the dunes and have a little snooze although I managed to resist.

The final section over the Colonial Knob Track from Porirua was incredibly special, with the spectacle of a beautiful sunset and clear views across to the mountains of the South Island, and of course the Cook Strait which is tomorrow’s objective. I actually felt quite emotional stopping and taking it in for a moment; I don’t think I have witnessed a more beautiful setting, but perhaps that was because it was such a poignant moment for me at the end of my long 24 day journey down the North Island.

A special moment, a sunset overlooking the Cook Strait and South Island. All happening tomorrow....

And I nearly forgot, I also passed through the halfway milestone (1,527km) late morning today. The exciting moments are coming thick and fast at the moment, and everything is moving so quickly it’s actually quite hard to take it all in.

James' stats wall in the van. 50% complete - happy days

So the plan for tomorrow is to complete the 28km to the North Island finish point in Wellington, then hop on a bike for 11km to Makara Beach ready for a lunchtime launch of the sea kayaks to make the crossing of the Cook Strait. We will head straight for Cook Monument – the get-out point on the South Island - where we will camp for the night before I set off on Sunday for the first of the South Island sections along the famous Queen Charlotte track.

12 comments:

Steven Morris said...

Well done on reaching the half way point Jez. The Cook strait crossing sounds exciting. Of course a purist like me would swim it !!

Stuart Barnard said...

Excellent work, well done in getting this far in such impressive fashion! I'm enjoying reading all the updates, and looking forward to seeing what the south island brings.

PS. for the schoolboy in me, the mention of Colonial Knob Track was a particular highlight, hem hem

Jim Tinnion said...

Brilliant blogging, Jez and support team. Wishing you good luck and favourable conditions for the crossing to South Island tomorrow. :-)

Kevin Joyce said...

Congrats on making the Half Way point - keep up the great work and the great updates.

Kaz said...

You're post are taking me back to NZ. doing an amazing job, Jez - well done. Wishing you a calm crossing - that Strait can get a bit rough in grotty weather. Safe kayaking.

Pablito. said...

Well done mate. I wish you well in your start of the Kayak trip, the weather is stunning today as well!! :-)

Monique kapp said...

Whoo Hoo!!!1 Congrats, Jez, on passing 1/2 way! Your amazing! We are all cheering for you here.

Gordon Tinline said...

Amazing stuff, what an achievement to "bag" the North Island. Hope you are on a commission from the NZ tourist board? Good luck keeping straight on the Strait

Anonymous said...

Fantastic work Jez....keep going strong...remember the mantra 'dig deep...dig deeper'

Mike Mason

Kate Cadbury said...

Congratulations on passing half way! You're going to love the south island too! We're loving the updates and reading them out to whoever we happen to be with! Xx

Jon Allen said...

Congrats on halfway mark. I spent a month in NZ and found the south island more rugged and beautiful, so your adventure should only improve!

Mike W said...

Congrat on the 1/2 way mark Jez .Hope the weather is fine for the crossing and hope you both enjoy it .Mike W