Event Reports 2017/18

Kepler Challenge 2 December 2017

Report by Amy Blair

In December 2017 eight Marathon Clinic runners ran the Kepler Challenge. For five of us, it was our first time at the event.  Aptly named “challenge”, the Kepler is a 60km mountain trail run. It was a bit daunting entering it for the first time. Gear, training, nutrition, hydration and pacing. There was much to get right or that could go wrong!

Here are some reflections from Clare, Kelly, Andrea and me, after our first attempt.

Clare

Thinking about your training leading up to the event what did you do that worked well?
The part of my training that worked well was the long Saturday runs. These provided plenty of hill climbing and time on feet of 6+ hours.

What would you improve or change if you were to train for the event again?
If I was to train for Kepler again, I would incorporate more long flat runs on tired legs. This would mentally and physically prepare myself better for the last 30km of Kepler.

What went well for you on the day?
I managed to pace well over the first 30km which left me with energy for the final half, with the hills feeling easy. I also managed to stay well hydrated (maybe a little too well!), and eat enough to maintain energy.

What would you would do differently on the day next time?
I would push a little harder on the hills in the first half (instead of putting off passing people). I would also try to spend a little less time at the aid stations.

How would you sum up your Kepler Challenge experience in a few words?
An amazing day out with an equal measure of toughness and fun!

Andrea

Thinking about your training leading up to the event what did you do that worked well?
Lots of cross training in the gym helped to condition the legs, skiing for the quads and yoga for the hips and stretching. I also like to get a weekly sports massage to iron out any kinks in the last few weeks.

What would you improve or change if you were to train for the event again?
Overall I am pretty happy with how training went, especially since this was the longest race by far I have ever trained for. But I would try to up my weekly mileage and add a speed session, and allow for more time to recover after a big training week.

What went well for you on the day?
Nutrition and hydration worked well, I recently started using Tailwind and refilled my bottle at the aid stations which was a good move. I also enjoyed the alpine section and being out in the mountains, and loved the downhill into Iris Burn.

What would you would do differently on the day next time?
I got into quite a negative head space when the time wasn’t looking so good and I think some mental strategies to help with that would have been useful. Also I would put my warm top on before coming out of the bush line at Luxmore, it was cold!

How would you sum up your Kepler Challenge experience in a few words?
Painful, beautiful, emotional roller coaster!

Kelly

My running experience when I entered the Kepler was that I had run 3 half marathons and run on and off for 7 years. I started training properly again in 2017 after completing the Christchurch Half in June. So when I entered I started training immediately in July. After a while of doing random runs I got Jayden Anker to do a programme for me. It included running 6 days a week with rest days on Fridays and two big runs Saturday and Sunday. There was a bit of speed work included but I did not really do it properly.

Thinking about your training leading up to the event what did you do that worked well?
Over 6 weeks I did 6 big runs and all on hills. I started having the pure electrolytes which were provided on the course, months prior. I tried different breakfast foods and snacks during runs in my training.

What would you improve or change if you were to train for the event again?
I had a lot of family events and was in a different city for 7 weekends prior to the event so I would plan in advance to be more settled. I also would try to spend less time on feet the week and especially the day before.

What went well for you on the day?
I woke up early and had breakfast 2 hours prior. I had my bag packed the night before so the morning was easy and organised. On the course I found the first half the most enjoyable and striding up Mt Luxmore I was able to go quickly. My bag was packed well so I did not need to go in and out of it too many times. I was happy that the two kinds of energy balls provided sufficient energy and did not send me running for the toilet. One was sweet potato, dates and oats. The other was cranberries and sunflower and pumpkin seeds. It was important to me to not use gels and I did not.

What would you would do differently on the day next time?
Drink more of both water and electrolytes. Force myself to eat a little bit more. Take it slower during the first half even though I felt I had enough energy I suffered in the second half.

How would you sum up your Kepler Challenge experience in a few words?
Awesomely cool and painful

Amy

Thinking about your training leading up to the event what did you do that worked well?
I had some fun days out on trails with Clare and Shane and sometimes other CMC runners as well. The longest days were around 6.5 hours and although not fast, the time on my feet increased my endurance.

What would you improve or change if you were to train for the event again?
I’d double up long runs a bit more if possible.

What went well for you on the day?
Apart from a few falls I’m happy with how the day went. I think I paced well, keeping the first half relaxed and “easy”.

What would you would do differently on the day next time?
Stay upright! Also be more aggressive passing and make myself eat in the latter stages of the race.

How would you sum up your Kepler Challenge experience in a few words?
Tough, beautiful and rewarding.

The Kepler seems to get the mix of challenging run, stunning scenery, fantastic track and great people just right. Perhaps this is what makes it slightly addictive. I spoke to one runner who was running it for the twenty-eighth time. I’m not sure if I will make it to twenty-eight, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be stopping at one!

Buller Gorge Marathon 10 February 2018

Report by Warren Gregory

As in 2017, the long range forecast for Saturday 10 February 2018 in Westport was for rain but again as in 2017 the day dawned fine and clear for the 36th Buller Gorge Marathon. 23 Members along with several supporters made the trip over the mountains to Westport and 6 completed the full marathon and 16 the half. Kay Bayliss ran in a relay team with three members of the Port Hills club.

Conditions were cool for the start and there was mist in the Buller Gorge which hid the sun for a while. It wasn’t long however until runners were feeling the heat of the sun and reaching for the sponges and water bottles that can be found every few kilometres along the way.

In the full marathon, Sam Wreford set a blistering pace to take out the race in a new record time of 2:16:03 . The first woman home was former club member Hannah Oldroyd who didn’t quite manage to challenge the race record for women that she came very close to breaking in 2017. Club runners in the 42 km event put in some excellent performances with four personal best times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best performances of the day were from Megan Ryan and Jayden Anker.  Megan was in wonderful form and bettered her personal best by 7 minutes to come home second in her class.  Jayden was also in great form and bettered his personal best by 3 minutes to be 4th overall and 4th in his class. Unfortunately for Jayden there was some stiff competition in the M2039 class and despite his very good run he just missed out on a visit to the podium. Nory Lansing and Brian Schultze (who had been unwell during the week) also turned in very creditable performances. Nory, Megan and Brian each made a trip to the podium to cheers from their team mates. Kevin Willis improved his time again for another PB and Katherine Moseley in her first attempt at the marathon distance bravely completed the course and was still smiling at the end.

The 16 members from the club who entered the half marathon distance had more mixed fortunes. One runner (Becky) managed a PB and five runners (Becky, Tracy, Margaret, Janice and Chris) finished in the top 10 of their class. Unfortunately neither Janice nor Chris was able to repeat their first placing from 2017 and they had to settle for being the bridesmaids in 2018.  The overall winner of the half marathon was Phil Costley of Nelson.  Apparently this was Phil’s 10th victory at this event.

This year one person tackled the half marathon course in a wheelchair and when Warren Bayliss saw her struggling up a hill and trying to steer round potholes as well as propel herself forward, he lent a hand with a gentle push from behind.

In accordance with club tradition, runners who had completed their run gathered outside the Buller Court Motel to await the arrival of members doing the full distance. Jayden came in so early we nearly missed him!  We also cheered on every other runner and walker as they passed the ‘1 km to go’ sign.

In the afternoon the sky changed from blue to grey and at about 3pm there was a shower of rain that sent everyone scurrying for the shelter of the big marquee where they were kept entertained by the band Dateless and Desperate.

Our three podium visits (and reflected glory from podium visits by former members Hannah Oldroyd and Steve Darby) kept us interested in the prize giving. As in 2017, no one had any luck with the major spot prizes.

25 members and supporters attended the evening barbecue.  Luckily the rain held off and it was a pleasantly warm and calm evening.  Thanks to all those who helped with the food preparation and cooking, especially Janice, Megan, Brian and Kevin.  Thanks also to Julie S who coordinated the motel accommodation and breakfast booking.

Our post-run sleep was disrupted twice by the town fire alarm siren summoning the volunteer fire fighters for duty.  Those members who  chose to stay at Carters Beach were not disturbed!

Heavy rain set in early on Sunday morning and we were all glad that this heavy weather had held off until Sunday.  As we headed home, we noted that the Buller River was now running bank to bank and muddy brown in colour.  The side streams were raging torrents.

Member’s results were as follows.  The full results are available to view here.

 

Name Class Class place O’all place Time PB
Full Marathon
Nory Lansing F2034 3 29 3:33:52 PB
Katherine Moseley F2034 14 155 6:14:12 PB
Megan Ryan F3544 2 18 3:18:45 PB
Jayden Anker M2039 4 4 2:48:21 PB
Brian Schultze M5059 3 15 3:15:27
Kevin Willis M5059 10 80 4:10:12 PB
Half Marathon
Becky House F2034 8 88 1:43:20 PB
Tracy Abbott F3544 6 58 1:37:41
Joanna Frampton F4554 47 474 2:30:21
Andrea Henderson F3544 62 525 2:38:53
Tara Papworth F3544 33 360 2:15:39
Julie Maxwell F5564 11 318 2:10:41
Margaret Moretti F5564 5 193 1:55:54
Christine Williams F5564 20 431 2:23:26
Janice Gregory F6599 2 223 1:59:38
Dale Price M2034 42 130 1:49:01
Curtis Sinclair M2034 46 163 1:53:15
Paul Howells M5059 50 310 2:09:59
Richard van Wynbergen M5059 25 167 1:53:38
Warren Bayliss M6069 42 642 3:26:09
Warren Gregory M6069 17 241 2:01:02
Chris Littlewood M7079 2 209 1:58:54
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