>> Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Al had stormed off into the far distance, so I settled back to chat with a couple of folk while we ambled towards the Mukamuka entrance. I was in concentration mode, as this is a one way event you really do not want to slip and injure. I have borrowed a photo from race organizer Shane Ross.
Once we got into the valley things got serious! Boulder jumping became the sport of choice. And after the 40th river crossing, keeping on my feet was the main aim. The valley had taken a battering with all the water that had come down. Again another photo from Shanes excellent pre race briefing information. The organization behind this was excellent.
Heading out onto the Orongorongo river, I was by myself, and wishing I wasn't. Keen direction sense is not my strong point. I got a little lost in the scale of the river basin, trotting along, figuring down was good. It came as a mighty relief to see another one of the fine marshals standing at the trail head.
The Orongorongo trail is certainly a fine bit of single track. But after 20+km of hip/knee smashing terrain I was not in the frame of mind to appreciate it fully. The knowledge of my thermos of hot chocolate in my car was burning a hole in my brain.
However the body held up and I even managed to claim a few extra places on the way to the finish.
I would rate this run above the Tararua Traverse for sheer beauty now I have finally done both.
The marshals were incredible. Sterling effort for them to have been out there. I tried my best to thanks them, but I am sure at times it came out like some drunken slur.
Amazing day, I would recommend it to anyone.