Sat 23/03/2019 to Sun 24/03/2019
Race: Northburn Station is a 100 mile race (160kms)
Location: New Zealand
Friday 22/03, Drove south from Christchurch for around 6hrs to Cromwell in Central Otago, arriving in time to go straight to check in at Northburn station for registration and to have compulsory gear checked, collected race number and headed to the motel with George and Steph.
Saturday 23/3, Northburn 100. Early start from motel to get to start by 5:30am still very dark for the race start at 6:00am so headlamps needed for the early part which was called the home loop, a 5km circuit on farm roads near the start finish area before we headed out on the first big loop. After a couple of nice little downhills the climb to the heights began sucking on a tube of baby food and water from my pack, chatting to some interesting people in the early stages, then as we spread out just began to focus on climbing and moving forward. After around 10 – 12k decided to get another tube of food out of my pack only to find that when I had quickly rearranged my gear just prior to the start I had left the extra food out with the result that I now had to keep going with only the one tube of baby food and water.
Felt a bit anxious about the situation but thought I might be able to get something at aid station one however when I arrived all they had was top up water and some Gatorade, so it was on to the fence line section with no real track and a lot more up. After quite a distance came to the arrow which sent us across country going up and down and up again following valleys and creeks, at this point the food had all gone and energy levels were low so progress had slowed and mentally it was tough, then finally I reached the TOP aid station, at this point I was very depleted and was happy to find they had some Coke. With a good drink of Coke on board I looked up and down the road and asked which way now only to be pointed across the road to another valley and another creek though at the bottom of this valley I came out onto farm roads and could try and lift the pace as most was slightly downhill. With about 3-4k to go Tom the station owner turned up with a lovely lady Kerryn Gardiner from Queenstown who had volunteered to come out and run me in to the finish area well in excess of the cut off time of 12hrs. When I arrived Bernice had warned me that Terry was going to withdraw me however I managed to get his ok to carry on with George McNeur pacing me.
Sunday 24/03, As we were heading out on loop 2 for the second 50km we were misdirected on to the 10k night run course and had to turn back to get on the right track and then push on up the hill. It was slow going as I had not had time to get a rest and sufficient nutrition before starting this loop though George kept me moving all the way to T.W. aid station where we arrived having piled on most of our clothing because as we approached the top we hit really strong cold winds.
At T.W. I rested, had some food, electrolytes and coke then after about 15 minutes we moved on but I was not in great shape so at the next aid station called EWE, I had to make the decision to either carry on over Mt Horn probably about another 30km or return to base with George. I felt in the condition I was in it would have been dangerous to go on so decided to return with George to the start/finish area giving a total distance covered of 75+km and taking a little under 24 hours.
Some valuable lessons here on my first attempt at Northburn, so thought I should pass them on by doing a live video on Facebook with the message. How failing miserably can help you succeed in the long run. Subjects covered.
Food – left behind, check it. Nutrition – must be regular and timed.
Hydration – don’t forget the electrolytes.
Pacing – not to fast but then not to slow either.
Terrain – train on the same type or tougher.