Weather doesn’t dampen Tarawera 100 Mile dream
The inclement weather didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of Tarawera 100 Mile Endurance Run race director Tim Day - nor did it take the smiles off the faces of those crossing the finish line in the inaugural race.
Photo credit: Kurt Matthews Photography
The "marvellous dream" of Day and Event Director Paul Charteris, the 100 Mile event is a first for the NZ Trail Runs team - and for Rotorua.
One-hundred and forty (140) athletes lined up on the start line at 4am on Saturday 10 February, with Frenchman Adrien Prigent taking out the win more than 19 hours later, in a time of 19h38. American Sally McRae won the women’s event in 21h11.
Grant Guise from Dunedin took second in 20h08, while Andy Palmer from Auckland completed the podium in a time of 20h48.
Hannah McRae from Australia came second in the women’s race in a time of 21:42, with Porirua’s Jean Beaumonth taking third in 23h54.
By the time the event closed at the 4pm cutoff yesterday <<sub: Sunday 11 February>>, many of the runners had been on their feet for more than 24 hours – and some as long as 36.
Day says he’s “absolutely thrilled” with how the event went – despite the relentless rain that left athletes and spectators sodden.
“Obviously these have been very challenging conditions – especially for the 100 milers overnight, and particularly when they joined the course that the 62km, 87km and 102km participants had already been over.
“Even though conditions have been less than ideal, the feedback on the inaugural event has been amazing – the athletes have really loved it – and they haven’t even seen it in all the scenic beauty that we know and love.
“It appears that the short boat cross on Lake Rotomahana was a real highlight for the 100 mile runners, but they have also been commenting on how stunning the landscape is, and the diversity of the course.”
Day says the finish line of ultra running events is always an emotional place – but it has been even more so for the 100 mile event.
“This is an epic achievement for every participant – elite or otherwise. There have been many happy tears from finishers, spectators, staff and volunteers alike. There is hardly a dry eye in the house every time someone cross the line.”
Day says the NZ Trail Runs team have been impressed with the preparation of those participating.
“The runners have been totally on board with the need to carry compulsory gear – and in lots of cases, they have used this gear. It’s great to see people taking the safety of the event seriously – as we do.”
Day says runners have also been complimentary of the staff and volunteers – most of whom have been out in the wet conditions even longer than many of the athletes.
“A common theme has been how runners’ felt like they were going to be looked after – and they were looked after.”
Day says NZ Trail Runs will have a full debrief with its team and key stakeholders about this year’s Tarawera Ultramarathon and 100 Mile Endurance Run, and will confirm plans for the 2019 events in due course.
Tarawera 100 Mile Endurance Run Results:
Adrien Prigent (France) 19:38:32 1, Grant Guise (NZ) 20:08:32 2, Andy Palmer (NZ) 20:48:08
Sally McRae (USA) 21:11:10 1, Hannah McRae (Australia) 21:42:39 2, Jean Beaumonth (NZ) 23:54:55 3