Big changes for Tarawera in 2019 with 4 distances on offer in a new and exciting format. Undoubtedly more surprises ahead and an exciting future for the race entering it’s 11th year.
Entries went on sale 2nd Sept with several hundred being snapped up at heavily discounted early-bird prices.
Ali and I wanted to quickly cover off some important notes for those considering or committing to Tarawera.
- PANIC / Don’t PANIC. Tarawera typically goes on sale much earlier in the year and a quick look at the calendar reminds us that we’re less than 4 months remaining in 2018. You have to write-off 2019 to sharpen and taper and focus on the FOUR MONTHS left to get your base training in. Aerobic capacity isn’t something you can cram for, and we can’t stress how important it is for athletes stepping up to their longest distance that the training has to start NOW (if it hasn’t already). How to do this safely is tricky and we’re more than happy to help – Just Ask.
For those on a 6-week ‘super sundays’ cycle, you have 3 or 4 big outings remaining before the beginning of your sharpening phase.
If you are planning on 100 miles at Tarawera we’re talking 3 or 4 chances to get out for those seriously important long missions. Reach for your calendar right now and start planning these.
- Get in while you can. Shorter distances are always popular at massive international quality running festivals and he who hesitates may miss out. Ultra-trail Australia 22km see’s thousands take to the trails and where shorter distances join the party they are often better attended than the main event/s. Do not assume that Tarawera 20km or 50km entries will be infinite.
- A is for Adventure! That 20km course (draft) looks like a heap of fun and as someone that knows both the trails and maniacal Tim Day I can assure you that those seeking a life less ordinary are in for some off piste entertainment. You need not be a cartographer to figure out that when the contour lines smudge into a blur you can expect elevation in every step. A lot of bullshit can happen between two orange lines.
If you are folding the 20km into your Tarawera trail festival consider working on your balance and proprioception. No one wants you to put your ankle in a blender ahead of the main-event Ultra. Some optional sections of this adventure run will look like a H.R Geiger painting and technical trail skills need to become a part of your specificity workouts.
- Plan ahead. As always Tarawera showcases the very best of the region and before booking flights and accommodation think your travel plans through as there’s almost an entire week mapped out in the event schedule. If you want to bump elbows with some of the worlds running elite, both the Wednesday evening BBQ and Scenic Boat tours could see you taking selfies with trail running gods and goddesses, and also me.
If you are travelling from overseas it is now fairly standard practice that ‘ewe’ put your legs to the sword for the second consecutive weekend by making the trip to Queenstown and having a crack at the always popular Shotover Moonlight Marathon – 16th February. Sheep jokes ahoy!
- Underestimate Tarawera at your own peril. This race has a Jeykll and Hyde relationship with the weather and statistically speaking the hardships suffered in previous years are an almost unfathomable anomaly, you would be brave to assume by elevation profile alone that this one is a walk in the park/s. In some years where ‘on-the-day’ detours were an option, near 50% of people did not complete the distance they set out to do. More than once the stretch of trail along Western Okataina has become a killing field. You can prepare yourself for the ‘unlikelihood of almost certain surprises’ by training for all scenarios. Better conditioned athletes are more likely to finish than those that do just enough training to scrape through in perfect conditions. Regardless of which way the barometer or thermometer goes, if we see another ‘weather event’ your run may become 20% harder. Be 20% harder.
In October we’ll get out on the courses and showcase a few sections to give you some insight into what and how to prepare for New Zealand’s biggest trail running festival. If you need help with your Tarawera 2019 get in touch with us. No one knows Tarawera like we do.