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Xterra Waihi 13 Oct 2012

Posted by mark on October 15, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Over 800 runners and walkers braved the rain and testing conditions to be part of the 3rd annual Xterra Waihi Trail Run in the Karangahake Gorge on Saturday 13th October. Lots of locals participated, some of them experiencing the magnificent trails on our back doorstep for the first time. Despite (or was it because of?) the drizzle and the amazing amount of mud that over 1,600 feet can churn up, the consensus was that it was a brilliant day and everybody had great fun.

There were a variety of courses to suit all abilities, ranging from a 7km walk, right through to the 60km ultra marathon! Huge respect must go to these amazing athletes - they started their day in the dark at 5.00am and finished in the rain on a course that had been turned into a mudslide by the other racers earlier in the day. The top ultra runners reported that the course was amazing and that it would rank as one of the toughest events on the circuit.

The 42km marathon course was ranked as one of the toughest out there too, taking in all but 18km of the ultra course. Local athlete and Coast to Coaster, Kel Garrett attacked from the start and was rewarded with an amazing second place finish in a strong field. Kel had a day-long battle with the 3rd placed athlete and only cemented 2nd on the last descent down the notorious Dubbo (mud slide) Track , 2km from the finish line. A brilliant effort for his first ever marathon (and having turned 50 a few months ago), Kel was a clear winner of the Vets division.

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