The Big Christmas Feast – A Greatest Virtual Run Challenge, raising money for kids on the spectrum
Date: 1-12 December 2017
Previous GVR: 2017
My middle name is procrastination. And Gerry’s first, middle and last names are procrastination. Maybe it is just a severe case of student syndrome? But, it only took us until well into the first of December, the day the challenge started, before finally entering. It might just be a classic case of an already out-of-hand hectic life, with work, this time of year, and all that jazz that the fun things in life tend to be ignored and end up falling by the wayside. Luckily we had two minutes of sanity to quickly enter. Continue reading
Date: 2 July 2017
Distance: 7.6km (+4km)
Time: 47:31 (30:00)
This is Manawatu.
Our beautiful river walkway.
Palmerston North Girls High School handling registration.
Palmerston North Boys High did all the talking and even had a band playing. How cool is that!
Participants getting ready.
Cool World Vision wrist bands were handed out to participants.
Unfortunately only a small field for this event.
Going round the bend – a very familiar part of the Super 7s event.
A few puddles to jump, if you can.
Gerry turning at the far end of Waitoetoe Park.
PNBHS manning the aid station – great job!
A nice off-road section.
Downstream from the bridge, the Bridle Track received a new layer of grit shortly before the Palmy marathon.
A week out from our half marathon, we had to fit in a last “cutback long-run” and decided to throw the Palmerston North Boys High School and Palmerston North Girls High School’s event into the mix.
The Stride for Syria intended to raise funds for the Syrian Refugee Crisis. It is labeled as “the most urgent humanitarian crisis of our time” after six years of ongoing fighting and conflict in Syria. According to the brochure that was handed out at the event, 470 000 people have been killed, and more than 4.8 million have fled the country, while 6.1 million have been displaced. That is nearly three times the population of New Zealand that is either dead, misplaced or having to flee for their lives. Continue reading
Date: 9 June 2017
Distance: Depending on the source, 18.4km or 19km
Walking up the Razorback Ridge.
Gerry at Dieffenbach cliffs.
Time for a break and warm coffee.
Gerry crossing a slip.
The red water of the Kokowai Stream.
Signs at either side of Boomerang Slip, cautioning hikers to cross the slip one at a time.
Gerry making his way across the Boomerang Slip.
Ahukawakawa Swamp/Wetlands in the valley below.
Since Lonely Planet named Taranaki “the second best region in the world to visit”, while highlighting the Pouakai Crossing as “one of two unmissable attractions”, I’ve been keen to see what all the fuss was about.
Mt Taranaki in Egmont National Park has always been on the to-do list. We’ve only done short walks in the area, and “knocking off the bastard” remains on the to-do list. Continue reading
Date: 28 January 2017
Distance: 13km + 2.5km (approx)
Time: 5:20 + 25 min
Reference: Wilderness Magazine (online).
The obligatory pre-event selfie. Happy to finally have made it out to this track.
Slips caused damage to the track.
Taking a breather after starting the track with a fairly steady climb.
Lots of gorse in some areas lower down.
A random out-house out in the sticks. 🙂
We saw and heard quite a few mountain goats.
The views from the viewpoint was well worth the short detour.
One for Palmy Rocks!
The original river bed of hundreds of years ago with Puketapu hill to the right.
Safety signage where damage was caused to the track.
Kanuka trees like I’ve never seen before.
Kanukas a few times my circumference.
Walking in the shade of the trees most of the way.
A fallen tree and other debris on the track, especially after strong winds this past week.
Sheer drop-offs – difficult to show on a photograph.
Bluffs along the way, makes for some scary walking in places.
A stick-figure decided to hitch a ride.
The campsite in a clearing at about the halfway point.
Lots of ferns along the way.
A little jog. That didn’t last long.
At Taumata trig, the highest point on the track at 572m (DOC) or 563m (nzwalksinfo.co.nz).
Kanuka threatening to completely overgrow the path.
Suffering from acrophobia? Don’t look down!
On the narrow ridge, all the way around.
Framed! Gerry trying to find Strava on his phone.
Even though you’re surrounded by bush, there’s lovely views all around.
Trying to figure out what tree this giant is.
The constant ups and downs along the ridge can be quite tiring.
Whanganui River in the distance down below.
More fallen trees blocking the path.
Hundreds of stairs as you make your way back down to the road level. The gradient is a lot steeper towards the southern end of the track, which would make a reverse trip very challenging.
Steps to nowhere.
At the southern end of the track, but still about 2.5km from the car.
Hard to believe such a short walk can take so long.
For our weekend “long-run” we decided to fast-pack the Atene Skyline Track. It’s been on our to-do list for quite a while now, but with work, other commitments and not the best season so far weather wise, we haven’t got around to it. The intention was to run-bits-walk-bits, but with the changeable weather we thought it best to carry at least a day pack, with some wet and cold weather clothing. Still light enough to jog with, but totally unnecessary as the one good day of the summer so far was bestowed upon us for the walk. Sunny, no wind and warm enough, it was perfect conditions for a walk in the forest. Which is exactly what we ended up doing. So apart from about twenty metres of jogging, we walked the whole way just enjoying the outing and life in general. Continue reading
Date: 11 November
Time: 4.5 hours
If you go into the woods today, you’e in for a big surprise.
Very steep incline.
Taking a break on the relentless uphill.
Up, up, up, into the mist.
The uphill presented a good workout.
At the summit.
Trig in the mist. Unfortunately that meant no views in any direction.
As the day progressed, it also became increasingly colder.
Thanks to good route markings, a fork in the road did not present any problems.
Date bread! Hands down the best thing on a very cold, rainy outing.
Don’t let Gerry’s shorts for one second make you think that it wasn’t freezing cold.
Muddy and slippery on the downhill.
Just follow the orange triangles.
The downhill was equally steep, with the last bit through grassland.
We followed the track on the right to the top, and the one on the left down again. The most popular one is in the middle.
On work trips to the South Island, we usually extend the trip and try to fit in a few hikes or runs – to make the costs of getting there a bit more feasible. And to further cut costs, we usually camp at DOC sites or stay in huts.
Gerry looked at a few options beforehand and put together an itinerary, subject to change, of course. DOC campsites are usually very basic, often with only a toilet, mostly long-drops, sometimes running water, other times water from a stream, but usually no hot water or showers. So we utilise public swimming pool showers or other public showers for a good ol’ scrub down after roughing it for a couple of nights. Continue reading
Date: 29 August 2015
Having a laugh at the finish, l-to-r: Kevin, Wouna, Gerry, Greg, Marian, Peter, Cath and in front Steph, Cheryl and Rob. Photo supplied by Cheryl, and taken by the late Stuart Hilder. The four walkers (Bruce, Evan, Denise and David) were having lunch already.
Shortly before the start. Steph, Cath, Greg, Cheryl, Denise, Bruce and Evan. Photo from Cheryl, taken by Trevor.
Cath, myself and Cheryl passing the deer farm.
Cath on a nice downhill section.
Gerry passing one of the muddy parts.
Cheryl and I only just visible in the distance.
Gerry and Cath rounding the corners ….
Cheryl screaming past with Palmy in the distance.
Steph and Greg still in sight up ahead.
The muddy stretch nearly over.
Cath negotiating one of the worst patches.
Cheryl still having fun in the windfarm.
Shenanigans on top of the world.
Easy going from here on a well-maintained gravel road.
A lovely run among the wind turbines.
Cath and Gerry arriving at the finish at The Bridge Cafe.
We had to have medals for our first running of the North Rage Road. 🙂
Having a quiet gravel road on top of a mountain with virtually no traffic, through a wind farm with wide open expanses, has to be the ultimate playing ground for runners, walkers and mountain bikers alike. Wonderful scenery in all directions, literally in our backyard, makes it hard not to want to run there all the time. Except, of course, on days with inclement weather. With views from the top of the Tararuas and great scenery in all directions, it is inevitable that you will be exposed to the elements. Continue reading
For the front runners, the Super Sevens course starts with a sprint over the sports field to get to the narrow path through the Esplanade before it gets congested.
The Striders are clearly doing something right when it comes to their start-of-the-year Super Sevens Series. Year after year I am amazed at the number of people turning up each Tuesday night to run or walk the 7km (or 3km) course along the Manawatu River, through the streets of Hokowhitu and back through the Esplanade. It’s a very scenic little course – probably one of the reasons the series is so popular. The Super Sevens really is a huge celebration of summer, good times and general physical wellbeing here in Palmerston North. Continue reading