Posts in 'Ultramarathon' category

Mt Difficulty Ascent 44km 2023

Here we go again. Having participated in the Mt Difficulty Ascent 44km ‘adventure run’ in 2019 and 2021, this year would be my third running of the event. It’s without a doubt one of the harder ‘runs’ you can do. The race director likens it to more of an ‘extreme mountain mission’ as there’s as ... read more.

Port Hills Ultra 50km 2022

I thought I’d give the Port Hills Ultra (50km) another go this year. Fifty kilometres is a good testing distance without having to deal with the excessive post recovery fatigue that accompanies a 100km distance. Being a home town run and with a leisurely start time of 9am, I was a bit too relaxed with ... read more.

The “James” Stampede Ultra 50km 2022

My Wife’s dietician: So what’s John up to this weekend? Wife: He’s running an ultra one week after running an ultra. Dietician: Why’s he doing that? Wife: Because he’s an idiot. I was really looking forward to participating in The “James” Stampede Ultra (50km). Mainly because I’ve never run in the St James Conservation Area ... read more.

Kepler Challenge 60km 2021/22:
Kepler # 9

What a nice start to 2022! The Kepler Challenge (60km) has traditionally been held on the first Saturday of December but this year it was shifted to mid-January due to COVID. Whilst others pulled out due to the date change, I had no intention on missing out on one of NZ’s most iconic running events. ... read more.

Mt Difficulty Ascent 44km 2021

I must admit, I don’t particularly like Mt Difficulty. The name itself is not overly inviting. It’s a gruelling 44km with a total elevation gain of 3200m. A large proportion of that elevation gain is up trackless terrain. It’s in June so it can be cold and windy with a high probability of snow. There’s ... read more.

The Coastal Ultra 71km 2021
Christchurch Marathon 2021: Marathon # 89

I was initially attracted to the Coastal Ultra as it was in the Catlins which is an area in NZ I’ve never been to before. It was a new event and 99% of the course was on private land so the opportunity to explore rarely ventured territory appealed. However, the Coastal Ultra was also on ... read more.

Port Hills Ultra 50km 2021

Talk about Christchurch runners being spoilt for choice! After participating in the inaugural Aotearoa Ultra three weeks prior, I was lucky enough to back this up with another inaugural Christchurch event – the Port Hills Ultra. Having run in the Port Hills a few times, I was aware of how challenging the terrain could be ... read more.

Aotearoa Ultra 53km 2021

New year. New run. The inaugural Aotearoa Ultra 53km from Pigeon Bay to Halswell Quarry provided an opportunity to repent for my Christmas and New Year sins. I’d indulged in more than my fair share of ice cream and pavlova whilst discovering unheard cheese cake varieties (Oreo and Toblerone). Some days desert was eaten twice ... read more.

Kepler Challenge 60km 2020:
Kepler # 8

After missing out last year, I was keen to rekindle my relationship with the Kepler Challenge again. Having successfully entered in July, I made a date with the Kepler start line for the first Saturday of December and that time had finally arrived. This year had a slightly different feel from usual due to COVID-19. ... read more.

The Valley Ultra 57km 2020

This year was my second time participating in the Valley Ultra 57km Whole Hog. Dr Andrew Stanley was keen to give the ‘Whole Hog’ a go for the first time and Flight Lieutenant Jim Sheehan was keen to upgrade from the ‘Piglet’ (shorter 24km version) after sickness derailed his hopes of running the ‘Whole Hog’ ... read more.

Crater Rim Ultra 53km 2020

It’s an early 4.15am alarm for this year’s Crater Rim Ultra (53km). A quick shower and shave act as a pre-race ‘comfort primer’ and breakfast is hurriedly eaten in the car. I arrive at Hansen Park at 5.15am just in time to catch the bus to Lyttelton where the ferry waits. It’s a cool morning ... read more.

The Valley Ultra 57km ‘The Whole Hog’

Having missed out on the Kepler Challenge this year, The Valley Ultra seemed to have all the core ingredients that I liked about the Kepler – a small town event, natural beauty, and running in an alpine environment. Despite being a short 90 minute drive from Christchurch, I had never ventured into the Castle Hill ... read more.

Crater Rim Ultra 53km

The Crater Rim Ultra is one of my favourite events. It’s very challenging but I enjoy running in the Port Hills – a popular ‘back yard’ for many Christchurch runners. Like most ultras, it is an early 4.20am alarm to catch an early bus. The bus trip this year to Lyttelton is remarkably lively for ... read more.

Mt Difficulty Extreme Mountain 44km

Having never done the Mt Difficulty Marathon Ascent before, I didn’t really know what to expect. The name wasn’t very subtle and this initially caught my attention. The event was also in Central Otago at the beginning of June so there was a good chance we would be at the mercy of the elements. The ... read more.

South Island Ultramarathon 54km

It’s been a while since I last visited the West Coast of the South Island. The 54km South Island Ultra from Old Christchurch Road to Hokitika was an opportunity to experience a different side of New Zealand. The event utilises the West Coast Wilderness Trail which is an easy going mountain bike trail that showcases ... read more.

Tarawera 100 Mile Endurance Run (161km):
100 mile # 2

The 100 miler is a formidable and challenging distance. Many questions are invariably asked as it can be difficult to grasp the enormity of such a distance. Why? How? When? What?! Such a distance involves running through the night as most ‘average’ competitors finish after 24 hours. After completing my first 100 miler at the ... read more.

Kepler Challenge 60km 2018:
Kepler # 7

The Kepler Challenge is an all time favourite of mine. Set in the Fiordland National Park, the 60km mountain run has established itself as New Zealand’s premier mountain run. The Kepler has a unique community feel to it which I’ve always found attractive. The local volunteers create a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere which is evident ... read more.

Great Southern Endurance Run (GSER) 112.5 miles (181km):
100 mile # 1

The Great Southern Endurance Run (GSER) is a point to point 100 miler which starts in the ski town of Mt Buller and finishes in the small township of Bright. The race is predominantly run in the Alpine National Park in the Victorian Alps about 2.5 hours drive from Melbourne. This year was the inaugural ... read more.

Crater Rim Ultra 50km

After traveling to the USA for my last run, it’s nice to do a run in your own back yard in the Port Hills, Christchurch. The inaugural Crater Rim Ultra 50km was always going to be a bit special. I don’t recall ever running an inaugural event in my whole 14 years of marathon running. ... read more.