2009 Feedback

I have always wanted to compete in a running race, but the thought of the christchurch marathon bored me to tears. Friends suggested this race so I started running in January this year. Prior to that I have been cycling. So after 4 months training on the port hills, I wasn’t expecting any super fast times but was really excited about the event. The scenery on the track was superb, I was so pleased that the event was not cancelled due to the snow as I think that it made the race even more exciting. I thought the marshalls out there were fantastic and everyone was so encouraging. So I am now converted and am looking for more off road running races like this and will be aiming to be back again next year. I am so pleased that this was my first experience of a running race!

Was looking forward to it and it did not disappoint.Loved running in the snow. Evan’s enthusiastic reception at the finish line was great.

The highlights for me were the snow, the beautiful bush and the gnarly downhills.

Great race, best i’ve done in NZ and have done most of the good off road events. The weather added to the sense of adventure. Every one REALLY friendly, but a little more whooping and hollering on the competitors wouldn’t have gone amiss.

When it started to snow at the start line – oh shit! Then you’re into it on as beautiful a track that exists. Although Saturdays views were limited how could you beat the terrain. A bit concerned as I slipped & slided near the top from lake mackenzie – fell on my ass a few times after the Saddle but then again into the forest. Abused the clown – he loved it. Then the last 10klms would have to be the most beautiful (and fast) end to any event. Pleased to see the last swing bridge to the finish – and didn’t get too much crap this year from the mic man (Highlanders haven’t been going that well maybe?). Fantastic.

Pre event I was kind of feeling….. well maybe if the weather is too bad it’ll be cancelled and I can drink lots of wine and have some great food and company in Te Anau for the weekend. On the track it was scary at times, given I hadn’t done it before, ice, snow, slippery rocks but the environment is just the best in the world so that just keep spuring me on. The finish was just magic – felt like I’d found the most perfect drug….

Before the Event: “Loved the fact that the bus to Te Anau had to stop somewhere near Mossburn and let a third of the passengers (male and female) off for a piss stop….and not a beer was being drunk!!” Highlights on the Track: When the Marshalls somewhere up near the Harris Saddle advised me “yep its too late to turn back now”. Before this running with the young…very young athlete from Dunedin who thought she was probably the youngest by competitor by 15 years…great company for 20 minutes to MacKenzie Huts. Finish: Fantastic support, encouragement, facilities but shit that river was cold…big trout for company though!!

Mercifully it didn’t and we all got through – that’s what an adventure is all about so well done on pulling it off once again Ev! Personal highlights – I loved the conditions and relished the challenge of being ‘out there’ in the treacherous Hollyford Face, Chris Dagg trying to relieve me of my massage money by offering sexual favours was tempting (I always look forward to meeting Chris at the Flats), missed my pb time but glad to cross the finsih line into the welcoming arms of Ev! ps – oh yeah, the marshalls were amzing and did it harder than us runners – there were noticably more marshalls at more points on the track so well done from the safety perspective – you’ve got a great bunch of people around you.

I did it last year too and loved the contrast between the 2 years. Last year with perfect blue skies and this year with lots of snow. I was disappointed I didn’t break 5 hours but that’s what you get with no training.

About halfway through (15min before the Harris saddle) I was in such a world of pain that I decided that I hated competitions and was never going to do any again, I was even planning to quit my training for the ski mountaineering world champs next February, which I have been planning since the last world champs in February 2008. I walked to the Harris saddle, had some water and walked a little more, then started to recover mildly and jog a little. On reaching the snowline, I put my ipod on, with the fastest music I have and went for it, passing all the guys I had been running with most of the race and didn’t see them again until after the race. Afterwards I got the usual endorphin hit and sense of accomplishment and definately plan on racing next year, with some longer endurance days planned….

Really great marshals always enthusiastic and happy throughout the race!

loved the climb into the mountains, running through the snow was the highlight and the views were spectacular. That last 9 km was tough but great to hear the comentary coming through the trees and then felt great when I saw the finish line and got my sausage!

I really needed that hug from the clown at Flats – really helped me get thru the last 7km. Definitely keep him on. The atmosphere at the finish line is brilliant. I’ve stood there as a supporter and a finisher. It’s great from both perspectives. I’ve walked that track many, many times – I never get tired of it. Great to have an event like this. The marshals were brilliant. I felt sorry for them having to sit there in the cold, but they seemed to be having a great time. And it was comforting to know that the safety of runners was well under control. I was well impressed by the number of safety checks thru the course. And, a big thumbs up for the 2XU event t-shirts – love mine.

The chopper ride in is definitely the way to go, over the lake, heading straight towards the mountains, over gullys, scooting over the saddle and into the valley…epic! The start line was exciting and sociable, and then we were off and there was no more chit chat – it was every man for themselves. Up the zig zags was a killer and it didn’t take long for running to become power walking (the time to walk is when people walk past you when you are running). The snow that was light at first increased as we got higher, and by the time we were climbing over the saddle I wished I had some of those grippy things to put on my shoes. Mustn’t grumble though, just keep moving! I fell once on a rock and smashed my knee – how inconvenient – luckily it was so cold I couldn’t feel it so carried on. Cruised on though the snow, fell on my bum, checked in with the marshalls and then all of a sudden I was at Falls Hut – oh yeah. All down hill from there – stride it out – and then I don’t know who extended the pa th from Flats to the end, the bastards. I never remember it being that long —- and then the bridge (impossible to run over, makes for an unimpressive finish) and the finish line – what a moment of relief! Great to be called in by name and see a smiley Evan! Awesome race. Boyfriend missed me coming in though cos was distracted by the sausage sizzle. Hmmmmm.

I was impressed by the number of support people on the track, checking we were ok and available for advice or food/drink/cramp support etc. It was great to finish the run but also sad that the journey for this year was over. the fanfare at the end of the race was brilliant, good atmosphere and environment.

I definitely did it the hard way. I felt good before the event but ended up struggling a bit and didnt get the time i was looking for. Having said that, i still had an awesome day out and the Routeburn Classic is still numero uno on the race calander! The finish area was great and the reception committee were making a hell of a noise! No question i will be back next year.

Highlights of running while snowing, not falling over!!!! and the Alpine stage. Howden to the Falls Hut was just fantastic, in particular the Earland falls and the side of the lake were just magical with the ice and the traverse was huge fun as a technical run. The finish line I could swear was further away this year, (not helped by racing the last km with Ian McLennan)…

The finish line was a friendly intrusion on the intense state of peace reached in the mountain zone. The friendly faces and food were very welcome indeed.

I finished well towards the end of the pack so the show was all but over so I didn’t get a massage etc. BUT commentators at the end were great; remembering me from last year was a real buzz. All the marshalls I met were FANTASTIC – a big “thank you” from me for what they did. I really have nothing negative to say. Sad to have missed prize giving but that was our own stuff up timing wise.

Before the event I was really nervous as I was carrying an injury. I was worried I would fall to pieces and be left out there alone to hobble home. The reality was much different. Yes my knee blew to bits at 20k but with the support of tail end charlie Graham, and the medic (I forget his name) I got home in one piece. The marshalls were incredible too. The fan fare at the finish made me feel awesome even though I came in last :(. It reinforced that finishing the race was an achievement in itself. The fact the organiser stuck around for nearly 8 hours after kick off to shake my hand and put a finishers medal around my neck has really stuck in my mind.

Good to get on the track and the marshals were very cool. I have done a lot of races and this was a great course best yet. the finish was cool to with the shit you get from the announcers and the support from the crowd.

Highlight was crossing the saddle in so much snow. Great finish line location and fanfare. Sausage stand was not that visible, but tasted great, coffee van was perfect.

Race feelings: OMG- this is just the most stunning event I’ve ever done and these marshalls are my bestest friends Finish line feelings: I’m feeling far too fresh- I should have pushed myself harder Post-race feelings: when do I sign up for next year? And note to self: get further up the field before the Divide.

The whole experience was a great adventure! My brothers and I pitched our tents in the dark the night before the race, boiled the billy and dinned on yummy precooked pasta by head touch. It was a long night, being entertained by the local party animals. We failed to realize that we had camped near by the favourite night spot in Te anau. Rising wierely at 5 am having had a couple of good hours sleep and a decent dousing of porridge.we headed over to the bus stop I was stoked to hop straight onto a bus and well impressed with how smoothly everything went. GREAT ORGANIZATION!! The race was magic but I must say the finish line added to the beauty of the scenery!

Having never been in the Routburn before there was a lot of apprehension before the run. Had I done enough training. The scenery was spectacular through out although the weather wasn’t the kindest. The last 7km were the hardest, and the up hill at the end, well…. But being cheered in took the pain away. Thanks for the experience. Will be back next year if I’m lucky enough..Fantastically organised

I was a little scared before the event because of my lack of training, and it hurt. But I’ve learnt that all these events hurt. You just go as hard as you can until you hurt, and then you just have to keep going. And like the Energiser bunny I had to keeeeeeep goinggggg. The last 9km was endless, but oh, the satisfaction of seeing the finish line. It felt so good to see my fellow pain sufferers and share their completion exultation. Thank goodness for the heaters and the Eskimo lollies, thank goodness for my team who had warm clothes and a sleeping bag, thank goodness for the country I live and breathe, and thank goodness that people create this sort of experience for us to have. Beyond that I couldn’t think.

After already having completed the Classic previously, I had a time to beat. To achieve this I would have to pace myself early on and not go out to quick. Which I thought I’d been able to do as I felt really good right through to Falls hut. At about 3kms to go the wheels fell of, the pace slowed and it became a gruelling mental battle. On finishing I was totally exhausted, but only 6 minutes over my last time, so happy with that especially with the conditions.

Having done the Routeburn last year, I was there this year to improve my time. Feelings at the start were of excitement and determination. At McKenzie I was on track to improve my time. Low lights of the event were getting cramp like i’ve never experienced before. I mean this was frozen in my steps, couldnt move, stretch, breathe, talk kind of cramp. I didnt have a problem with cramp too much before in training, and to my own stupidity was not prepared for it. I was offered CrampStop by another, and the pump on the bottle didnt work, so I unscrewed the cap and tipped the whole bottle into my mouth!! Hmm, hope you cant overdose on CrampStop! Unfortunately the cramp was set in for the rest of the race regardless of what I sprayed, rubbed and stretched. High lights for me were the weather and Chris Dagg in a clown suit!! Who’s idea was that? (the clown suit) When your in alot of pain and your legs have stopped working, I couldnt think of a better way to lift your spirits than see a dude in a clo wn suit. It sure made me laugh and the perfect remedy for my pain. As for the weather, and I know you have no control over this one, extreme weather coupled with an extreme event in an extreme environment = one even more challenging and extreme event. In other words it was more exciting cause it got more extreme. And it was nice to actually utilise the compulsory gear than just lug it around. Overall, I think the Routeburn decides what you need to learn, and what kind of experience you will have. This year, what the Routeburn had instore for me, was a test of mental toughness, it was all about mind over matter, and pushing on despite what physical barriers I faced. Oh yeah and one more High Light – I was 5 minutes faster than last year! Thanks Routeburn

The event was outstanding because of a number of reasons. It was impeccably organised. It was memorable weather. Marshalls were super cool. Terrain was beautiful with OMG moments everywhere. My wife was celebrating her 40th and it was a fantastic event to celebrate the achievement. Helped by the subtle recognition at prize giving!

Highlights for me was the terrain immediately after the first large waterfall. I also liked running over the pass as I was largely by myself. Crossing the line was cool but a bit hazy – had left everything out there.

Concerned before the start cos a) the weather, b) I hadn’t done any training! (oops!) and c) I knew how far I had to go! Highlights – my lovely hubby stayed with me and pushed me to the finish – am i allowed to say literally pushed me at times? Hearing the music at the finish line before you could see it was the best!

I was pesimistic about the race being held due to the weather, but Evan and the team made the right decision to hold the race, the conditions were sublime, it really makes for a great day out in the mountains when there is snow around. Incredible views, great running and great people.

I could go on and on but will make the one single comment that i thought being welcomed across the finishing line by the organiser(s) (and made to laugh by the MC heckling on the way to the finishing line) made the event for me. Great to be welcomed home with such enthusiasm and fun.

What is there to explain?? It was wicked sick to the power of max!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was organized very well.

Registration, gear check, pre race meeting, bus ride to start (apart from the 2 dudes behind me that wouldn’t stop talking while I was trying to sleep), organizing it to lightly start snowing right before the start, but not snow while we got up high! the finish area was really nice. I enjoyed my free sausage at the time, but did puke it back up about 20mins later…….. the message was real good, power cookies, candy, good coffee and really good soup (didn’t puke it up!)

Love the finish line! Pumpkin soup is awesome!! Hot pools woulda been great tho!

Nervous with anticipation before the start, then really enjoyed the journey. All new terrain made it a very fulfilling adventure run

I was quite worried beforehand about the weather and track conditions but once I was above the tree line I was so happy to be in the snow! It was gorgeous. You learn a lot about eating on the go in this event! The clown serving coke was awesome – in fact all of the people you had on the course were great. Also I am now a convert to Em’s power cookies and bars!!!