Greg Wilkinson


Routeburn Classic Category:
Over 40 but under 50… Is that Masters or Veteran?

Location on earth of residence?

Cromwell, Central Otago

Current work interest?
Cellar door host at Mt Difficulty in Bannockburn, home of sensational Central Otago wines.

Favourite quote, motto or thoughts you try to life by?
I believe in two things – Providence and Serendipity and live by the creed “poor is the person whose only wealth is money”!

Favourite local training track, grounds, area’s, parks etc?
Pylon/Skyline Track on Northburn Station near Cromwell is my ‘bread and butter’ run – good mix of farm track and hills with superb views as reward for effort. Better still I can run there from home.

How long have you been a runner?
I’ve always been active in the outdoors – started with tramping but got serious about trail running after being inspired watching at the finish line of the Kepler. Challenge in the mid-90s. I ran my first Luxmore Grunt in 1997, Kepler in 1998 and Routeburn Classic in 2002 and haven’t stopped!

What do you love about trail running?
I love the self-indulgent freedom of running on trails. It’s a matter of balancing family, work and me-time so I can still get my ‘outdoor fix’ for a few hours by ‘speed tramping’ over a trail. As I get older I’m starting to look forward to getting back to multi-day ‘slow tramping’ with my wife Vivienne.

What type of running training do you do in the lead up to the Routeburn Classic?
Group runs around Central Otago with my fellow ‘Cromwell Runners Group’ (see FaceBook). Training for an event can be a lonely vigil so it’s great to have company and share the joy of running with a rock steady crew of like-minded runners.

What advice would you give to a rookie / Routeburn virgin coming into the 2014 from a seasoned veteran of the event?

Do the work in training and enjoy race day. The Routeburn Classic is THE best trail running gig going! (See other race day tips below)

Any cross training, other sports you dabble in?

I’ve done a few multi-sport events over the years to mix up the training regime with some swimming and mountain biking but otherwise it’s just running.

How important are the other performance factors in your training. Namely fuel types consumed and periods parked up in recovery mode?
I used to pack a cut lunch, heaps of gels, lollies and energy bars plus 2 litres of rocket fuel in my drink but these days I’m more of a minimalist with a few gels and 1 litre of Horleys Replace and/or R-Line. A post-event massage and standing in the cool waters of the Routeburn River are a MUST to aid recovery!

What is it you love about the Routeburn Classic?

The camaraderie of sharing a run over my favourite track, the shear joy of unencumbered running through native bush and over mountain pass, the weather – whatever the weather! the man-hug with Evan at the finish – but mostly just being a part of such an awesome event and the chance of scooping a great spot-prize have kept me coming back!

What advice can you offer a new comer to the event?
Prepare well on uneven ground to strengthen your ankles, consider race-day logistics of appropriate clothing, food/fuel etc and most importantly, do your ablutions back at the hotel before you get on the bus – seriously! Practice all of these prior to the event.

Parting comments and thoughts?
After 9 Routeburn Classics I have given up on trying to crack the elusive 4hour barrier and will adopt a more leisurely pace to savour the company of my fellow runners and marshalls in 2014. Kudos and man-hugs to Evan and his sterling team for persevering with running such a fantastic event – you are Legends! Thank you.