Michelle Blair


Routeburn Classic Category:
Peak performer, aiming to be a Jedi, 4.5-5 hours

Location on earth of residence?

Current work interest?

Favourite quote, motto or thoughts you try to life by?
’Freedom is a state of mind’ is a great one I saw recently & has stuck with me.

Favourite local training track, grounds, area’s, parks etc?
I’m fortunate enough to have the Port Hills handy to me & they are great for the mid week mileage. Top notch views considering how close you are to the city.

How long have you been a runner?

Since 2009, a good friend and I decided to enter the St Clair Half Marathon. It wasn’t the most comfortable experience of my life….the training or the race!

What do you love about trail running?
Freedom (there’s that word again), exploration, clarity of mind it gives me & the great people I meet on my journeys.

What type of running training do you do in the lead up to the Routeburn Classic?
Hills, technical ones…..and a lot of them. Channel the inner mountain goat. I try to get more nimble with my downhill running as that & the final 6km on the flat to the finish line I find especially challenging.

What advice would you give to a rookie / Routeburn virgin coming into the 2014 from a seasoned veteran of the event?
Try not to let nerves get the better of you. Be prepared with gear & fuel. Practise with it pre race day. ALWAYS. And by all means suck in that sweet experience. Routeburn Classic is like no other. Magical.

Any cross training, other sports you dabble in?
I love my gym classes but over time have had to make sure they are run specific ie core work and RPM (bike) classes for intervals. I’ve started to do more yoga now and it is so beneficial for runners.

How important are the other performance factors in your training. Namely fuel types consumed and periods parked up in recovery mode?
I’ve learned over time that carbo loading pre event doesn’t have to be as extreme as first thought. I learned that the hard way a few times, eating too much of what I didn’t usually eat the night before big events.
I love my treats but in turn balance it out with a lot of good stuff too. Not many days go by for me where I will not be nailing eggs, spinach, porridge and nuts at some point (definitely NOT in the same meal haha).
The 40min window for refuelling post big effort is pretty important to me and I do bounce back quicker when I stick to it.

What is it you love about the Routeburn Classic?
What don’t I love! Seriously. Location, spirit, humorous, fun aspect (Ev – a champion race director, love your work), challenge, friends to name a small few.

What advice can you offer a new comer to the event?
Look forward to the Classic. You are about to experience something very special with 349 other people. Embrace the journey and everything that surrounds it.

Parting comments and thoughts?
I’ve had three years on the course with pristine weather – I wouldn’t mind running over that pass whilst the weather gets its crazy on (within reason!) one year soon..we do carry that mandatory gear for a reason hey!
I’m also just really looking forward to experiencing it all again and hoping to better last years time too.