Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Nugget

Feeling like my form was just building leading into XTERRA I thought it would be a shame to waste it. Which is why I found myself here on the beautiful northern end of Waihi Beach at 8am on Saturday morning for the start of the Half Nugget; a challenging off-road duathlon. It was in fact the "soft" option, as the little brother of the Nugget Multisport event that headlines the day. We would skip the Road Cycle, and Paddle, and instead join the course at the beginning of the stunning (yet exceedingly testing) 10km coastal run. I'd enjoyed a very relaxing week of just 1 x 25min run and a solid catch-up on my junkfood intake. Primed for the day with a great friday night enjoying Super-X on ESPN whilst eating some beautiful fresh fish'n'chips. Consequently I was very relaxed and raring to go (Although not quite as excited as one gentlemen who decided to start 30min early with the half marathoners!)
Was pretty stoked to find myself taking the lead fairly early on the run, feeling strong, and able to dictate the pace. Translation: not smash it! Enjoy the views, run steady, and surge if anyone got too close. As such I enjoyed almost a 2min lead onto the bike. All under control. Blisfully unaware that the guy chasing had actually been 11th overall at XTERRA last week and was actually quite fast. Luckily I have in my possession argueably one of the sweetest bike set-ups in the country for this sort of event, so despite my cruisy attitude I continued to roll away. Highlight of the varied MTB course was a few sections of singletrack constructed by the mining companies for the event. I love that. When an event mobilises a community and creates a lasting legacy for that community rather than just pop in and use the existing resources. Towards the end of the bike I realised that I could probably break the 2hr mark (which was a quiet goal prior) so I got my arse into gear. Uniquely the event ends with a rather spectacular 2.5km run around the top of Martha Mine, a huge open cast Gold mine. Pretty special place to finish and I think I took the organisers by surprise when I emerged amongst the fun runners to cross the line in 1hr56 something. Pretty happy with that. I cycle back out to the beach (where I'd left the car at the start), a swim and body surf in the waves, plus a well derseved ice-cream proved to be a very cool way to end the morning. Unfortunately I couldn't stick around for prizegiving as a stand up comedy show back home in Rotorua awaited... and then a loooooooooooooong awaited return to playing on the KTM on Sunday. I'm back!

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