Quote of the day #2: "There's always one more uphill" ~ heard halfway along Pukapuka track.
XTerra Hunua (SuperLong) is a race of two halves. The first 10km is flat(ish) mtb tracks and gravel roads and the second half is grunty bush tracks. The weather forecast was for heavy showers and for once it was actually correct. A cold shower rolled through just after 8am, but the sun broke out just in time for race start at 9am. Another couple of bouts of rain throughout the morning kept everything damp (and the carpark marshals busy afterwards pushing cars out of the muddy field).
The track seemed to go on and on (and up and up) and the crest of each climb promised to be the last. With great relief we eventually broke out into the open and could see down to the Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir. The water level was surprisingly low, but nonetheless it showed that the end was nigh. I stopped for a swig of Gu at the final water station at the top of Lilburne Rd then it was steep gravel road down to the dam. As we crossed the dam and passed the 1km to go marker, the guy in front of me suddenly stopped dead in his tracks with a bad case of cramp. A long 3:45 hours after starting I finally finished the 22km course. I had hoped to finish the Xterra series on a high note but not everything in life goes according to plan.
Thanks Brent for sharing your chips with me at the finish. Just what I needed!