The Tussock Traverse is a race that starts at the top of Turoa at Mt Ruapehu and finishes at the Chateau in Whakapapa. The terrain is scree, rock hopping, steep hills, river crossings, swing bridges, and boardwalks. It is a tough course with 2000m total elevation across the 50km.
The start was a chilly -5 degrees at 5:30 am. The first 4.5km was a steep road downhill, which is an unusual start as it can be easy to go too hard on the downhill, smash your quads, then be stuffed for later in the race! We then branched off into the bush and started the rock hopping through the creeks.
Between 16-20 Km, there were some very technical sections with steep ups and downs on moveable terrain (rocks). I passed a lady who mentioned I was in first place for my age category, which I thought was 23-29 (which tuned out to 23-39). Mentally I was feeling great because, for me, that was enough. I could enjoy my race, knowing that as long as I kept doing what I was doing, I would win my age category.
The last 25km is far more runnable, so the tricker aspect is managing the level of fatigue you have from that first hard 25km. In the last 5km, I passed a lady who was in second place. I am strong uphill and was able to trudge (walk fast) up the hill. Then within 3km to go, a man yelled out, you’re not far from first place. It was my friend Emma, and I could see her not far in the distance. So I thought I’ll do my best- run fast when I can and walk when I needed to on the climbs. And by doing that, I passed her with less than 2km to go- I couldn’t believe it! That forces had a hard finish. The last 1km was hard because I could see the chateau, but you have to run up and down, turn sharp corners and go upstairs.
This was my first win of a race, and it was a great feeling! Thankful for all of your support- I do think about you all when I am out there!
In my race, one thing I knew I had to do was let go of difficult feelings, thoughts, and emotions. If I do my best, I will do my best. But if I try to do someone else’s best, I won’t do my own best. Basically, I am only capable of pushing and running as well I can. I have to have faith that I have done enough training to get me across the finish line no matter where I finish. This assures me of a good personal experience- for me!
I’ve put a little video on my channel (link is below) of the race check it out! Oh, and if you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel yet do me a solid and follow my channel!