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Molesworth Run

dust and determination

semi-overcast 22 °C
View Molesworth Run on Sallyj66's travel map.

We had agreed to be the support crew' for Sara and her team who were running the 23rd (I think) annual Molesworth run. Our challenge was taking Jabula into the isolated high country and driving gravel roads. This involved a steep learning curve investigating tyre pressures let alone the expectations of a support crew for these runners that put themselves under pretty extreme pressure themselves.
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Friday arrived with magnificent weather. We had decided to amble up the Awatere Valley and let the photographers on board indulge themselves. Spoilt for choice really. It was great for me as many many years go we had come up here to the Camden when Dennis was hunting. I had forgotten how far up it was. It was entering a different world, encapsulated when we came across a stock woman riding her horse on the road with working dogs running around her. Just out of a picture book. Even though I have lived here most of my life, my navigational skills are still left wanting. We were confused at the turnoff to Mt Gladstone Station which way to go, and had to resort to the sat nav again. Great to read the names of farms that is ages since I'd heard - Camden, Awapiri, The Jordan, Muller etc - very nostalgic.
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We made the gate to Molesworth about 3.30pm. Sara opened the gate and decided she would run in to the DOC camp site at the Cobb Cottage. About 100 yards along the road she came back to the car with a look of absolute horror - she realised she had forgotten her running shoes!!! OMG of all the things one could forget for a running race. So how to problem solve such a problem. No cell phone coverage up there .As other people arrived we met up with Leah (another team member) and she had just realised she had left her sleeping bag behind! I think we renamed ourselves the Goldfish team. I suppose I came to realise over the weekend that the main challenge for these runners , is the mental one, mitigating things that just do happen regardless of the amount of planning and preparation that one does.
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Spent a pleasant evening nonetheless having a wine ( to calm the nerves obviously), just stunning views. A cold night and brisk morning , up early in preparation. Many runners arrived that morning which surprised us some had dressed up for the occasion. Quite a few supermen costumes (I wonder why). Sara had found some shoes that were going to be adequate by this stage, but it did mean changing with a team member after her leg. The solo runners left first - that means they run the entire 82km the equivalent of 2 marathons in pretty tough conditions. Next off are the 2 man teams, then last the 4 people teams. The support cars went first. Safety issues as it is still a public road and huge dust issues. Obviously each leg is approx 20km, our job was to offer water and support at 5km intervals. We got into a rhythm and just soaked up the magnificent scenery. It was unfortunate that Carolyn (3rd team member) tore a calf muscle in the leg and had to pull out. This meant technically that the team should have pulled out then, but Sara ran her 4th leg brilliantly and did a great time. We only found out that night that her time was not recorded because of that rule. Plenty of other dubious practices along the way, but for us it was a great opportunity and experience.
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A surprising and fabulous addition to the Prize Giving ceremony was a poetry section. Each team was encouraged to submit a poem that they had composed, to be read out at the ceremony. Absolutely unexpected and so good. Then i was asked with another team member to judge which poem was the winner .Thank goodness the winner was immediately obvious and the crowd favourite!

Sunday in Hanmer was a beautiful day, despite the anticipated terrible weather forecast. We looked at the shops and then made our way home via the inland road past Mt Lyford. Once again beautiful scenery and lunch in Kaikoura was by the sea. Our van was in dire need of a clean, but it was a very successful mission and we now look forward to the next one.
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Posted by Sallyj66 21:59 Archived in New Zealand

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So ...... where's the poem?... (email would do)

by Lulu

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