Tarawera 100k – 2/7/15
By Joelle Vaught
Under Trained, Down Under
I was so excited to have the opportunity to run the Tarawera 100k earlier this month in New Zealand! It is an amazing race with 1000 runners.
I’ve been dealing with injury and haven’t trained more than about 23 miles so I wasn’t sure how my body would hold up. My back and hamstrings were a wreck all day so it was tough to race; I just worked on moving forward as fast as I could so I could get done! The first 60k was beautiful and tough; we were in a tunnel of plants and trees, passing by lakes and waterfalls, with constant climbing and descending on very rocky and rooty terrain.
The next 40k was tough for me because it was much flatter and was on lots of fire roads. I just don’t have the speed on the flats! I need mountains! It is a spectacular race though, the friendliest people you will ever meet!
My time at Tarawera was below the previous course record and I was 8th female finisher! I think the top 3 men were under the course record including fellow Americans Dylan Bowman and Jorge Maravilla who were 1st and 2nd! So it was an incredibly deep field in both the men’s and women’s races.
Now that I’m back from New Zealand I wanted to thank everyone that made my trip to run the Tarawera 100K possible and amazing! First of all, to Ultra-Trail World Tour for inviting me to race and making it possible for athletes around the world to come together and race. It certainly ups the competition level! Huge thanks to race director Paul Charteris who I had the pleasure to first meet in The North Face 100 – Australia last year. He was over-the-top helpful with travel, accommodations, and every other question I had. He not only put on a world class race with 1000 participants but also raced the 100K himself, amazing! Thanks so much to Christine Stucki who was huge part of putting the race on and so generously gave her beautiful home up for Jorge (and family) and I to stay in the entire time we were there. To top it off, her home was walking distance to the race start in the Redwoods where I was also able to go running the other days I was in New Zealand. Always a huge thank you to my sponsors: Montrail, Drymax Socks, Clif Bar, and The Pulse Running and Fitness Shop. Thanks to Steve who is so very supportive and took care of our amazing son, Chase, and our dogs, without going too crazy! Thanks to my awesome friends Holly and Heather for their super sweet care package! Big thanks to a friend I made in Australia last year, Naomi Leigh, who was at the race supporting and crewing her boyfriend Brendan, they took me under their wing and drove me all around, we went to the spa, and had tons of fun! Thanks to some new friends Ben Malby and Fiona Jane Wright Hayvice who I met on the course and shared various miles with, I loved chatting with each of you! Thanks to Tony Bus who so kindly picked me up from the Auckland airport and let me ride with him to Rotorua where the race started! And, last but certainly not least, to all of my friends and family who supported me along the way, you guys make it all worthwhile!!!