Monday, January 9, 2012


To start the week and the New Year, Ash cashed in his Ohakune Holiday house voucher (that he won from the Karioi Classic)  and organised a group of us to do the Tongariro Crossing. After the rain and thunder storms on New years day, the weather did a 180 and put on it's Sunday best for the day of the walk. We were very spoilt with lovely accommodation, good company and one of NZ's best day walks. A few of us decided that we might as well climb Mount Ngauruhoe (2,291 meters) and spent the next hour scrambling up the mountain face to the top. The whole tramp took us 7.30hours, well worth it!

Mount Ngauruhoe

Ash and I at the top

For the next couple of days after the Tongariro Crossing my legs were wasted and hurt from DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness) having not done much prior walking or running. Luckily it all cleared up just in time for the Tour de Whaka, and with some better tires that Kris Snow (Cycle Obsession) kindly lent me I was all set for the race..

Hill Climb
The hill climb was a short and sharp 265 ish meter climb over 3.25km. I reached the top in 18min which put me in 3rd place overall (women). Seems my hill climbing has come a long way over the winter thanks to Auckland hills and John's training program. From the hill climb we headed on over to the start of the Super D

Photo by Simon Blanchett

Super D
The course made it's way down Split ends, Pondy DH, Pondy New and finishing at the bottom of Roller coaster. The course itself was very pedally with some good pinches of climbing in. I wanted the win and knowing a was up against locals that could ride the course with their eyes shut, I knew I had to pull something special out of the box. I started out good, loving my 29er and trying to carry as much speed as I could. Things were going great until I mistook a water run-off for the track. I made the wrong turn and crashed through the bush for several meters, coming to an abrupt stop just in front of a particularly large log. Cursing myself I jumped off my bike and carried it back to the track, well aware I was loosing precious time I took off again. I spent the rest of the race stressed out that I had blown it and utilized the adrenaline to pedal harder and corner faster. In the end I still managed to win the Super D by a VERY narrow margin of 1sec with Nic Leary as runner up.

Photo from Simon Blanchett

Time Trial
The time trial was the final race on Saturday, like the Hill climb and Super D we were released at 1min intervals in a random order. The TT was raced on Old Chevy- a twisty pinchy track with little time to rest. I felt great, standing up and powering up the climbs and riding well on the bike. The only thing that let me down was my lack of local knowledge, missing all the 'hot lines', running off the track a couple of times, and over braking on corners. Still it was a blast! I finished 2nd women Overall for the time trial, putting me in 2nd place for day one.

Cross Country
The big finale, with Katie O'Neill leading the women's field by 1min and Nic Leary 1min behind me in total time, it was going to be close. The rain had held off on Saturday, but by Sunday the weather had turned for the worst. It had rained heavily throughout the night which formed numerous puddles of all shapes and sizes.
I had good start along the road but once I hit the single track everybody was held up in a long train of people. Unable to pass I sat in conserving energy until an opportunity to pass came. Finally at the bottom of Dragons tail I got through and was off again feeling good. The rest of the tracks were slippery and fast which I rode very loosely and loving every bit of it. Again I struggled by not knowing Rotorua tracks and ended up riding off the track and taking not so ideal lines which began to exhaust me. Despite this it was still heaps of fun, I was particularly enjoying splashing through the puddles, at first unsure of the deepness until it was too late. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, and I enjoyed seeing Ash around the XC course giving me time splits and encouragement. I came 2nd Women in the XC race which meant 2nd in the tour, with Katie O'Neill winning the race and overall tour.

1st: Carl Jones
2nd: Dirk Peters
3rd: Mikey Northcott

1st: Katie O'Neill
2nd: Raewyn Morrison
3rd: Nic Leary

1 comment:

  1. Well done Raerae! You are going from strength to strength girl! Keep up the massive effort.