Race Logistics and Tawharanui – Bivouac Outdoor Wild Auckland Trail Series

We are just a couple of days away from race number two of the Bivouac Outdoor Wild Auckland Series. This race will be held at Tawharanui Regional Park, a stunning spot that is surrounded with predator fencing, so there are heaps of native birds. I’ve enjoyed all my previous visits to the park and have had some interesting experiences there when the birds have been particularly enthusiastic – narrowly avoided collisions with a wood pigeon and a kaka, and imitating a saddleback whistle resulting in one coming over to check out what was making all the noise!

So needless to say, I’m looking forward to this race. I’m signed up for the Expedition length course and will be balancing my efforts between pushing myself and taking in the surroundings as we go.

Now seems to be a good time to touch on logistics for races. With races around Auckland it’s just a case of plan what you need for the race itself and directly after (if you want to cleanup / change and have snacks), plug the race location into google maps, make sure you have a full tank of fuel, and off you go. And that’s being a bit expansive. You could throw your trail shoes on and deal with anything else as you go, but I’ve learnt that being a little more organized makes for a more comfortable experience (extremely muddy run in Riverhead Forest a couple of years back springs to mind…).

Some other races require a little more planning. I’ve done several now that were overseas and involved extensive equipment lists. This generally involves me writing several lists to make sure I’m organised and repacking my bags about three times to make sure I have everything.

For the race at Tawharanui it will be somewhere in the middle, as I’m going to be camping up there on a night either side of the race. We get one night (Saturday) free courtesy of Lactic Turkey and Auckland Regional Council (we can select this during registration) and I’ve booked an extra night (Sunday night) through Auckland Regional Council. One night camping is available for each of the races of the series, from memory of the registration process.

So, I need to be a little more prepared for this race. The tent is organised, I need sleeping bag and mat, spare clothes and shoes, toiletries, and food for two days, as well as all the gear I want to take on the race.

The photo I’ve included is some of the gear I’ll be taking with me – I’ve got to finish packing yet, and sort out my food. The easiest option I’ve found for quick camping trips is freeze dried food such as Back Country Cuisine or Outdoor Gourmet Company. I wasn’t sure how freeze-dried food would taste before I first tried it, but it’s actually pretty good. Related to this, Tawharanui doesn’t have cooking facilities so you need to take your own portable gas stove or BBQ if you want anything hot food or drinks.

Lessons learned from the last race that I will be bringing into this race include remembering my blister kit/mini first aid kit this time (whoops), as I got a small blister on my ankle at Tapapakanga, and being more generous with the sunscreen. Given the weather forecast this weekend, definitely don’t stint on the sunscreen. And of course, have fun!

See you Sunday,

Kristina Arthur

Race Motivator for the Bivouac Outdoor Wild Auckland Trail Series

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