This year we are sponsoring one person in each of the events Bivouac Outdoor supports to tell us what it’s like to prepare, train and experience these events, we call this person The Motivator. Our very first Motivator is Kristina Arthur who will be running in all four events of the Bivouac Outdoor Wild Auckland Trail Series. This is her first dispatch from the trail;
Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. Apparently idly scrolling through Facebook while bored is dangerous for someone who has a habit of signing up for lots of trail runs. “Bivouac Outdoor Wild Auckland Trail Series” – that’s new!
I’m a trail runner! I’ve enjoyed the Xterra Auckland trail series for three years now, as a way to keep me motivated while it’s cold; I had a great time completing the Hillary 34km race last year; and I’m signed up for my first two New Zealand ultras in the coming six months. I’ve also done three longer races (ultramarathon stage races) overseas since 2013. I’m a pretty run of the mill trail runner, trying to keep motivated with keeping my fitness up and, for the most part, found at the mid-to-back of the pack on race day. Over the duration of the Bivouac Outdoor Wild Auckland trail running series my aim is to explore the four regional parks and increase my fitness in the lead up to (and recovery from) Kepler Challenge in December.
I came across the Bivouac Outdoor Wild Auckland Trail Series when it was first announced on Facebook by Lactic Turkey. With the winter trail series winding down and a couple of larger races lined up over summer it seemed like the perfect thing to keep motivation going through spring. And I’ve only been to two of the areas where they’re holding events! Bonus of getting an excuse (do we need one, really?) to explore two more regional parks around Auckland.
Interest piqued, I had a look at the website – four races, four distances to choose from, four regional parks. Sounds fun! Now I just need to go out for a training run and then figure out where Tāpapakanga is…
I’m entering a mix of the Discovery and Expedition length events; I’ll do Discovery length at Tāpapakanga and Muriwai (race 1 and 4), and Expedition length at Te Rau Puriri and Tawharanui (race 2 and 3). A fair bit of my training is, unfortunately, on roads, as I have to fit it in with the rest of my life… This means the “run-commute” is a common mid-week training option for me. Previously, I’ve also found that weight training helps a lot with trail running and helps keep injuries either at bay or managed if they do appear.
I’m pretty sure the trail running is just an excuse for this, but I also enjoy checking out new gear and seeing how I can update my race kit (this includes some very random ideas like swapping out shoe insoles in the middle of a long-distance race, but hey, ‘new’ shoes!). I follow the “nothing new on race day” mantra, though I have found this doesn’t stop some interesting issues cropping up in a race despite testing during training. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt over the years it’s to be adaptable, be prepared, and enjoy!
Race Motivator for the Bivouac Outdoor Wild Auckland Trail Series