Triple Peaks Ultra Report - Celebrate the wins
I don’t really like running. It’s not the thing I crave each Sunday morning, or any other time of any other day. But I don’t really hate it either. Maybe if I hated it more, I wouldn’t have signed up for the Triple Peaks Ultra. But I did sign up, and was brave enough to show up at the start line with the good old calm and relaxed alter ego suppressing the anxious frightened little mouse inside. I think the nervousness was centered around getting (back) to the finish, before the motel check out time the next day. I didn’t pack a torch, so was optimistic that I’d make it back on the same day. Thanks to (mad) Mike and (crazy) Eve for their shared enthusiasm.
As expected, I didn’t win the race, and probably won’t become a sponsored athlete. I’m OK with that. I did hope to get through the entire race, but that wasn’t to be. There was a 4.30pm cut off at the base of Te Mata Peak, which I missed by about half an hour. With this race, the cut off simply means you take a short cut around Te Mata rather than up and over. It also means that you have to keep going, rather than other events where the course closes.
On the day, I put my best foot forward (such a Dad joke), did all I could, and successfully completed the short course.
Rather than dwell on disappointment or excuses, I’m more inclined to celebrate the small wins. It is the most I’ve ever travelled on foot, and given my toes, legs, and shoulders hurt when I blink, I think some substantial effort was put in. I successfully didn’t get lost or trip and fall with my heavy feet. I successfully suppressed the dark quit now voices, and I successfully got over the finish line. If it were a university exam, I would have passed, with 66% of the peaks conquered and 84% of the course stomped on. 10hours and 31min, 48.8km out on the course.
The other, and arguably the most important win, is being part of such a warm and supportive group. And that support is key when trying new things. Everything from the run group training, conversations, and amazing encounters on the day, makes the reality of an Ultra (strangely) bearable.
So, despite not being a mad runner, I thoroughly recommend taking on the challenge and pushing boundaries. Toe nails will grow back, blisters will heal, and knees will remember how to bend, eventually. Huge shout out to Andy for looking out for our kids, the smiling high five ladies (Hannah, Anna, Andrea and Rose) and the impressive aid station support from Kat.