My sister and I are West Coast wahine through and through. Our souls are at home when we are curled up next to the fire as the biblical West Coast rain rages outside. But life has seen us living in London (me) and Brisbane (my sister) for the best part of the last decade.
We’ve always loved running, and running on the West Coast most of all. So what better way to mark my return to life in New Zealand and our family reuniting than the Rocky Point Run?
I arrived back from London this week. Despite the threatening rain, after 30 hours of flying I couldn’t think of a better way to blow the cobwebs away and reconnect with the beautiful West Coast than heading out for a few kms on the KCT. A perfect opportunity to get familiar with the terrain again before October 22 too.
Well lucky I did! I might have spent years pounding the streets the of London and even had the opportunity to run some amazing marathons in the Northern Hemisphere, but I thought to myself… I’m a coast gal at the end of the day! So I wasn’t expecting the trail to feel so…. well, unfamiliar! Here are some things I thought in those few kms:
• The KCT paths are exquisitely well maintained, but if you’re not used to gravel running the sensation is markedly different to road running. You can feel different muscles, ligaments and bones engaging, and in different ways. Flexibility and stability really come into play.
• Similarly, my road running shoes probably aren’t ideal. Don’t get me wrong – they held up no trouble and are just fine for a short run or walk on the KCT – but I could sense that any regular running on the trail would wear them out super quickly. I’m going to investigate trail shoes to try out longer lugs, which I think could add to that all important stability too.
• We are the luckiest people in the world to run on a track that is shared with penguins.
• The trail brings a whole new meaning to the word undulating. While I’m used to the odd sustained climb, KCT has several parts that see inclines and descents over just a few meters. Again, impressing on me how important stability will be for the Rocky Point Run.
I can’t wait to spend more time on the trail, and take part in an event in such a beautiful location so close to my heart.