Another report from New Zealand…

Earlier this month I completed the Cape Brett Challenge (, a 37km event in the spectacularly scenic Bay of Islands. Cape Brett is a rugged, remote peninsula, and the run is billed as one of the toughest off-road runs in New Zealand. This is the fifth year the event has been held. I ran it for the first time last year, when poor weather forced the organisers to shorten the course to omit an exposed razorback ridge. This year the weather was sunny and hot, making dehydration the only serious hazard. I went through 4 litres of water during the race, and regretted not carrying more.

The route is basically an out-and-back along a rough track, and includes a total 2000m of accent (my GPS has it at 3400m). There are no flat sections. To give you an idea of the difficulty, out of the 52 starters, seven failed to make the cutoff time to the cape and were returned by boat. The winning time was 4h48, and the last finisher came in after 8h30. I finished just short of my predicted time of 6 hours. After a slow start, I had the satisfaction of picking up five places on the return leg (including 2-time Auckland marathon winner Ady Ngawati) to finish 16th overall and 8th vet.


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