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Taupo Winter Series

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Taupo Winter Series

By Cheryl Kessack on 11th December 2020 Race Reports

Taupo Winter Series


Winning an Wild Things VIP Member's free entry to the mid-course for The Taupo Series was awesome! Thank you.

2020 has been a somewhat ‘unusual’ year in so many ways.
It was off to a great start when I won this entry in February, immediately followed by a few little obstacles...
The COVID restrictions began, the events being held were uncertain and the dates started getting really strange.
#1 COUGAR 05/07/2020 Cougar MTB Park
#2 CRATERS 16/08/2020 Craters MTB Park
#3 KINLOCH 06/09/2020 Kinloch.
TOTAL Sport were amazing how they managed to get the events to go ahead whilst adhering to the guidelines and still managing magic events.
My first challenge was when my knee surgery got scheduled for 24th June – there was no way I was going to defer this and there was no way I was going to miss out on the series, or part of it.
#1 COUGAR Trail run
Decision time – crutches or downgrade and walk?  Total Sport were so incredibly accommodating and suggested I downgrade for the first event and see how it goes after that. That is what I did. I walked the short distance. The course was really pretty through forests with gentle rolling elevated flat sections. Loved it and was so envious of those running it – definitely a repeat is in my future. Pine Needles are so great to run on, and I didn’t have any unplanned ‘adventures’ like swimming, falling down hills etc.

#2 CRATERS Trail run
This got rescheduled to the end of November so was not exactly winter.
A MTB track, well-groomed with no major inclines but plenty of opportunities for practicing downhill low-flying attempts. The start is in the Wairakei resort – pine trees, a steaming river and then through a tunnel, under the highway to run into the forest – really pretty. 
The harvested forest areas were on hills and by then the sun was pretty intense.  This part was mentally challenging for me as I could see people in the distance so knew where we were headed…up, up…and more up. It wasn’t steep though, just kept on giving, long and gradual.

The downhills were worth it though, especially when we got back to unharvested forest and pine needles again.

No river crossings – so no swimming for me.  I did trip once but it was at the top of a steep incline and I ended up flying down it, upright, the fastest I have ever moved in my life – was a wonderful feeling.

#3 Kinloch
Kinloch never disappoints and a bonus this year – they changed the trail slightly to avoid people having to come in contact with dual directions – they cut out that mean little hill near the finish that you usually have to go up, turn around and come back down.


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