Running for Gold in New Zealand

Waihi Beach, NZ on a gorgeous morning and keen as to get into it.

 Running under Pohutukawa trees

Running under Pohutukawa trees

Occasionally I like to do an organised event. It is a great place to hang out with like minded folks getting out there and running trails with lots of supporters and locals to cheer you on and even feed you! If I am going to do an event, I try to do a different one as it adds a sense of adventure doing a new course and this time it was "The Nugget" in Waihi, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand an area most well known for it's working gold mine.

The Nugget offers a few options and I chose the trail run and mountain bike combo. Starting on Waihi beach, soon after sunrise, I headed off with about a hundred fit looking individuals, around the coastline trails for over an hour until a climb that never felt like ending, finally topped out on a hilltop at a transition where our mountainbikes were waiting for a further 23 kms of riding.

For some it stopped there and a handover to a buddy, but after a quick change of shoes and a scoff of a banana, I was on my way across private farm country to Waihi's mountain bike trails and the finish at the Martha Gold mine, a massive open cast mine a few steps away from the main street.

This is a quality NZ off road event, I can't believe I haven't already done it, and I will be back. It begins with a hard packed single trail running course around seaside cliffs and gorgeous bays covered with pohutukawa trees followed by a mountain bike with some fast downhills, stream crossings in farmland and then 2 enjoyable sections of undulating purpose built trails in two local forests before following a stream trail back into town and finishing with a loop of the gold mine and a short sprint to the finish. I enjoyed every minute!