Mukamuka Munter

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Mukamuka Munter

Postby Sid Delicious » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:12 am

So Mr Cleetus recommended that I enter in this year's Mukamuka Munter race. http://www.betterthantv.co.nz/munter.html I haven't been in a cross country race for over 25 years and had no running shoes so I thought I might as well give it a try.
I started off with short training runs, partly because I wanted to slowly get my legs used to running without the risk of injury, and partly because the crap shoes I got given by a relative when he outgrew them would give me slight skin irritation that would threaten to turn into blisters if I ran more than a few km at a time.
I now have a decent pair of trail shoes that fit well and have been slowly increasing my running distance and frequency. My legs used get sore after only a few km, but now that they are used to running again I can run without feeling sore the next day.
The race is 29km and climbs 500m over the Orongrongo ranges and through the Rimutaka Forest Park. About half of it is along the coastline and along a river bed, so it's quite challenging for the relentless undulating terrain. Fortunately there is no shortage of rocky, steep hills to train on in the city I live in. I ran about 30km last Sunday which involved about 500m+ of hill climb and didn't feel too bad at the end; definitely plodding along for the last few km though.
I'm hoping to finish about middle of the pack on race day, but finishing at all will be enough for me.
Anyone got any advice for trail running? I've been paying attention to pace, breathing, foot strike, keeping my eye on the terrain ahead when it's rough, food and clothing for all weathers, but I'm sure there's more to learn yet.
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby skoptic » Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:43 am

Good works Sid! (and well done Mr C too ;))

Best advice for trail running is enjoy the fact that you are running in beautiful terrain... you and the trail that's the most important thing! That means you don't have to beat yourself up if you're plodding, stopping for a bite to eat, chatting to the next runner. It's more than a race :)

Sounds like you're paying attention to all the right stuff, there's not that much to learn. Having said that it's always nice to hear some words of wisdom from Scott Jurek... the vegan ultra god that he is

Running form on trails
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB5xdxgS-dQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiG95bgl ... re=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aqeed4_t ... re=related

Happy Trail Running
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:31 pm

Excellent Sid! You are doing all the right training, so you are going to "enjoy" it. Don't let that 500m of climbing fool you, it is somehow a whole lot harder than that ;) I think it must the the 20kms of rocks and boulders like this:

Image

Here's a pic of one of the main climb after you've spent some time on the boulders:
Image


There's a few more pics in this thread Sid, if you are still needing some inspiration ;)
http://www.veganfitness.net/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=21678&p=356186&hilit=mukamuka#p356186

Good luck! and be sure to think about your race report you will post in this thread as you are running.
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby Sid Delicious » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:01 am

I've been doing lots of cross country running with some pretty good sized hills. The Tip Track in particular is good to run up, then back down. I had to walk a few times on my first attempt but can run the whole thing without stopping now. (4.5km long with 400 vertical metres, and lots of loose stone). I'm going to try some south coast running to get used to running on alluvium and rocks.
The other weekend I did a run up Mt Kaukau, along the Skyling Walkway to Makara Peak, up Salvation MTB/walking track to Wrights Hill, around the Zealandia fenceline, along Car Parts Extension and Barking Emu tracks, down the Tip Track, up Wharangi and north along the City to Sea Walkway. It was something like 30km, only 1km at most was on the flat, with about 600 vertical metres and I did it in just over 4 hours. Didn't feel sore at all the following day. Considering the race has about 12km of flat coastal running (albeit on alluvium and small stones/gravel) I'm feeling pretty good about my efforts.
The other night I decided to do some running on streets without hills so I could practice setting a fast but sustainable pace for the flat section of the race. I got a surprise at how different my calf muscles felt the following day. It made me realise that running on the flat uses the muscles quite differently than on even gentle hills. So flat coastal runs will feature on the limited training time I have left, along with some more Tip Track runs. :twisted:
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:28 pm

Sounds like you've been doing all the right training, I think you'll go well.

I wouldn't be too concerned about the flat running. The bit around the coast is not quite as flat as you might think it is. There is a lot of up and down over the alluvium - just no sustained climbing. The flattest bit is coming out 5 mile track, and you'll be pretty wrecked by then anyway. :P
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby Sid Delicious » Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:45 am

I went for a run tonight from Owhiro Bay along the coast past Pari Whero to the seal colony at Hell's Gate (I saw 6 seals lying beside the track) and then back again. Mr Cleetus, how do the track conditions on this side of the harbour compare with the other side?
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Thu Sep 06, 2012 9:06 am

It's a bit different on the other side. Some of it is similar and is double track that is reasonably smooth, but there is some rough alluvium in places. It will depend on how bad the rains have been this winter. In general it is probably tougher, but it's only a few spots that are anything too significant and overall it is a nicer run. Make sure to look out for the earthquake terraces as you go around Turakirae Head 8) (unfortunately it is pretty difficult to see them when you are in them). Here's an image in case you don't know what I mean, I think there are at least 7 of them identified now:
Image

The run really begins when you head up the Mukamuka valley.
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby Sid Delicious » Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:00 am

Last year I walked to Turakirae Head so I have an idea of what the track is like that far. Earlier this year I walked/ran Catchpool roadend to 750m up Mt Matthews and back down along the river to Boar Inn Hut so I know what that section of the course is like. Looking at the map the Mukamuka Vallet does indeed look like a killer!

I did my last training run today. City to Sea walkway to Owhiro Bay, then to Pari Whero, up to Hawkins Hill, down the Tip Track, up Wharangi and back along City to Sea Walkway. About 20km, 500m+ altitude in about 2.5 hours. Knackering, but I'm feeling ok.
77 race entries this year make it the biggest race yet. Long range weather forecast is for rain on race day. Lucky me!
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:26 pm

as long as its not a ripping southerly you'll be fine :mrgreen: Good luck, and have a great time!
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby Sid Delicious » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:54 am

Well I came 34th out of 85. I was aiming to try to beat 4 hours but did it in 4 hours 38 seconds.
Before the race started I was thinking how I might make it an annual event. For the last 1.5km of the Mukamuka valley I was thinking "Fuck this, why would I want to do this again?" I got mild cramp in the back of my left thigh, not too bad. I was keeping pace with a couple of other guys at this point, and inadvertently walked into a small patch of ongaonga (stinging nettle)! Luckily I was wearing polypropylene leggings and due to the bush being only knee high (it can grow to 4 metres high!) I only got a mild sting, kinda like tingling in my shin rather than searing pain.
Getting to South Saddle was a relief. My legs were getting heavy with lactic acid from the climb but that came right quite quickly. Amazing views from up there, not to mention very strong wind. I was surprised how quickly I made the descent to the Orongorongo river, it seemed like only a few minutes. It's pretty steep; if you have seen the LOTR films then think of that stairway going up the mountain in Return of the King, it felt a bit like that but with lots of treee roots to trip you up. In places it was a real scramble to get down, not helped at all by tangles of supplejack vines. I'd been holding a fairly consistent placing until this point, but then about 10 or so people passed me in the area between the top of the Mukamuka valley and the beginning of the Orongorongo track. I got some cramp again in my thighs by this stage so stopped to do some stretches. The first few brought some relief but the last one I did made it several times worse! After a minute I trudged on, overtaking one guy who then overtook me, and for the rest of the race I saw no other competitors until I got to the finish line.
I spent the rest of the weekend walking around with stiff legs like an old man, despite doing stretches. I think I'll go again next year though.
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby skoptic » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:06 pm

Good work!! Ha .. I like the full circle from 'might make it an annual event' to 'fuck this' to 'I think I'll go again next year' ... ahh the short memory of a long distance runner! ;)

That picture looks awesome and the race sounds great, I'm very jealous of the beautiful country you guys live in! Glad you had a good one :)
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby andyO » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:41 am

Good work Sid, glad you enjoyed it.
find the edge of the hurt envelope - and push...
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby Mr. Cleetus » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:10 am

Well done Sid! Those endless up and downs going into 5-mile track can be a pain, eh! Glad you "enjoyed it" and are going back.

We'll have to take you on some hill runs some time once I am back in NZ and organised again. We get some pretty good group runs going some times.
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby Sid Delicious » Thu Oct 04, 2012 6:55 am

Group runs sound good. I'd like to pace myself more with other people. It took over a week for my legs to feel normal again; mainly my knees feeling a bit wonky and some stiffness in my legs. UK punk legends Subhumans played in town the Friday after the race. I went along wondering how my legs would hold up to the rigours of punk rock, but it seems that being up the front and stage diving did them the world of good as they felt soooo much better the next day.
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Re: Mukamuka Munter

Postby Sid Delicious » Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:00 am

I'm intending to run this race again this year. I started training for it months ago but last month strained a knee so had a few weeks of almost no running. This year the race is being held a month earlier (August 17) so I only have a few weeks left to get in some long runs.
To throw a spanner in the works, we've had 3 big-ish earthquakes in the last 3 days, with the one late yesterday afternoon being 35km away and 6.5 on the Richter scale. Enough to cause a fair bit of panic on the streets and cause minor damage. There were dozens of aftershocks/smaller quakes but it seems to have died down a bit so hopefully that won't interfere with training. Being woken in the night with the house shaking tends to mess with sleep patterns. Having said that I better get off here and go for run....
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