New Zealand has some of the most spectacular scenery hence why Peter Jackson, director of The Lord of the Rings, chose to film the movies here. I have done many of the hikes in Arrowtown and plan on hiking to the top of Ben Lomond. The views are incredible from the top. So when I heard about a race in the mountains I had to look into it.
Rob and I had planned on running the race together, but he went back home for a new job so I ran solo. The Queenstown Rafting 10KM took place Saturday February 21st at Moke Lake near the Ben Lomond scenic reserve. The race was the toughest I have ever done and the furthest I have ever run. The 1st half was up hill with a moderate grade. I did not expect the race to start like that or be for that long so my training should have been better, but I got through the 1st half. I was rewarded with a nice downhill portion before crossing the river. The race took us back and forth over the river so I had to run through water a couple feet deep. By the end I was exhausted, but satisfied. Today I found out I ran it in 50:27, good enough for 6th in my group and 19th out of 95. If I am ever back I will do this again or maybe the half marathon.
For any viewers that are runners and willing to travel for a challenging race I would suggest the marathon. Running through Ben Lomond reserve to Moke Lake up and over ridge lines, valleys, through untouched land makes for one of the most scenic races to be found anywhere. By challenging I mean that the race will have a winner in the high 4 hrs or 5hrs. Check out this video to get you pumped! One day I would love to take part in this race.