Taupo is not an adventure. It’s an iron distance race, pure and simple. Most people who enter finish, the cut offs are not so hard that the likely hood off being pulled of the course is low. This is obviously in comparison to Coast to Coast longest day, where it is a great threat to many, and the race has no qualms about implementing it.
Wanaka, is much more a free spirit of a race. Even in the harshest weather conditions, Taupo doesn’t compare to the extremes that Wanaka throws at you. Maybe in simpler terms this isn’t a “hard” race. Yeh, I know, on sportzhub I gave a guy a hard time for saying it wasn’t hard. I will just add a qualification, and say it isn’t a “relative” “hard” race.
This race is about the distance, pure and simple. How long and hard can you go against the distance and can you get there in the time you want. That is what I wanted out of this race, and that is what I go.
As much as I hate laps and out and backs, I think they make it easier mentally, especially on the run course. Basically… run around top, back along the bay, up over a hill, down hill, up a hill, down a hill, turn into rainbow drive, run for a bit, turn into a little out and back, run a bit more, long descent, flat bit, turn, long flat out and back from aid station… that’s the course, it almost has rhythm to it. And because the next bit isn’t that far ahead you never seem to be worried about the extremity off the distance to cover.
At prize giving in Wanaka this year, one guy compared Wanaka to the early days of Ironman NZ. and I can see that. The organisers and structure seem very much the same, but because of size, time and prehaps the WTC Taupo is just a little bigger and more stand offish.
So now that I have done it, I am glad I have done it. I achieved exactly what I wanted to, the last lap of the run didn’t go as planned, but I always was going for 12hrs. I have got what I wanted out of this race.
Will I do it again? Maybe, but not for a few years. Maybe if I want to see how fast I can go again or something…. you never know maybe in 10years I might be fast enough to contemplate Kona 😉
But I have always known that me and Wanaka have a much better kinship than me and Taupo will ever have. So I am pre-disposed to prefer Wanaka. But I don’t think they need to competitors they can complement each other, offering something slightly different for people.
I have never had a great love for the Ironman Brand, but after the support they gave to us Christchurch athletes, I have softened towards them slightly.