The wide downhill track to a stream was nice to stretch the legs after the relentless climb, then it was a few kilometers up the Mangatangi Ridge towards Kohukohunui Trig (688m). I was relishing the bush and technical trails and felt completely at home, despite never having run in the Hunuas before. The field was very spread out which meant I was free to run at my own pace. I reached the trig in 1:25 hours and was almost tempted to climb the lookout tower but instead carried on down the nice long section of undulating muddy downhill. This was so much fun and I wanted this track to just keep on going! Many of the knobs on Kohukohunui Track were grassy, providing excellent views towards the Firth of Thames and the Coromandel Peninsula, as well as occasionally back towards the Hauraki Gulf.
I flew through the aid station at 15km and began the long, long descent back towards the event base. I'm sure the descent was longer than the ascent at the beginning! I was still feeling great and in some ways I wished we could do another loop. After a glorious run I finished strongly in 2:46 hours. This course definitely suited my strengths and is the best race of the Xterra series!
Photos by Photos4sale