Once we arrived home from our epic year away I felt I needed another challenge and that came in the form of the Marokopa Munter. You may ask what this means – let me explain. Marokopa is a small settlement situated on the west coast of the North Island. ‘Munter’ is kiwi slang for something being totally broken – ie “Munted”. The Marokopa Munter is a 24 hour adventure race and the idea is that when completing the course each participant should feel “munted” afterwards. To join me on this merry adventure I needed three friends (willing participants) to make up a four person team. Tony was number one on my list because of his navigation skills. He was still feeling a little tired after his Tour Divide effort and wasn’t so keen to begin with, but I put his name on the starting list hoping he would become more enthusiastic as time went on. Sometimes it was a little hard getting him out the door in some of our earlier training missions. Also willing to put their bodies on the line was our friends Nina and Emma.
Now the training adventures began, and this is what this blog is all about. During the three or so months we trained, most of the training was done in what we like to call our backyard – anywhere within 90 minute drive from home. Looking back we had some great adventures.
Here are some photos and captions from those three months:
Overnight to Bog Inn Hut Pureora Forest
Waipapaiti Hut – Tongariro National Park
Coromandel (with some diving and fishing thrown in).
Nighttime mission Pureora Forest (after finishing work at 11pm we decided to take our bikes for a 6 hour hike-a-bike in the woods).
Tony’s circumnavigation of Mt Ruapehu (just a 17 hour walk)!
Another Pureora Forest mission this time most of it was in the daylight.
Kaimanawa Forest Traverse.
And finally on the 23rd of November race day came around. Unfortunately, due to injury Nina was replaced by Rachel who did a stirling job of filling her shoes. We got our course maps the night before the start of the race and the route planning began. At the leisurely time of 11am we began our race. We finished really well 23 hours and 15 minutes later coming in third place in a decent field of adventure racers. All of us were “munted” in one way or another at the end but had a great 24 hours of adventure combining hiking and mountain bike riding (complete with approx 5000m of climbing thrown in).
The final morning had us walking in ‘pea soup’.
Transition – time to load up on more food and water.
That hike-a-bike training is paying off