General runner's information
Running these events is quite an undertaking – hence their names. This area is intended to give you some pointers not only on the running but your whole weekend from start to finish. For those of you coming from a little further away there is information on the Te Anau area along with ways to get here. Don't forget to visit the FAQ for answers to more commonly asked questions.
Things you need to think about
Food to pack
For those of you running in under 5 or 6 hours food will be an integral part of your training. But as the day goes on you will not only be thinking of a morning snack but also lunch and the afternoon. High-energy and light-weight foods will be best but remember that bananas, oranges and jellybeans are available at the 10 drink stations and the finish line.
Things to wear
Tighter-fitting garments tend to rub less and layers are important for flexibility. The compulsory gear should give you an idea of what's needed. It's really important to train with the gear you'll be competing in. Get a bumbag or hydration pack and work out an ordered way of getting your compulsory gear into it. If you train with it and have it ready to hand you'll not only know exactly what's where if it's needed, you'll also minimise your wait at the Luxmore Hut gear-check point!
The track is walked by many thousands a year and is well maintained. Although much of the route is run on flatter surfaces the alpine section is prone to rock falls. Watch out for the more gravelly areas that are easy traps for sliding and slipping as well as those tricky roots!
The most common injury would be twisted joints. Muscle strains and cramps while not injuries in themselves can lead to more serious problems. Training and good stretching are therefore vital if longer term injuries are to be avoided.
Type of shoes
Many trainers are now aimed specifically at trail running. Look for a good sole that provides solid support but flexible and shock-absorbing. Spend some time talking to specialist sport shoe stockists.
Links of interest and info
The wikipedia on trail running covers the broader aspects of the sport and gives pointers to new runners.
The NZ Mountain Safety Council has just launched a free trail running, outdoor recreation guide.
Endurance Sport has news, views, and information on many disciplines including mountain running, biking and triathlons.
Other websites of interest
A site dedicated to people's own tips. This one's all about trailrunning by an American. Take what you will - there are some useful points made here.