Unwheel peace and quiet on trail run


Oamaru woman Wendy Fallon is just like everyone else who has conquered the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle trial _ well, apart from one minor detail.
She forgot the bike.
Mrs Fallon left Tekapo on March 19 and arrived in Oamaru last Thursday morning, having covered 289km in 35 hours of running at an average of about 8kmh.
Her run took her along the trail through Twizel, Otematata, Kurow, Windsor and finally Oamaru.
Asked what drove her to run the trail, she said it was a case of just doing it.
“When they first set it up, I was pretty amazed by it all and thought it would be lovely to run, just because you can.
“Why do you have to bike it? Not everyone likes to bike. I thought it was something I would like to run and it seemed right to do it now. I’d had a few long runs and the fitness level was pretty good.”Highlights on her run included the trail’s “amazing vistas” and ideal weather, with the exception of a couple of days of extreme heat.
“For me, it was seeing things you haven’t seen before. It was really nice to have the peace and quiet. The solitude was nice _ I really enjoyed it.”She said she was grateful for the support of Alistair and Jill Wilson, who ran with her for a short time, and Kay Schrader, who joined her for part of the Windsor to Oamaru leg. Her husband, Mark, also acted as a support driver for three days.
While Mrs Fallon found some surfaces challenging, especially the Quailburn track with its “big stones”, she said it was all part of the experience.
“You just take it in your stride and run accordingly, really.
“The hardest part for running was between Aviemore Dam and Kurow; all of that is on-road. There’s tight corners and it’s not too pleasant, actually.”Mrs Fallon, recently named North Otago masters athlete of the year, expected to feel the burn at some point in her run, but was “surprised” at how well she held up, which she attributed to the right preparation.
“I thought I would suffer. That’s down to training and eating and drinking right. Everything has come together the way I wanted to.”Coincidentally, a second woman ran the trail last week. Canterbury endurance runner Cherie Richardson, a mother of two, tackled the run to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation.

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