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Race Report: Steffan Mckinley – My 100k – Taupo Ultra

My experience of the 2017 Taupo Ultra Marathon was beyond all of my expectations. The trails were pristine, with breathtaking scenery throughout the 100 kms.

My race started at 6am in total darkness with a whole bunch of crazy runners loaded with gear, adrenaline and headlamps, all raring to go and excited to see what the day held for them. Wow we were not disappointed as we were faced with stunning scenery and amazing trails.

Very runnable course with plenty of stops and well supplied aid stations to support your needs throughout the day. The best aid station for me was the 50k mark because of the awesome crowd of family, friends, strangers and event staff. The atmosphere was electrifying and welcoming.

At the 75 kms mark I was joined by my pacer who was a lifesaver to have at that crucial time. Then headed up 3 kms of switchbacks, topped out and then made my journey towards the finish line. Coming into the finish area was a surreal experience that I will never forget. Coming out of the trees and seeing the finish line less than 1k away was an epic feeling, hearing the music coming closer, smelling the BBQ and seeing the crowds made me feel really emotional.

Finishing 100 kms was the most euphoric feeling. I would highly recommend doing this event to anybody who seeks the challenge of 100 kms. Well organised, stunning trails, awesome atmosphere and kick-ass medal. Will I do it again? HELL YEAH.

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