02 April 2011

Backwards is the new Forwards

When my brother Paul was deciding which way to run the first Karapoti Classic, we went out and rode the course in both directions. After much discussion about the Pros and Cons, the anti-clockwise direction was set and that was that, until a decade later when we ran the Perverse Reverse. Much to our surprise, the clockwise direction was just as quick and arguably a bit more fun.

Now I'm wondering what we could do with the Kiwi Brevet course to make it more enjoyable.

Last year the only bit I didn't enjoy was Molesworth Station. Perhaps tackling that with fresh legs would be a different story.
The only bit that scared me was the sight of the whole field crossing SH1 at the start - the road safety coordinator in me cringed as we crossed like a gaggle of geese.
A few people lamented crossing the magestic Arthurs Pass or Maungatapu or Rahu Saddle in the dark - a course reversal would give a totally different perspective on the scenery.

Two of the main reasons for running the course in an anti-clockwise direction were the Maungatapu and the Waiuta tracks - both traditionally steeper and rougher on the west side. But both of these have now seen better maintenance on the west side. The Porika track remains a concern, but who knows, it may be graded before February (and if it isn't, a walk may be a relief by that stage, and the descent of the east side should be fantastic).

Finally, by going in reverse, the navigational challenge will be maintained for last years riders.

You guessed it - the 2012 Kiwi Brevet will be run in a clockwise direction. We'll run it in an anti-clockwise direction again in 2014.

Getting through the Molesworth on day one is a big ask - especially if we started from Blenheim at noon. So, we'll start early next year. Probably at 9 or 10am. Hopefully we'll see some good, cooperative, bunch riding through to the upper Awatere Valley and that will see the bulk of the field get through Molesworth Station before the 7pm road closure. Breakfast in Hanmer should set people up for a run at the Wharfedale Track late on the second day. From then on, who knows?

As the saying goes: "The real adventure starts when there is no turning back."