Oparara Wilderness Trail Run 36km: 22nd April 2017
The west coast turned on a stunning day for the inaugural Oparara trail 20km & 35km trail runs. The 35km started on the lower part of McCallum’s Mill Road, approx 10min drive north of Karamea. The first section on 4WD track edged by lush west coast rain forest gradually wound up to 425m over 10km then it was all downhill to the 20km race start line at Oparara basin. This lead to approximately 17km of outstanding undulating single track trail through amazing bush including the Mirror tarn loop track, Oparara valley track, & Fenian saddle.
The senses were overwhelmed with the variety of ferns, moss, tannin coloured water pools, streams, lush greenness and cheeky NZ robins darting under your feet. I could have run on this section forever but sadly it did end & we popped out onto Oparara road for a rather cruel final 5km on the straightest road I have run on for a long time, back to Karamea school. The marshalls & local community were amazing supporting us with that typical west coast warm hospitality.
Total elevation for the run was approximately 875m, it was all runnable, had adequate water stations & included a compulsory walk over the Postal river suspension bridge which gave an opportunity for soaking in more scenery and taking onboard some fuel. I think this race will become a must do on every trail runners must do list! Check it out
A big thanks to Sarah, Colin, Rachel & Kate for letting me gate crash their trip!