What the team learned:
Leaking water bladders are very wet. Check the cap is sealed tightly and the mouth piece is closed when you put your bag down!
Bring along 2 poles per team member despite what anyone says they prefer for training walks – they are a lifesaver as the kms bank up.
Dressing up for the last leg is TOTALLY worth it!
You probably don’t really need to eat a full meal at every checkpoint.
You won’t have any idea how you’ll feel at 60 or 70km unless you’ve walked that in one of your training walks.
Make sure you have a variety of snacks on you – sweet can seem sickly as time goes on.
Audio books are a great idea for filling in zombie darkness hours (or for getting slower team members to keep up if it’s their favourite ever book – just make sure someone else is carrying the speakers and they’re in front).
Tweeting in the dark while walking and very tired is rather risky, if not damn near impossible.
If you’re going to run a GPS tracking app on your phone for the whole 100km, make sure you have LOTS of spare cables and portable battery chargers and be careful with them, because 12V charges slowly and since technology is fickle it has a way of conking out when you most need it!
Try not to be 4 hours off the pace if you want to be part of the “buzz” of the event. We missed hot chips (at the Aid Station), some photographers along the way, and finish line celebrations for the bulk of the participants. Even the podiatrists were packed up by the time we came into the first aid station. Although some benefits were no queues for loos after about checkpoint 3 and plenty of chairs to rest at the aid station. We were very pleased the massage was still operating and had little queues by the time we came into the finish line – these wonderful ladies were staying until after the last team crossed!
Merino is way better than cotton, hot days and cold.
Blisters are inevitable, but if they’re adequately covered you can tough out the pain.
- There are lots of very reasonable explanations as to how someone could accidentally ingest faeces.
What the support crew learned:
- Camper vans aren’t slow just to annoy cars.
- 3 hours is enough sleep.
- Tired walkers are an excellent judge of culinary prowess.
- OTW Walkers are never unreasonable. :-0
- Read the menu then read it again.
- Taupo looks great in Autumn.
- Our Girls are tougher than they look… (kidding, we knew that!)
- Anti Chafing cream prevents involuntary John Wayne impersonations
- Hills are good for you.
- Gliders are a potential Trail Hazard in Taupo!
- Take small containers to store cut fruit and veges for the fridge.
- Swap with your own LPG bottle if hiring a camper – refilling a bottle for $4.00 of gas is silly.
- Bring a tent peg mallet if you are planning to pitch an awning, tent fly or washing line. Taupo ground is hard.
- Bring a can of fly spray, especially if you are having fish. Pony Clubs are a great source of flies.
- Creating a team banner while not essential would have been cool.