A Polish track Olympian outclassed a field of Kiwi endurance runners to win The Goat adventure run on Mt Ruapehu today.
The couse had to be moved following warnings by GNS Science that Mt Ruapehu could erupt at any time. Instead of following the 21km Round the Mountain Track from Whakapapa to Turoa ski fields, the new course was a grunty 1126m vertical climb up the Ohakune Mountain road, encompassing 8km of forest track and 10km of road.
The Goat race director, Jason Cameron said response to the contingency course had been positive. "Seeing people punching the finish line tape, looking exhilarated like they had achieved something, told me they had been uniquely challenged by what has possibly been a one off run."
Middle distance runner Marcin Lewandowksi, rated in the top ten 800m runners in the world, has been training on Tongariro National Park tracks as part of a month-long New Zealand visit. He approached The Goat race director, Jason Cameron, about taking part in this year's event, which just last week was moved to a shorter but steeper (and safer) course.