It's a mournful morning in New Zealand as Kiwis wake up to find out last night's semifinal game was not just a bad dream.

As we come to grips with the fact that the All Blacks will not be at the Rugby World Cup final next week, it's time to find comfort in some of the other (many) ways New Zealand remains great.

Alice Robinson's world title

Kiwi skier Alice Robinson made history today with her stunning vitory at the World Cup skiing season-opener on the Rettenbach glacier in Austria.

It was the first women's World Cup giant slalom victory for a skier from New Zealand, and the first in any discipline since Claudia Riegler triumphed in a slalom in Switzerland in 1997.


"I think I proved that wasn't a one-off so I am happy with that," said Robinson, who had been hoping to land her first victory soon. "I thought like, 'Oh, it could happen,' but it was not on my head. To win is pretty crazy."

Kiwis shine at Big's Backyard Ultra

Earlier this week, an insane race took place in Tennesse, USA. The Big's Backyard Ultra is the original "race with no end" - a last person standing type of footrace that only finishes when there was only one person left.

This year was a special one for the race, which continues to explode in popularity since it was first started by Lazarus Lake (of Barkley Marathons fame).

The outright winner was Colorado runner Maggie Gutterl, meaning a woman outran all men for the first time at the last man standing event (which should now perhaps be referred to as last "person" standing).

However, New Zealand was well represented, with two Kiwis competing. Nelson-based doctor Katie Wright and New Zealand-born and Hong Kong-based professor Will Hayward ran the race of their lives at Big's and flew the New Zealand flag high, day and night, day and night.

The two recreational runners took endurance and grit to a whole new level, with Hayward finishing second, beaten only by overall winner Gutterl, after an incredible 400km of running (the same 6.7km loop, over and over again, every hour, for 59 hours).

Wright also put on a stunning display of human endurance, as she reached the top four of runners, to finish after an amazing 50 laps (that's over two days of solid running, for anyone tracking), and close to 335km.

Kiwis might not be able to fly but they sure can run.


It's a sunny long weekend

That's gotta put everyone in a better mood, surely? Also, summer is nearly here.

A chance for revenge

Revenge is a dish best served cold and out on the cricket pitch. The Black Caps take on the England cricket team, starting Friday, with the first T20 in Christchurch. Bring it on!

All Blacks players thank their fans after losing to England. Photo / Photosport
All Blacks players thank their fans after losing to England. Photo / Photosport

All Black good times

Yes, All Blacks fans are hurting - but we finish with a tribute to Kieran Read and Steve Hansen who have given us many glorious highs and who leave the All Black arena with our thanks and best wishes for many stunning performances.