As usual, we’ll be updating this article with additional results as well as links to Tarawera-related articles, photo galleries, and race reports.
Thanks to Ultimate Direction for supporting our coverage of the 2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon!
2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon Men’s Race
Last year’s second-place finisher Yun Yan-Qiao, of China, took the pace out hot from the start line, leading with ferocity for almost the race’s first half. It was an effort that he couldn’t sustain, however, as he dropped from the lead by 47k and out of the race after 60k. That was when the U.S.’s Dylan Bowman (pre-race interview) stepped into the leadership position, and quite frankly, on the gas. It was less than 10k later that Dylan had distanced himself from the rest of the men’s field by nine minutes. Over the next 20 or so kilometers, he would increase that lead by a minute or two at a time per checkpoint. And, in the final 10-ish kilometers, he put a few more minutes on the rest of the field, finishing with a 16-minute berth. All day, he looked smooth and collected, whether it was on the tech-y terrain of the cool morning early on, or on the runnable, hot fire roads later in the race. His finish re-set the course record by more than 45 minutes.
The U.S.’s Jorge Maravilla (post-race interview) ran a smart race start to finish. In the early part of the race, he and Dylan hung together and just a bit out of the leadership limelight, leapfrogging and sometimes running with each other. After spending the middle part of the race dancing around a couple positions in the top five, Jorge found his way to second place by 60k. From there, it was steady as he goes where he, like his training partner and friend, Dylan, separated himself from the rest of the men’s field, eventually crossing the line with an 11-minute margin over third place. Marin County, California, the homeland of Dylan and Jorge, was certainly well-represented in New Zealand today!
Japan’s Yoshikazu Hara started the race relatively conservatively early on, somewhere in the back half of the top 10. Each time we saw him, however, he wanted to know what position he was in. Over the course of the day, he moved up into the top five, stayed there for a few checkpoints, and then pushed his way into the third position in the race’s final third. His focus, determination, and positive attitude start to finish were clearly key aspects of his race.
New Zealand’s Vajin Armstrong also took things easy early on and then moved up into fourth place in the final kilometers of the race. The U.S.’s Michael Wardian had a great run, too. In the middle miles, it looked as if he was suffering a bit, working hard to hang onto seventh position. Eventually, however, in the flatter road miles of the final kilometers of the race, he used his leg speed to move into fifth position.
Pau Bartoló, Robbie Britton, Chris Truscott, Anthony Hancy, and Andrius Ramonas rounded out the men’s top 10.
2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon Men’s Results
- Dylan Bowman (The North Face) – 7:44:58 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
- Jorge Maravilla (Hoka One One) – 8:01:45 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
- Yoshikazu Hara (Hoka One One) – 8:12:14
- Vajin Armstrong (Macpac) – 8:26:50
- Michael Wardian (Hoka One One) – 8:32:38
- Pau Bartoló (Buff) – 8:42:46
- Robbie Britton (Inov-8) –8:45:10
- Chris Truscott (New Balance) – 8:58:17
- Anthony Hancy (Hoka One One) – 9:08:26
- Andrius Ramonas (Salomon) – 9:12:48
2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon Women’s Race
Whoa ho ho, what a women’s race! It was exciting all day, thanks to the antics of women’s champion Ruby Muir (pre-race interview), of New Zealand! In the early miles, Ruby just flew, setting a hot pace and running her way into the overall top 10 by 37k into the race. Even though she clearly covered the terrain with ease and efficiency, she’s been recently injured and we couldn’t help wonder if she could hold that effort. At 37k in, she was seven minutes ahead of the other women. At 60.5k, she was just five minutes ahead. At 70k, her lead was 2.5 minutes. At 78k, it was just under two minutes. At 83k, it was three minutes. And at around 90k, she was tied for the lead of the race. That lit a fire in her belly, however, and she sped off to the finish, putting 12 minutes on her nearest competition in those last 10 kilometers. Hungry for the win, we’d say! Her effort also improved the course record by some 85 minutes.
Ruby’s challenger was a fellow Kiwi (though one living in Taiwan), Ruth Croft (post-race interview). As late in the race as 37k, Ruth was running with and near other women in the top five. However, by 60k into the race, she had built a 10-minute gap over the rest of the women’s field that would only grow larger. From the outside looking in, it seemed that Ruth had waves of running really hard, and then not looking so well for a spell. In the end, Ruth didn’t have enough to challenge Ruby all the way to the finish, but she had plenty to make a dent on the international ultrarunning community with her second-place finish.
Spain’s Núria Picas (post-race interview) came into Tarawera with just a couple days of running training, and a couple months of winter cross training under her belt. All day she looked steady, strong, but just not as sharp as the women in front of her. Until after 37k, Núria ran among other women in the top five. By 60k in, however, the top-two women had spread in front of her and the rest of the field spread behind. It would be like this–she running solo–through the finish. At the finish, she humorously joked, “No train, a lot of pain.”
In a battle all the way to the line, New Zealanders Fiona Hayvice and Kova Kowalewski finished fourth and fifth, with Fiona just 12 seconds ahead. Shona Stephenson, Jackie Holley, Joelle Vaught, Lucie Barney, and Jean Beaumont rounded out the women’s top 10.
2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon Women’s Results
- Ruby Muir – 9:02:45 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
- Ruth Croft (The North Face) – 9:14:36 (post-race interview)
- Núria Picas (Buff) – 9:40:49 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
- Fiona Hayvice – 9:57:33
- Kovo MacDonald – 9:57:45
- Shona Stephenson (Inov-8) – 9:59:58
- Jackie Holley – 10:15:54
- Joelle Vaught (Montrail) – 10:24:57
- Lucie Barney – 10:34:13
- Jean Beaumont – 10:46:29
2015 Tarawera Ultramarathon Articles, Race Reports, and More
- Dylan Bowman – 1st man
- Robbie Britton – 7th man
- Paul Charteris – the race organizer’s midpack report
Articles and Photo Galleries
- iRunFar’s gallery of photos by Graeme Murray
- iRunFar’s gallery of photos by Lyndon Marceau
- Race Organizer Paul Charteris’s article on organizing the Tarawera Ultramarathon
We’re grateful to the assistance of Jim Robinson who helped bring you our live coverage. Thanks, Jim!