I ended my first week of my recent New Zealand trip with the Tarawera Ultra Marathon. I am fortunate enough to be travelling and racing with an amazing runner, Daryl Patton. I was definitely under prepared for this race but am so glad I was able to have the opportunity to make the trip down there. The course took us from Rotorua to Kawerau in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand with a run through five lakes, waterfalls and expansive pine forests. In all there were around 1400 participants and over 700 international athletes competing in the event. It included 2720m of elevation gain and 3020m of elevation loss. It was difficult race with a significant amount of elevation change especially in the first half. It also seemed to have unusually high temperatures for the area contributing to difficulty of the race. I unfortunately started off with my usual too-fast pace and suffered quite a bit through the last 35 miles. My pace was slowing greatly throughout the duration of the race and I had a lot of negative thoughts in my head. I was suffering mentally and physically but was able to make it through with a less than stellar performance, but a finish none the less. I was able to finish just before nightfall in 14hrs 26min. On a brighter note the country is absolutely beautiful and the people are amazing. We visited gorgeous oceans, boiling hot springs, museums and ate delicious food. I would definitely recommend this race to others if for nothing else than visiting an amazing country that has so much to offer.