Kohler continues to set the pace in the Alps 2 Ocean Ultra
Australian James Kohler continues to set the pace in the Back Country Cuisine Alps 2 Ocean Ultra, New Zealand's first staged ultra-race.
Runners had a rest day yesterday at Loch Laird, near Otematata, after completing the longest stage of the event, a 90 kilometre race defining effort from Lake Middleton to Loch Laird that included a tough climb.
Running in the supported event Kohler took 10 hours and 54 minutes, coming home 33 minutes ahead of the leading unsupported runner, Brendon Thompson from Wellington.
Kohler has a one hour forty minute lead over the second placed supported runner 59 year old Australian Peter Kingston while Thompson holds a 50 minute lead over kiwi Grant 'Curly' Jacobs in the supported category.
After four stages Kohler has a running total of twenty two hours and fifteen minutes while Thompson has taken twenty two hours and fifty six minutes to cover over almost 200 kilometres.
Completing as a supported runner Queenstown's Kerryn Bell remains the fastest woman, lying seventh overall, with a running total of 24 hours and 19 minutes but has the second placed support female Sam Yarnold only 16 minutes behind.
Vastly experienced ultra-runner French physiotherapist Florence Morisseau is leading the women’s unsupported event after taking fourteen hours and thirty six minutes to complete stage four taking her running total to twenty seven hours and thirty six minutes, just under two hours ahead of Jane Ovington from the UK.
The Back Country Cuisine Alps 2 Ocean Ultra started on Sunday with 125 runners from 15 countries and after seven stages over seven days and 316 kilometres it will finish in Oamaru on Saturday.
Stage five today takes runners from Loch Laird to the Waitaki River and tomorrow from Kurow to Peaks Rd. Saturday is from Peaks Rd to Oamaru with runners expected to finish from 11.30am to 2.30pm.