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Northburn 100 race reflections: Konoka Azumi

Congratulations once again to Konoka Azumi. Hot on the heels of her Tarawera success, she won the Northburn 100K, in a time of 14:26:07.2.

It's a race she has a bit of history with...we asked her to tell us more...

My history at Northburn

This was my third win at Northburn. I did the Northburn 100 miles in 2021 and the 50km race the following year (I was supposed to run 100 miles, but all longer categories were shortened to this distance due to the pandemic that year). The Northburn100 three years ago was my first challenge for 100 miles, and it offered me an extremely tough and amazing experience. I decided to run 100 km at Northburn this time, considering how much I would recover from the Tarawera 100 mile I did one month ago.

How Northburn fits into my racing/training plans

I'm planning to run CCC this year and doing Northburn 100 km gave me a better visualisation of that race, as it has almost the same elevation gain as Northburn. There is still some more time until I run the big race. Therefore, I will develop a better training strategy according to what I have noticed in my running performance during this race, from nutrition to technical skills on the trail.

Preparing for Northburn

Since the Tarawera 100 mile last month, I have basically been focused on recovering from that race. Still, I could have a few intense sessions on the hills and good tapering. To be honest, my health condition wasn't 100% on that race day, but my preparation for the Northburn100 went well overall.

On the day...

In the first 50 km loop, having had the experience twice before was an advantage for me. Once I got to the top of that loop and passed it, I was able to relax and run downhill. On the other hand, I had to get through some hard times on the rough and steep terrain during the second 50 km loop.

I love the warm and supportive atmosphere of the race. In the end, I purely enjoyed the tough race, being soaked in nature, and running together with many awesome runners.

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