By good fortune there happened to be a running event taking place while I was in Blenheim. This morning I participated in the annual hill race put on by the local running club. The event, the King and Queen of the Withers, is a 10km trail run with over 300 metres of vertical ascent. I have run a 10km with 190 metres of vertical ascent before (the Heathfield Midsummer) and called that a tough hill race. So, today's run was no joke, it was seriously tough. I finished in just under 56 minutes to take 30th position (out of a total field of 98 people, 5% of which were Rayner's). The race was made even more difficult by the toasty 28 degrees temperature today. The awesome views from the top of the hill made me briefly forget about the audible screaming coming from my calves.
As a side note, it occurs to me that I have lived in Whitianga (higher risk tsunami zone), Raetihi (underneath two active volcanoes, one of which last erupted in 2006) and now Blenheim, which is one of New Zealand's most active earthquake zones. The town lies by four tectonic fault lines. There are an average of 12 earthquakes per year (magnitude 1.5 or higher). I very much doubt there will be an earthquake that I feel while I am here, but if I do I am probably the safest person in the town as I don't live or work in or around buildings or trees or anything that could fall or drop heavy objects.