Defiance Skyline first for runner Forne
Queenstown endurance athlete Chris Forne, 39, has been running with maps in hand for 33 years and still hasn’t covered every inch of the countryside.
But since moving from Christchurch to the Queenstown Lakes district with his teacher wife Emily earlier this year, he’s made huge strides in gaining local knowledge.
On January 22 he lines up for his first hit at Wanaka’s 28km Skyline route, which is part of the Red Bull Defiance two-day course and has been opened up as a single stage race for the first time.
Forne is tuned to go long so is not rating his chances.
‘‘Unfortunately for me, [the Skyline] will be a bit of a short run. I need to do something that will take me a bit over four hours to get going now.
‘‘I think it is a combination of getting older and training to go long.’’
Forne is a software developer and a member of the Seagate adventure racing team, which won Raid in France earlier in September.
Given Forne has competed in Godzone and other races around the district, it is a surprise to learn he is still getting acquainted with Central Otago’s mountains.
‘‘I have been exploring behind Arrowtown, Ben Lomond and in the Queenstown hills. I’ve obviously done a little around Wanaka and quite a bit on the Pisa, with rogaines and skiing, but not the [Wanaka] Skyline traverse.
‘‘It is always fun to have a new running race to do. And this year I seem to have got myself enthusiastic with mountain skylines, with the Moonlight Marathon and the Mount Difficulty race. So that was the motivation for doing the Skyline run.’’
The 80-team field for twodayrace on January 21-22 is fully subscribed, with reigning champions Alex Hunt, of Tasmania, and Dan Jones, of Whakatane, returning to defend their title.
Two single stage races have been introduced, the 43km Minaret Burn mountain bike stage and the 28km Skyline mountain run.
The Mirror has two single stage entries to give away, one for the Minaret Burn bike ride, and one for the Skyline run.
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Queenstown adventure racer Chris Forne navigates for Seagate during the Raid in France race.