In what is a first in the history of the race, Six Foot track has been cancelled this weekend due to the huge amounts of rain that have been experienced in the area over the last few weeks, causing a number of issues for organisers and the RFS alike.
Last Saturday, Ultra168 headed down to the track to see the conditions first-hand and were greeted by ranging torrents.
With slightly better weather forecast for this week, there was huge hope that the river would submerge and be safe to cross this weekend, but alas, although it has dropped, the very sensible and wise decision has been taken to cancel for this year.
It seems that Cox’s River depths and flow were not the only issues as a landslip further up the track has caused real concerns for the RFS who support the race each year.
The statement issued by RD Colin Jeftha reads:
“It is with great regret that I officially announce the cancellation of the 2012 6FT Track Marathon.
This morning Jack Tollhurst, the RFS coordinator for the first 26yrs of 6FT who has lived on the river for 40 yrs, accompanied Frank Vincenz to the track. The peg that Frank put in yesterday afternoon at the level of the river, which showed 5cm drop in 4hrs, is now 30cm below the river level.
Jack , with his experience, has advised the current coordinator that the RFS cannot and should not support the river crossing because the safety of all cannot be guaranteed, and the RFS has officially withdrawn their support for the event. I accepted that view based on my observations from last night.
Jack and Frank will still be traversing the rest of the course to Deviation, but with further deterioration since yesterday this is unlikely to change things. It particular the slippage just past Little River has made that impassable to the RFS trucks and generally they will not put their personnel at risk on a track that is not safe to drive through. Without access to that part of the track, as per last night’s email, the race just cannot go ahead with our commitments to safety.”
5 thoughts on “Six Foot Track Cancellation”
Whilst not surprising, it is disappointing on a personal note as this would have been my first ultra. In saying that, two things were evident over the period of planning and in particular the last two weeks. Colin and the other volunteers have done a great job in trying to keep everyone positive and it shone through that Colin genuinely wanted this race to happen. The second and equally important point is that clearly the right decision was made.
Race day brings excitement and sometimes (myself included) the desire does not match the ability due to the adrenelin rush. In conditions as I suspect are in situ out in the mountains, people invariably get hurt.
I look forward to doing this next year and congratulate Colin on the efforts made to keep it on track and to deal with what I suspect was a number of frustrating questions asked recently and repeatedly.
I am still heading to Katoomba tomorrow night to have a couple of relaxing schooners of the local ale and knocking out a few k’s in the mountains on the Saturday. As to where, somewhere safe and no doubt with plenty of company.
Good call Flanno, indeed Colin and his team have done everything they can and it’s a huge shame that it’s been called off. Of course, everyone knows this is the right decision. We really had hoped that the levels would drop over the course of this week and that we’d have a race on our hands, but alas, the weather Gods were not on our side. It must be highly frustrating as a RD to have put in all that work and have nothing to show for it when things don’t go your way.
As we’ve said, onwards and upwards… it is afterall, only running.
you dont want a repeat of ‘racing the planet’ kimberley style to happen again,drowning instead of burning
It was the safe decison for us, the competitors, the vollies, the SFS, the R.D & other behind the scene people.
I am happy to live another day to run and not worry my family if I was safe.
Cudos Colin for making the tough decision.
Hi 2012 entrants,
I am sorry your race got cancelled, I know how that feel. I must commend Colin and his team on their decisio.
I have discussed this with Colin. I’d like to offer every entrant in the 2012 6 Foot Track race a half price entry in to the 2012 Tarawera Ultra. Race day is Saturday 17 March.
However, at that price (and given difficulties to order extra stock) I cannot offer the free Injinji socks or the Icebreaker shirts – very sorry.
However – you’ll have the opportunity to run in a beautiful trail ultra. with a large, internationally competitive field
of runners (currently over 300 entered). There are just under 100 places left in Tarawera
The discount code for all of your 2012 entrants to use is: 6foot2012
Just go to http://www.taraweraultra.co.nz/ and follow your nose.
I’ll emphasise again – this is for affected 2012 6 Foot Track runners only. We will check users of this discount code against the current 6 Foot start list.