Tim Sutton – Adventurer, Mountain Runner and Occasional Racer, Wellington, New Zealand
History of running
The outdoors are my happy place. I still remember the joy as a kid of racing barefoot down the mown running track on our schools playing field. My nickname was shrimp and the big guys always beat me. Fast forward 30 years to where I discovered that I could beat those bigger guys when the course got long and headed into the hills. Over the last few years I’ve honed my running skills and had some rewarding races. The more technical the better.
Catalyst to interest in Trail / Ultra
I’m passionate about our wild places, an interest bred through my parents love of the great outdoors. A relative late starter I discovered trail running through multisport which mixes trail running, kayaking and cycling . With a young family multisport training was taking up too much time and so I decided to focus on one discipline. With it’s simplicity and ability to deliver you into the back of beyond, running was a no brainer. As I’ve gotten older the distances have increased and I’ve found that I enjoy the relatively relaxed pace of ultra/mountain racing to the short sharp stuff. More hills = more fun right?
Max distance to date
The A100 3 day stage ultra spread between Wellingtons Orongorongos and the Aorangi mountain range in southern Wairarapa, my favourite race to date. Longest run to date – My solo/unsupported Tararua Main Range S-K Traverse FKT, 22hrs34mins of mountain magic.
Job / Family
I’m a Furniture Upholsterer, a job which is great because the moment the tools are down you can leave it at the door and get out into the hills. My wife Emma and daughter Ruby (2) are my partners in crime and hold the fort while “Daddy Run” is out adventuring, I’m sure it won’t be long before Ruby starts joining me! Mum and Dad are my biggest support crew with Dad often driving me into the middle of nowhere at ridiculous times in the morning for my bigger missions and meeting me in the dark at the dusty road ends when I come out the other side.
Type of training
Family time is really important to me so if I’m heading out the door for a run I’m going to make it count. It really teaches you to be efficient in your training, so no junks km’s. A lot of it is done in the dark. With a few more grey hairs creeping in these days recovery is just as big on my schedule to maximise the gains from my hard sessions. I try to have one real adventure a month planned to remind me what it’s all about, that’s my soul food.
Goals for future of running
I like that there are endless options, my main goal is to keep on enjoying it and keep on pushing my limits. I’m also really keen to encourage others to push their own boundaries, it’s so rewarding and I am a firm believer that we are always capable of more than we give ourselves credit for. You break a barrier and you realise that the next one is there to be broken too… Currently on my radar is a non stop traverse of all 16 1500m peaks in the Tararua mountain range. I’ve made two attempts, hopefully I can make it 3rd time lucky.
I try to have one or two major events planned each year. I’ll be back to defend my title at the WUU2K ultra in 2017 then maybe the Tarawera 50km as a build up to my first “miler” at the Northburn 100 in 2018.