In 2012, the run course changed from the original "gun club" course to the new almost completely off-road "Green Lake" course.
Whilst there are plenty of superlatives that accurately describe this course, we will go with HONEST. The course never lets up.
The run goes in an clockwise direction around Tikitapu and at the top of the lake is the lookout. While other races would most probably bypass this tiny detour, we didn't. You see, the lookout symbolises everything about this fantastic event. It's been added to the run course because this isn't marbles or lawn bowls, this is real triathlon. It's hard and it hurts. And you don't run over it once, you must run over it twice. The Grim Reaper guarded the entry to it in 2014.
Midway around the back of the lake you will reach an aid station. Here, the course drops away to the Green Lake and I mean, drops away. After that is a long picturesque slog out to the far reaches of the Green Lake.
Just before the turn, is a stunningly beautiful dogleg where you will run on a carpet of redwood leaves. It goes for about for about 400m. There really isn't a more beautiful spot to be running in anywhere in New Zealand than right here. Say hello to the purple bunny rabbit (true) that guards the turn and make your way out to the next aid station.
By now, the temperature will be getting up there for the back-of-the-packers as you make your way back along the Green Lake road - it could even be stonking hot. Has been all three years we've gone this way.
Then comes the climb out of the Green Lake.
There is no way to describe it nicely because it isn't a nice climb. It's a nasty brute of a track where you can't see much past the next turn in the road. Right about here the chances are pretty good you will be reflecting on just what was missing in your training buildup.
Here's why we put SUFFER on your hoodie and cap. It's not there for sh!ts and giggles you know.
All that follows is to complete the run back to the start finish and then just one more single lap of the Blue Lake and the finisher shirt and beersies.