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Neal Gorman November 18, 2011 TWEET COMMENTS 0

The Queenstown Dream

Beta on the trail-runner's paradise of New Zealand's South Island

The feeling was instantaneous, an epiphanic jolt so profound that it nearly stopped me dead in my tracks ...

Photo by Nathan Secker

The feeling was instantaneous, an epiphanic jolt so profound that it nearly stopped me dead in my tracks on a technical doubletrack trail towering over New Zealand's South Island adventure capital, Queenstown. In that prolonged moment, I appreciated how incredibly fortunate I was to be engaged in my favorite pastime—trail running—in such a fantastic place.

The 360-degree panoramic views atop Queenstown Hill's tree-barren environs are more like a jocular siren to a descending trail runner. The rocky, rutted trail drops at a precipitous rate and is no place for a wandering eye. Still, I cannot help it.

At the foot of Queenstown, Lake Wakatipu reflects a soft blue color, mirroring the clear sky enveloping me. Layered in between, the valley's dark-green flora creeps upward until swallowed by each mountain's rocky, brown-gray edifice. I resolve to spend any remaining free time in Queenstown trail running, and manage to float the final miles of the 1500-foot descent, exuberant in my epiphany.



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