Sad news from the Tararua Mountain race FB page.
Colin was the leading mountain runner in the region for a long time, beginning with the early days of the southern crossing race. won a lot of the popular races, Kepler, Abel tasman, kaweka challenge . He used to train by doing the southern main range in about 9 hours or so, Otaki forks-YTYY-andersons-kime-otaki forks. certainly a legend and great guy
There was very sad news yesterday when we heard of the death of Colin Rolfe, a champion of the Tararua Mountain Race. Colin died suddenly at home yesterday, of natural causes. Colin was very active in the mountain community; running, tramping, climbing and biking. I would like to pay tribute to the mark that Colin has left imprinted on the TMR.
Colin first raced the event in a team back in 1992, winning the event the following year. Then in 1995, when individual entries were allowed, Colin finished second (by 5 seconds). Colin then went on to own the race as the undisputed champion for the next five years, each year shaving minutes off the race record with meticulous planning and preparation. His best time of 4:32:20 was set in 2000 and was the course record through until 2006, and remains as the fastest time in the Otaki to Kaitoke direction. Colin also holds the veteran record of 4:45:20, that he set in 2001.
In total Colin completed the event 14 times, the last time in 2010.
As well as being a highly competitive and elite runner, Colin could never be described as quiet. His racing partners would be subject to continuous commentary throughout the event, and fellow competitors bombarded with encouraging comments as he shot past them.
Colin embodied the community spirit of the TMR, always full of praise for the support he received from the marshals, the SAR team and other competitors.
Colin we will miss you. Your banter will no longer be heard above the norwesterly as we battle around the Dress Circle. We will miss your positive energy, drive and encouragement.
Rest in Peace.
Mike Sheridan– on behalf of all TMR competitors and helpers
He sounds like a delightful character and a big loss to all who knew him. Not sure what the natural causes were but extreme training can sometimes lead to hypertrophy of cardiac muscle and scarring.
My karate instructor from when I was a teenager turned up for repeated blood tests due to heart failure and I wondered if his dedication to a supreme level of training and performance was the cause of this. He certainly didn't know why he had heart failure. Surprisingly he was still running and training although he was around 70 years old and had heart failure.