2017 Northburn 100, New Zealand

2017 Northburn 100, New Zealand

Terry Davis and his team have created a monster, and the brutality of the Northburn 100 has me hobbling like a geriatric this morning!!

Having never raced a miler outside of Australia, it was time to take myself outside my ‘comfort zone’. My only previous experience is the GNW100, (with 5,500m ascent) completing it four times.

This 161km race has 10,000m of vertical, treeless exposed terrain, with weather that can blow you off the mountains and a laughing sadist race director in Terry.

(Whom, it must be noted, picked me up personally from my B&B in Cromwell at 5:10am on the morning of the race. Terry I’m truly grateful.)

I’ve never felt so nervous in the weeks preceding. Fear, excitement and my first time visiting New Zealand; it seemed like a big step for me ‘racing’ across the ‘ditch’.

The race itself is three different loops (50km, 50km and 61km), each with increasing ascent and difficulty level. Names like the ‘Loop of Despair’ and ‘Loop of Deception’ constantly remind you that if there’s a downhill option, that’s not the way you’ll be going!!!

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The start. (Sean Beale @ Sweatband Photography)

0 – 50km: 2600m

All three races set off together (50km, 100km and 100mile). The 6am start was slightly delayed as tracking devices were checked. A countdown from 10 and we were off. (Online tracking by ‘YatchtBot‘ proved to be a really cool way family and mates could watch, in real time, the race unfold.)

Still dark, the almost two hundred head torches formed a procession of runners, beginning a day or/and a night or possibly 2 nights (48 hr cut off for milers) in the Central Otago mountains just outside Cromwell, on New Zealand’s south island.

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Head torch procession. (Sean Beale @Sweatband Photography)

For myself it was a matter of finding a rhythm, not worrying about anyone else and striking that balance between conserving the quads for later, but keeping the pace honest.

It wasn’t long before the crowds were thinned by the early hills. The usual chatty banter was minimal due to the dark start, but also the regular inclines had folks focusing on what was in front of them, and what was to come.

RD Terry Davis’ race briefing the day before had made it clear and in no uncertain terms, that you enter this race because it’s a total ‘bastard’.  And that’s exactly what you’d get.

Seemingly unnecessary descents back down one side of a mountain would be available, but only to provide horrific ascents right back to where you started via a loop of some sort. He loved it! He was only partially disappointed that the weather wouldn’t live up to the previous year’s 100km/hr winds, that literally blew race leader Charlie Sharpe (UK) over a fence and off a ridge?!! The tag line ‘Northburn – you don’t race it, you survive it’ was a feature he relished.

It was even joked by Dan Bleakman, on the ultrarunning website Ultra168, that athletes may be eligible for a refund for overly mild weather conditions!!!

Quite frankly I was over the moon.

Taking advantage of the cloud cover I wanted to make sure the first 50km loop was as painless as possible in the relatively cool conditions.

Little groups were forming towards the front and I soon realised that including two 100k’ers and a couple of 50kers, I was in the front 13 or 14.

I ran a fair chunk of this section with Jeremy Spencer who’d also ran in last years GNW miler in Oz, as well as bumping into Steve Pemberton doing the 100km.

The most memorable parts were the ‘moon-scaped’ uneven terrain and stunning crystal clear water that ran through soft mossy meandering streams, interspersed with vicious ‘Prickly Spaniards’.

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Soft and springy. (Sean Beale @ Sweatband Photography)

On the downside the unsure footing rolled my feet and hip stabilising muscles. My rubbing wet feet and heels were also becoming a slight issues. Blisters! I hadn’t really considered something as basic as that to derail things.

Completing the first 50km I arrived back at the Home Base marquee in around 6:30hrs, with 2600m of vert behind me. Ready to roll, but without crew, I was careful to dry my feet and change into fresh socks. I refuelled and was out in about 10-12 mins.

50 – 100km: 3750m

In a rearrangement of two years previous, circuit two now began with the ‘death march’. A 15 km straight up, vertical trudge.

Jeremy who’d caught me in the cp with a very slick crew, was alongside for the plod. We marched on….

A few rare switch backs allowed for a brief couple of trots, the shaking kit in my ridiculously loaded pack (6-7kg) gave me the impression he was sitting right on my shoulder. It took some time to realise I was slowly creating a gap.

As we gained altitude I could see others up ahead. Not close enough to stress about, but nice to gain an insight. I mentally noted rock outcrops they were passing, checked my watch and timed the difference, 7-8mins. It helped! Not only to gauge the competition, but also how long the visually insane incline would take me; it always pleasantly surprised me and helped maintain a positivity that was growing with each stride.

The cloud cover was gone by now and with zero trees, everyone was fully exposed to the sun.

There is nowhere to hide, Terry’s new tag line.

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‘Leaning Rock’ up at the summit. (Sean Beale @ Sweatband Photography)

‘Leaning Rock’ and ‘TW’ provide aid and drop bags check points, but also have out and back sections.

The leader Martin Kern (FRA) was returning, and we briefly shouted words of encouragement.

30mins later Steve Pemberton, was running towards me. Steve was looking strong and said he was first male in the 100km but 2nd overall to female Jess Carroll up ahead. I whooped and congratulated him and told him to finish it off and go hunting..

Within only a couple of mins Ryan Kunz (USA) and three others were approaching, he informed me he was 4th in miler, 6th overall. The others were descending fast.

This was cool, I was seeing the race unfold in front of me.

And then I realised, the turnaround was just up ahead. I was 10th or 11th, but places 5-9 were only just ahead. Sweeet!

And then I checked myself! We were barely half way and with pretty much the whole second loop descent still install, and the most brutal third, 60km loop/night section, still to do.

I decided to ‘calm the farm’. Let the carnage unfold and see what would happen.

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Descending the second circuit. (Sean Beale @ Sweatband Photography)

As to be expected, the 18km downhill back to Home Base was anything but.

Eventually I reach the power line trail back to the start/finish, a never ending ‘undulating’ 10km saw me complete the second loop and 100km in 14:15hrs, just after dark.

(There was no sign of Steve in the 100km men’s race. He hadn’t arrived?? Turns out, very soon after I spoke to him, he’d took a wrong turn before TW and ended up doing the whole of the insane “water race”. It must have added on hours. Monumentally unlucky mate!!)

100-161km: 4000m

I was in and out of the checkpoint at Home Base more quickly this time. With no wet socks to change, it was a simple matter of empty my rubbish and refill the pack. I noticed that my food uptake (baby food and Cliffbars) had gone down and I’d survived much of the second 50km on the Trailbrew powder in my water bladder and chest bottles. (I wasn’t overly concerned, but released I’d have to keep a close eye on my nutrition, if I was to prevent any energy disasters later.)

Switching on the Ayup head torch, my path ahead was lit up like a lighthouse. I went out and back along the road for a couple of km’s, before the marshals, shouting encouragement, now directed me left.

Looking up the ominous first climb I caught glimpses of other head torches. They were a long way off but they were there!! With still almost 4,000m of climbing on the remaining 60km loop, there was no need to panic. I was feeling good now and moving well, particularly on the ascents. Hike, hike, hike!!! As fast as I could stride, I kept pushing.

To be honest I had really no idea what was in store this loop. In short I knew it was up, up, up and then some ugly circuits around TW at the summit area. Aside from that it was head down and move forward.

Lights above in the darkness told me that I still had steep stuff ahead, but it was hard to gauge the terrain outside of my immediate beam of my light.

Jean Beaumont (NZ) in 8th was the first person I caught. She was looking strong and it wouldn’t be long before we’d be at TW cp, now the 115km mark.

I ran into the aid station and quickly refilled and attempted to eat one of the chia and coconut pots I’d made. I’d barely opened it, took a glance at the slimy contents and start retching from the depths of my guts. The speed the volunteer backed away was impressive. I laughed and told her not to worry,

“There’s not enough food in there to make a mess.”

Immediately I realised it was Coke time. I’d had to do this once before, so know that it can work. I’d already been knocking back occasional drinks of the syrupy ‘doctor’, but knew now I’d pretty much have to switch to it exclusively.

I filled my two 600ml chest bottles with it and got out of there fast. One minute later I was straight back in. Oops. I’d realised how cold it was (just before midnight) and with a very long descent, before coming back to this aid station twice more, I  changed into my long sleeved merino thermal.

Second attempt and I was out. Jean was now just behind due to my faffing around, but I was happier for the decision. Making my way down the never-ending descent of the 11km “Loop of Despair”, I wondered if we were still on track.

Soon though, I passed another runner in the dark (7th) with his pacer. He sounded like he was doing it tough and was now moving slowly. Down, down, down. All the time knowing, the longer I descended the longer the return would be. At an impromptu toilet stop Jean caught and passed me, but as we began the big climb I was feeling strong and positive. Possibly the sugar and caffeine from the coke!!!

I re-passed her and marched on. At times the steepness was ridiculous. I figured, (obviously) it was no more steep to me than anyone else, and as long as I was moving with more purpose than others, I wasn’t hindering my cause.

Bizarrely I was starting to enjoy this. It was the middle of the night, I was on a mountain in the middle of NZ and I feeling invincible.

Up ahead another runner (6th). This was just getting better. I was soon alongside previous winner Glenn Sutton (NZ). He said something kind about my efforts and I asked how he was going? But now wasn’t the time to start chatting, so I moved on.

We’d moved into the pointy phase of the event and as my coach Andy DuBois says;

“If you can race, now’s the time!!”

Soon I was back into TW, Coke refilled, then out and up to ‘Leaning Rock’ at the summit 3km away. Within 500m of the top I couldn’t believe I’d closed in on Sho Watabe (JPN) the 5th place runner. The aid station crew were in tents on the freezing ridge up there. We reported our numbers, and immediately turn around. He kept close for a while, before we met a car, placed to signal the point where you’re ‘thrown’ off the side of the mountain, down a virtually unmarked trail. The ‘Water Race’, is exactly what you don’t want at 129km. Ropes are tied to prevent runners falling backwards along heavily sloped hillsides.

I occasionally checked behind and could see head torches of those I’d passed getting dimmer.

The next ascent was exactly what I’d come to expect by now, steep and long. At least it was now on an easy to navigate, unsealed road.

I ran into TW for the final time and refilled with Coke. (This would have been a good time to jettison all unnecessary food that was weighing me down. Like a ‘security blanket’ I clung to it; just in case?)

Sitting in 5th place and heading towards a time that was way beyond all expectations, I began to run hard. This was it. 139km done: 21km to go. The tracks were runnable and I started to stride out.

Some parts were retraced, others were new. I got excited a few times when those completing the 100km event came into sight.

The miler then veers to the right, for the final climb. With only 13km remaining, another 500m hike is thrown in for good luck. Seriously!!!

Mid-way up I did get very excited, as a light ahead was moving very slowly and I hoped it was Ryan Kunz in 4th. Sadly for both me and the guy in question is wasn’t. He was a miler completing his second loop and had unnecessarily ventured up, instead of ahead for the undulating approach of the second loop.

Finally the summit!

The home straight and remaining 7km was non-technical and very runnable. I checked my watch and for the first time realised the time: 24:15hrs.

I’d hoped to finish under 30hrs, maybe sub 27hrs if everything really went well. Now though I was reassessing. All I could think was exactly what I’d visualised in previous races: another Andy tip.

Picture the time and tell yourself nothing else will do.

And so I did. Sub 25, something starting with 24:??hrs, nothing else will do.

At an intersection I passed Marina Brun, (who I’d car shared and flown over from Australia) going out on her last loop. She’s done this beast a few times and was more than a little apprehensive this time about cut-off times. To be honest she’d scared the shit out of me over the two days leading up to the race.

I was over the moon to see her heading out, she was going to do it easily, (and did: finishing in a superb sub 40hrs). We hastily shouted our support to each other.

I picked up the pace, rounded a few corners, passed the final enthusiastic volunteers in the bottom car and along the flat road that approaches the vineyard.

It was still dark, I honestly couldn’t believe it; I crossed the line in 24:51hrs, stunned!!!!

I literally stood there swearing in disbelief. I wasn’t meant to be there so soon, crossing the line in 5th place overall, 1st in my age category (40-49). I’d been petrified by the prospect of this race, but there I was.

Even writing this, I still haven’t processed the feeling of gratitude and happiness I got from this event. I’m still buzzing!

And there it is…… Northburn you are amazing!

A huge thanks to everyone who sits out all night volunteering and making events like this possible and to everyone who has supported me in the 5 months leading up to this one!!

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The spoils – The Northburn 100 mile buckle!!!

 

Special thanks to:

  • My wife Christine and the kids (Sandy and Stella)
  • Alvin Caoynan and the team AdOnDigital for making Northburn possible, so grateful! (http://adondigital.com.au/)
  • Coach Andy DuBois: Mile27 (http://mile27.com.au/)
  • Troy Lethlean at Trail Brew (http://trailbrew.com/team/)
  • Byron Bay Runners: WhatsApp and Facebook support
  • All the runners and volunteers
  • Race Director: Terry Davis

 

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Training Injuries Before an Ultramaraton Race. Can They be a Help Rather Than a Hindrance ?

Training Injuries Before an Ultramaraton Race. Can They be a Help Rather Than a Hindrance ?

 

“Buffalo Stampede Grand Slam”, Bright, Victoria, Australia 8th, 9th & 10th April 2016

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4th place and over the moon

Thoughts

What if? Perhaps it helped?
I hadn’t broken my toe and smashed my quad, would I have run faster? F***! What if? Maybe it kicked my ego in to touch; I’d have to think and plan smarter  
Injury & Disaster Help or hindrance?

It’s been more than month since I completed The Grand Slam at ‘The Buffalo Stampede’, and I haven’t stopped pondering the above thoughts.

Even though the final six weeks of my perfect preparation had been totally rail-roaded by not one, but two injuries; I began to wonder if it had actually been the reason things had eventually gone so well. Had it helped?

What Occurred? Sky Running

There are many other endurance events, but this was Sky Running.

Sky Races can be the toughest thing most runners have ever tackled…

For me Buffalo literally presented new horizons. It had ascent and descent, the like of which few other races include, and that’s just in the first 12km.

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Beautiful Mt Buffalo.

Photo: Tom Le Lievre

Generally it’s about steepness… As much vert up and down as can be squeezed into the course. The three days consisted of a 26km, 77km and a 42km with the option of entering all three; The Grand Slam 144km & 9672m elevation. This was my intended race; I’d be one of the ‘Slammers’.

INJURY #1. Six Weeks to Race Day 

BROKEN TOE!!

‘The curious incident of the cockroach in the night’

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Busted big toe

Injuries rarely come at a good time, but with my training going perfectly, I was on top of things. I was running quicker across training routes than ever and feeling stronger.

And then there was the cockroach.

It was 4am Sunday morning and my son, Sandy, was ill. While I was up seeing to him, a cockroach the size of a ‘mouse’ ran across the bathroom floor. We rarely get them upstairs and picking up the laundry basket I went for the triple smash…. This thing just shook it off or teleported??? Then it ran under the bathroom mat beside the wall. I’m not a big killer of creatures generally, but if I do, I want it to be painless and instant.

I swung my right foot and stamped as hard as I could. The mat instantly skidded towards the wall and my big toe smashed into it. Anything but painless… the bloody cocky ‘legged it’ across the floor and hid behind the toilet. Meanwhile I hopped up and down trying not to wake the rest of the family by swearing under my breath.

Picking up some mouthwash, I poured a cap-full onto the vicious beast. It flipped onto its back and almost instantly stopped wriggling!!

Hospital

The radiographer arrived and the doctor confirmed what I really didn’t want to hear: The cockroach was alive… Nah!

Doc: “yeah you’ve broken your big toe”

Me: “…..but I have a race in six weeks!!

Doc: “ah… well I reckon you’ll make the event, give it fourteen days. How far is it?”

 Me: “It’s a… errmm….about 144km, it’s a three day running event..”

Doc: “oh!? You may want to see how it feels then?”

TWO WEEKS??!!

Two weeks… it seemed like the end of the world. I couldn’t believe it. The ridiculousness of it.. The karma, irony, stupidity?! How did I feel at the time? Gutted, doesn’t come close. This was an absolute disaster!

At first it was just annoying, like a couple of days off. Soon though, the doubt and frustration started to kick in. But I knew I’d put in good groundwork; my body was holding up, I was feeling good and gaining confidence. What now?

Pragmatism: “Ok, it is what it is,” I thought.

Coach Andy suggested cycling. I hit the same Broken Head trail road I’d run on and, gingerly at first, used my 20 yr old ‘mountain bike’. It had some benefit but, as Andy and I agreed, it couldn’t replace running.

Kriss Hendy wrote me a gym programme to keep me ticking over. I’ve never really ‘done’ gyms, but Kriss quickly put me at ease. He showed me around some of the equipment I could use that would be running specific; his guidance allowed me to maintain my strength and have some focus.

Losing Fitness?

Nevertheless my fitness felt like it was ebbing away. I’d had very little experience in dealing with this sort of frustration. What if I went all that way just to DNF on the 2nd or 3rd day?

All but two of last year’s entrants DNF’d.

I wanted to give a good account of myself. And not just finish it but be ready to be as competitive as I could.

(Racing ‘down south’, in the Victorian Alps for the first time, I’d booked flights, rented a car and paid the entry fee. The financial outlay began to mentally exaggerate the wastefulness of my ‘actions’. Thankfully I was able to crash at a mate’s (Cam O’Leary), who was racing the Sky Marathon on the Sunday.)

Two Weeks Later Things Start to ‘Look Up’

I’d had a couple of sneaky trots, but not ‘ran’ properly. Fifteen days later, I went out for about 45 minutes. I focussed on keeping my foot as flat as possible and feeling for any sharp pains. All good. It just felt nice to be moving.

I only did 70km that week, but started to regain a little confidence. By the following 100km+ week we’d introduced a hill rep session and speed work (not full-on). I’d missed a few of the long runs, so was keen to get one in, before thoughts of tapering arose. Things were looking Bright, Victoria.

And then……

INJURY #2.  Three Weeks to Race Day 

LEFT QUAD HAEMATOMA. 

‘a polite good morning, and crash’

The summit of Mount Warning, NSW is just over 1150m and so, if started from the bottom river crossing (elevation approx. 50m), you ‘benefit’ from the whole climb.

If I did it three times I’d be gaining about 3000m ascent and descent over 40km+. Perfect.

Crash, Bang, Wallop

Bouncing along very nicely on my 2nd descent, I’d greeted and ran around numerous day walkers. But on a particularly wet boulder section, I looked up to say good morning to two older gents. My right foot slipped outwards towards a small drop off, my left leg went the same way; horizontally I crashed to the ground, landing perfectly on my left quad and Iliotibial Band (IT Band).

Avoiding my knee and hip seemed like a small blessing. The pain was intense. Like a massive dead leg. The two fellas asked if I’d broken anything. Still holding my breath I gave them the thumbs up and whispered “I think I’m all good, thanks”.

Keep on Running

I finished the run – including another final ascent and very painful descent.

Surprisingly, over the next few days I was able to run, so I did.

By midweek the feeling in my quad was ‘weird’. It felt like lumpy jelly. Fluid had built up in-between the muscle tissue and the doctor informed me I had a fairly decent haematoma (solid swelling of clotted blood within the tissues). He added that although initially rest would have been wiser, at this stage and with bruising appearing in my calves, mobility and running was as good as anything.

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When I was running, it felt fine. But man, whenever I sat, and then stood up?! It was not good; an intense ‘painful’ sensation spreading towards my knee.

Well at least I was running. Although things were anything but perfect now.

What if I was doing more damage? The race was only two and a half weeks away. I’d lost so much training time. Maybe I shouldn’t even make the trip down, if it could end up being pointless.

Help or Hindrance?

The uncertainty, the fear, the ‘risk’ – did something potentially positive. It reeled me in. My confidence had been severely dealt a blow and so inevitably my ego was firmly left at the starting line.

And so it began…..Day 1 : 26km Elevation – 2013m

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Made it to the line – everyone’s keen

My toe and quad were holding up and I hadn’t had any trouble at all in my last training runs. I was worried I was undertrained from the weeks lost, but tried to tell myself ‘better to be undercooked’.

The first of three days saw me conservatively start and find a pace that delivered me 26km later (over some seriously ugly, steep trail) to the finish line; feeling strong, laughing and actually enjoying this thing.

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Day 1 – done

 5th place : 3hr 49mins

Day 2 : 77km Elevation –4654m

The 77km Ultra Sky Race had seen many of last years ‘Slammers’ pull the pin, either during or after this one.

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Day 2  – Coming up!

Although cautious, my toe and quad injuries had given me little to worry about, in fact I’d barely had to think about them.

I woke up feeling pretty good on Saturday morning. Whooping, cow bells, cheering and the race was underway.  I set off exactly the same as Day 1 and ran within a minute or two of the previous days turn around point.

The bottom-line had to be to get through today unscathed and be ready for Day 3. Look after the toe and quad, and carefully pace myself through todays 77km’s. Be on that starting line tomorrow.

The summit of Buffalo is only halfway and then it’s ‘back the way you came’. It’s an amazing event. Athletes from the Ultra, as well as fellow Slammers supported each other constantly, cow bell touting crew and volunteers were lining sections of the course. My adopted crew were unreal! Cam O’Leary with his family and mates were here for his Sky Marathon the next day, with friend Duncan Gow. They’d all stepped forward to help.

I crossed the line and finished feeling pretty good…. How would the nights recovery go?

5th place : 11hrs 57 mins (Total 15hrs 39mins)

Day 3 : 42.2km  Elevation – 3005

The final day! The main focus of my whole event, as far as I’ve seen it. My alarm wakes me and the first thing I think is;

right! how’s the legs? how’s the toe?

A final horizontal stretch and I clamber to my feet in the dark. I shake them a bit and find they still belong to me. I slowly make my way to the bathroom and then onto the kitchen. I do a ten metre jog around and smile.

I Reckon This Thing’s Gunna Get Done.

I took off pretty much the same as the previous two days and hit the early hills (Mystic and Clearspot), with the poles and the same effort as before.

But now on the downhill sections and particularly on the flats, I could move with much more purpose. I didn’t have to concern myself with tomorrow for the first time all weekend. I pushed along feeling strong.

Even the final “Big Walk”, a 10km ascent up to Mount Buffalo was disappearing beneath my feet and head, faster than the day before. Now with 130 of the weekend km’s behind me, I was shifting, power hiking and running. The last 8km’s even include a short narrow squeeze through a cave section. I crossed the line in 6hrs 16mins; total time 22hrs 03mins. Grand Slammed!

Maybe it Kicked My Ego in to Touch; I’d Had to Think and Plan Smarter  

The extra planning and preparation had panned out nicely:

  • I was the 4th ‘Slammer’ to cross the line on Day 3, only a few minutes behind the 1st and 2nd placed lads.
  • Finishing competitively had been the goal!
  • I’d completed it an hour quicker than last year’s winning time which had been my only comparison pre event.
  • I’d secured the 4th place for the overall ‘Grand Slam’ too… Woohooo!!!

I was over the moon.

I had trained well. On race day nothing went wrong and I paced myself (personally) to perfection.

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Day 1 and 2 profile, Day 3 no return from Mt Buffalo plus drop bag, distance and vert.

The Toe & The Fall?

It caused two weeks of missed training.  I’d have been in better shape and ran faster. But maybe it reeled me in and helped me respect the challenge. Achievable and digestible. I’d approached each day calmly and simply.

With a clean bill of health I could have gone out too fast, not paced myself and ended up with a DNF!!! Or could I have made up twenty minutes here or there?

When I look back at the race I remember how conservative it had felt. But those time differences are costly and require faster quad smashing descents and risk the main thing I personally fear – uncooperative legs!!!

Will I Ever Know?

I’ve ran races that have had perfect preparation go ‘pear shaped’. In this case, the unintentional accidents/injuries and sweaty km’s locked in my legs, combined to make this race not just a successful weekend, but simply more fun. I genuinely had a ball. I’d learned heaps alone from running a three day ‘staged’ event. My nutrition was dialled, my aid station stops got quicker and my pacing all improved considerably. Success!!!!?

 

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as clear as mud

In searching for a specific conclusion,  I fear I have failed… It’s just not that simple.

But as ‘what if?’ questions induce ‘Interstella” scenarios, with infinite possibilities, I had this genuine last minute thought …..

Was There a Best Path? 

The one I had; was the one I got.  It was the best path, because this time it worked out. 

More importantly my legs held up.

Thanks legs.

Thanks Cam.

Simon.

(Cheers heaps for reading. Leave a comment or share; it’s nice to have folks read it!!)

 Special Thanks to:

  • Christine and the kids (Sandy and Stella)
  • Coach Andy DuBois: Mile27 http://www.mile27.com.au/
  • Crew: Cam O’Leary and Emma Grace, Jacquellyn and Aidan O’Leary, Duncan and Esther Gow
  • Crew Photographers: Cam O’Leary, Emma Grace, Jacquellyn and Aidan O’Leary
  • Byron Bay Runners: Whatsapp and Facebook team
  • https://www.facebook.com/ByronBayRunners/
  • All the runners and volunteers
  • Race director:Sean Greenhill
  • Kriss Hendy: http://khstrengthandperformance.com/
  • Photographer: Tom Le Lievre
  • Special mention to these three Slammers, who ran, motivated and were epic all weekend: Pat Bowring, Micheal Dalgamo, Christian Warren
  •  Steve Richards: editing skills
  • Christine Byrne: editing skills