Last Friday I lined up for my first ever Oxfam Trailwalker 100km.
I was running for Team GU-Nathan Sports with Paul Gillan, Sara Burgess and Phil Whitten. Paul had splits recorded for a 13hr finish which I thought was fairly optimistic but we set off well.
Team No Roads were the one’s to beat and we kept them in our sights right up until around the 50km point. We were all running quite well until Phil’s stomach suddenly turned on him. It seemed so sudden but no doubt he had been suffering a while but keeping it to himself.
Phil was reduced to little more than a slow walk with the occasional run thrown in. At one stage, on the Bare Creek trail he had to sit down for 10 minutes and projectile vomited everywhere. It couldnt have been too pleasant for him.
Once at the 5th checkpoint Phil took some time out to fix himself up. This was the most painful part of the day for Sara and I as our legs started to stiffen up quite badly – it actually hurt to stop! After 20 minutes or so Phil decided to crack and he actually had a reasonably strong leg to CP6. We had to don our headlights for the latter part of that run – it was a fun leg.
Sadly though, Phil’s condition took a turn for the worse and he made the right decision to drop here.
Having been passed by a couple of teams, Paul, Sara and I had fire in our bellies and we set off in earnest to chase day whoever was in front. The legs were feeling good which was a nice change for so late in a 100km race and I couldnt even feel the effects of the 90km’s i had run the previous 6 days which included a long run of 70km.
We soon passed a team of guys in front and we were in and out of the last check-point the quickest we had done so all day. The last leg is super easy and totally runnable. Its an easy couple of km’s on the trails and then you hit the road down to the Spit Bridge. I had run this leg a few times in training and I was thankful I had as it wasnt very well marked at all.
Before long the finish was in sight and we crossed the line in a touch over 14hrs for 3rd place but unfortunately a depleted team. Team No Roads won easily in around 12hrs.
Given the lower than normal intensity of this ‘race’ I was feeling pretty good the next day and resumed normal training on the Sunday. My whole aim was to use this as a final long run before Glasshouse 100 in 17 days time without having to take time off to recover. In that sense it was a success.
No more runs over an hour now as the taper is beginning. Im really really excited for this race..