I had no real expectations going into this run. The plan was just to use this as another long run. I had run 100+km’s in the days prior so I had no idea how my legs would feel. I normally taper before a race so this was to be the first time I hadn’t done that.
The plan called for a good workout but not to go past 80% effort as I need to get back into training tomorrow.
We set off and before long it was Brendan Davies and I who had taken the early lead. Brendan was coming off the back of Surf Coast Century last weekend which was probably the only reason I was able to keep him in my sights at that point. I lost sight of Brenda going into the proper single track section and I just concentrated on keeping a good turnover. Technical single track isnt my strongest point but I was moving well – I was encouraged that I couldn’t feel yesterdays 3hr session in my legs either.
As I finally climbed out of the single track section I caught a glimpse of Brendan going past the aid station. This gave me a boost and I did my best, without going too hard, to keep him in my sights. Brendan is a great road runner and I knew it would be futile and not wise to try and catch up – he was in the shorter race afterall. I looked at my watch and it was about 13km when he shot out of sight for good.
From then on it was just me. I had 2 gels on me and took 1 at the 15km mark with the water I had in my bottle.
The race was fairly uneventful (not a bad thing) until I came to an aid station that was just getting set up. It was kind of forked and I asked the young fellas where I should head to. They pointed me down the Pisgah track so off I went. This is a cool tight single track section, a bit overgrown in part with some thorny bushes but also a gradual downhill. After 4km’s or so I saw 2 pink crosses which means dont go ahead. There was no other turnoff so I was a bit confused. I would have thought that there would have been volunteers here. I probably wasted 30 seconds here deciding what I should do before just turning around and heading back home.
I had my wits about me to look at the distance on my watch before heading back up so I could get a gauge as to how close the other runners were. I passed a group of 3 runners after running about 500m which meant I had a 1km lead at that stage.
I settled into a decent rhythm and passed other runners before seeing 2 volunteers running down the track. That was a huge relief – they assured me that I was on the right track and they ticked my name off.
I came into the aid station for a second time and the 2 lads apologised – they said that they were told to send runners down the Pisgah track first but it was meant to be the 2nd out and back. Not a worry. So I went and run the 2nd out and back which was all downhill and then back up hill.
From then on it was a cruise home. I had my 2nd gel at 35km’s and just made sure I maintained an ok pace – against the plan I was prepared to race as I didnt want to give up my position so late in the race but fortunately I didn’t have to.
The race was tracking about 1km too long and I finished up having run 43.27km in 3hrs 15 (4.31’s). I took first place and found out when I got home that I was 2 minutes under the 2010 course record. Pretty cool. A fair amount of downhilling in this race so i’ll probably be a little bit sore tomorrow.
I took away a great looking medal, an Ultra Aspire backpack, a stein and and a buff type thing.
Once home, I then walked to Crows Nest with Phill where we had a lovely cold bottle of wine and a cheese board. Brilliant!
147.63km’s for the week – 11hrs 56. I haven’t run this much in a week for a long long time.
Left foot is pretty sore, not underneath just on the inside near the ankle. I think I strained it at CP Ultra so I might try and strap it for my next long run.