6 Foot Track Marathon – 2015

I’d been wanting to race this one for the last few years, however the race has always coincided with weddings. Fortunately this year the wedding was the week before so it was game on.

As per usual my training really didn’t stack up to anything special. I averaged about 60 kilometers per week over the 12 weeks leading up to the race. Not ideal but it seems to be the norm for me the last couple of years – the motivation to run every day isn’t really there. Weekly training consisted of 3 sometimes 4 commute runs averaging 11 kilometer a piece with a hard, solid long run on the weekend.

In the race lead-up there was some great banter on the NSWIB facebook page which was a pleasure to be part of. I was ambitiously predicted to run 3.35 which I think was more of a ploy to encourage me to smash myself to the river. I felt 3.35 could be achievable but not off my piss poor training – anything under 3.50 i’d be happy with for debut.

On to race day and I was super pumped to catch up with all the Beer Betters finally. There was a great buzz around the start line. There was some talk about Nellies Glen being wet and slippery so I was a bit apprehensive about wearing my road shoes but there was no going back now. I lined up on the front row in amongst all the studs and studdets. I felt a bit out of place but before I knew it the frantic race to the stairs began. I had in mind a target of 1.07 to the river. After a bit of shoving and hard running I settled in behind Hanny Allston down the stairs. The pace felt really comfortable which was a welcome surprise. This was the part I was fearing the most as I’m rubbish at descending but I came out unscathed. Once on the fire trail I was able to stretch out a bit and ran along with Tony Fattorini then Andrew Tuckey. Chatting to Andrew we both agreed that the front runners were setting an awesome pace – as we certainly weren’t just jogging along.

Photo credit: Leonie Doyle

Photo credit: Leonie Doyle

Further along we caught up to Mark Lee and then Mick Donges. I was running behind Mick for a little while until he suddenly tripped and landed hard on his shoulder. He was rolling around clearly in unbelievable pain.Tucks and I stopped however being a few kilometers from any kind of support I told the guys that I’d run off to alert the volunteers that a man was down! I felt like a bit of scum bag running off and leaving Mick there but I had to get some help – i had no phone or first aid gear on me. Like a true champ though Tucks was more than willing to give up his own race to stay with Mick which shows the type of guy he is.

I was immensely relieved a few minutes later when I heard Tucks running behind me and soon passing me – i was glad that his race was still on (he recorded an awesome time which would have been a few minutes quicker had he not stopped – monster!). We alerted the volunteers of where Mick was and that was that (turns out that he had stitches, pneumothorax and ended up in hospital – poor bloke).

The river was crossed in 1.04 so i was slightly ahead of my goal pace but I was feeling good. The came the climb up Mini Mini Saddle. I passed Andy Lee at the start of the climb and then set out in pursuit of Tucks and Jono. This proved to be rather futile – they were both on fire and cruising. Meanwhile I was redlining and just hanging on. Looking back, my ego got the better of me and I probably would have been better off walking some of this section.

After finally cresting Mini Mini, Tucks and Jono were slowly pulling away and I was well and truly in the hurt locker in complete oxygen debt. I struggled on to Pluvi where Mitch Dean and Luke Preston shot by me. At this stage I had absolutely no climbing in me. All I could think about was being ridiculed by the Beer Betters as they would inevitably pass me curled up on the side of the trail – a thought too bad to bear!

Moving up Pluvi, Mitch Dean was gone but Luke was still in my sights. I tried to focus on not letting him get away so I would try and run for a few seconds before surrending to walking. However I only let myself walk for 10 seconds before trying to break out into a run again. I was feeling completely hopeless and surprised that no-one else had passed me. I dared not look behind me. In training I had climbed Pluvi with relative ease a few times, this time though I felt like I was going backwards.

Finally at the top of Pluvi the volunteers said I was in 8th. I didn’t think anything of that as I knew I’d be relinquishing my position pretty soon. The climb from Cox’s to the top of Pluvi took 1 hour, so 2 hours 5 total race time. Noting this time gave me a bit of a boost as I figured if I could just keep moving I might still be able to do ok. I thought I was much further off the pace. I was glad not to be climbing however the douche grade still felt harder than it should. There are still some climbs peppered along here which I had to walk. I really couldn’t believe the amount of walking I was doing – but when I was running the pace was low 4 min/km’s so that kept me in the game a bit.

Along the Black Range the dreaded cramps started to kick in. I was expecting them as I tend to suffer from cramps If I havent done the appropriate training – just a lack of conditioning. The cramps were teasing me at first and then ultimately I had to stop and stretch out every couple of kilometers.

Slowly but surely the race was nearing an end and I was becoming more and more disabled! The adductors went, calfs had gone and the hamstrings were cramping. Hugely frustrating as there was so much good, easy running to be had – but I just couldnt take advantage of it.

photo credit: James Creer

photo credit: James Creer

Finally on the steep rocky descent Robbie Neil flew past me. He bombed the descent like a rocket and there was nothing I could do, there was no fight in me. Then running down the paved path to the finish Hanny screamed from behind for me to let her past as she was trying to break the record. She was probably wondering who the guy in front doing a robot impression was! I gladly let her pass and then finally I was done!

The atmosphere at the finish was superb, such a great vibe!

Chuffed to bits to see the time, 3.35, but now i’ve run the course I know what to do for next time. I can’t wait to go back!

Melbourne Marathon 2014 – Race Report

I’d been looking forward to this weekend for a long time and it didn’t disappoint.

Phill and I flew into Melbourne on Saturday afternoon and I spent some time walking around the city, met my godfather and his wife for a coffee and picked up 4 energy gels for the race. I went for endura as it was a choice of that or Gu in Rebel Sport and endura is a bit runnier and easier to get down without fluid.

I set my alarm for 4am as I heeded WatchDog’s advice of not needing a pee at the start line which often happens for me. So i probably had about 500 mls of water and a bowl of museli and yoghurt in 30 seconds and then went back to bed until my alarm went off at 6am. All i then had was a small cup of coffee before jogging down to the start line.

The weather was cool with highs expected of 28 later in the afternoon.

I made my way to the preferred starters section and had a quick chat with Gary Mullins whist we waited anxiously for the start.

My plan was to hit half way in 1 hour 16 minutes and 30 seconds. I knew I would likely fade in the back half but I desperately wanted to break 2.35.

My nutrition plan was 4 gels to be consumed at 7 kilometers, 15 kilometers, 24 kilometers and 30 kilometers. No science to that, just something i decided on the start line.

Before I knew it we were off. I soon found myself running in a small group with the lead female at the time, Sinead Diver. Its a known fact that women pace better than men so I thought it wouldn’t do me any harm trying to stick with Sinead given our pace was similar.

The first 5 km’s ticked by in 18.06 according to garmin which ended up overshooting by 300 meters in the end which seems to be the norm.

The next 5 km’s were slightly quicker, 17.51 but there didn’t appear to be any noticeable increase in pace. I was making sure to grab water at every aid station. Water and hydralyte was being handed out in small plastic cups. When you are running at pace the most you can hope to successfully retrieve is a small gulp as the majority is list in the handover! Because of that, i really couldnt have had much more than 300 ml’s over the course of the race.

The next 5 kilometers went by in 17.52 and so far so good. At times I remember looking at my watch and thinking I must be flying along and then seeing my average pace hovering around 3.45’s! Not a great feeling. Whilst I was still moving well I could definitely notice some tightness in the legs.

My garmin beeped at the 21.1km mark and showed a time of 1hr 15 minutes 30 seconds however I crossed the official half marathon signage on the course pretty much dead on 1 hour 16 and 30 seconds. This gave me a boost although I was hoping that things would be feeling a little easier at this stage – truth be told I was starting to hurt. This is evident as my 5 kilometer split from 20 – 25 was 18.15.

During this stage we were overtaken by Nikki Chappel who went on to dominate the womens race and win comfortably. I remember noticing the definition in her hammys as she ran past, pretty impressive! I didn’t even bother trying to hang on to her pace, that would have been suicidal.

The 25 – 30 kilometer split was 18.12 and the small pack I was running with started to drift apart. I was now trailing Sinead and she was beginning to stretch the elastic!

I hit my lowest point going through the 30 – 35 kilometer section. I entertained thoughts of pulling out or at least walking through the drink stations. I was really struggling. That 5 kilometer split was 18.18 so a significant slow down.

Now it was game on. I had to think back to all the hard sessions i’ve done, did I really want to give up now. Sinead was still only 20 meters or so in front of me. Having her there gave me something to concentrate on. But boy was I hurting!

My slowest split of the day was between 35 – 40 kilometers. 18.48. I was doing everything in my power to keep my splits under 4 minutes.

Then with 2.2 kilometers to go life became good again and I was able to lift myself out of my funk knowing I would make it. The goal now was to see if I could sneak in under 2.35 which thankfully I managed to do – 2 hours, 34 minutes and 35 seconds. Job done!

I then spent the day walking around Melbourne with Phill and she clocked up over 25,000 steps on her fitbit so that was a decent cool-down for me!

Achieving this time has given me hope that a 2.2x is doable in the not too distant future. I can’t keep doing what i’m doing though. There’ll be some training changes, probably the main change being my easy runs carried out at an easier pace and my quality runs done with more quality!

The next attempt will be to target 2.32 but I’ve no idea when I’ll have the chance to do that as my life is going to change dramatically next April as a mini-me or mini-phill is on it’s way. That being said, I have a chance of giving 6ft Track a real go and it’ll be nice to get back on the trails again.

With Gary at the finish. Goals hit. Happy chappies!

With Gary at the finish. Goals hit. Happy chappies!

 

Sri Chinmoy Half Marathon – Iron Cove

This week was mainly about keeping the legs fresh for the half marathon pb attempt on Sunday. I was conscious of ensuring I had fully recovered from Glenbrook Marathon so for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday I just run easy, monitoring the heart rate and ensuring I was staying in my aerobic zone.

On Thursday I thought I should hit the park and see what I could do in terms of intervals. I haven’t done any interval training in a long long time but on the bus home from work I had decided that 3.10’s per kilometer with a 2 minute rest would be a fair effort.

So a 2 kilometer warm up and I was straight into it. I planned on 6 reps as I didn’t want to overcook myself and to be honest I dont think I could hold that pace for any more reps. They went like this:

3.10, 3.08, 3.08, 3.08, 3.09, 3.09

So really consistent but definitely an effort. The hear rate averaged 180 for the last 3 efforts so it was right up there. In fact I thought I would explode trying to get under 3.10 on the last one.

I took Saturday off and spent most of the day convincing myself that I would run well during the Half.

I was up at 6.45am this morning, had a quick cup of tea and some wheetbix and arrived at the race hub by 7.30 to register and warm up. It was a nice cool and drizzly morning, perfect for running. My warm up consisted of standing around rubbing my hands. I considered actually running but thought I’d just save myself. I felt like a coiled spring.

My pre-race plan was to firstly get a PB – so go under 78 minutes; secondly to try and hit 75 minutes which is where I should be if I want 2.36 in Melbourne and then finally I had been convincing myself to just go out and try and hit 3.30’s for each kilometer for as long as possible for a stretch goal of 73 minutes.

Being a Sri Chinmoy event its all really low key and great value for money. The course is 3 laps of The Bay. Not standard laps as to make 7 kilometers a lap runners need to go around the park in one spot rather than staying on the concrete. I knew this would slow the pace a little as it was boggy and slippery.

The route is open to the public too so plenty of dodging other runners and pram pushers. But thats all part of the experience.

We had to do the extra 100 meters or so at the start to get the .1 in the 21.1 race distance.

Before long we were off and I was running behind a kid for about 500 meters!! I couldn’t quite believe it, I looked at my watch and were running 3.05’s so I eased off and let him go then caught him again after he died on his arse.

This will be a short race report as it all went to plan. I had a mantra in my head which sounds a bit daft but since losing my ipod a couple of months ago I’ve got to think about stuff when I’m running to occupy my mind. So the mantra was: Relax, Maintain, Surge. Given it was 3 laps each part of the mantra was related to each lap. The first lap was all about relaxing into the run and not going bonkers, the 2nd lap was just about maintaining the pace and the last lap was where i’d push.

That’s more or less what happened. Given the people dodging I didn’t do a great job of running the perfect race line so the garmin showed 21.36 kilometers and saw me running through the half mark in 72 minutes! However it could just be that my garmin was out so the official time was 73.42 which I was delighted with. Stretch goal achieved and I crossed the line feeling good.

Mcmillans running calculator predicts that with the right training that my time is the equivalent of a 2.33 marathon. The key part here being the ‘right training’. I know my mileage is way off and could cause some issues in the later stages of the marathon but we’ll see what happens on the day.

74.54 kilometers for the week. No wonder I feel so fresh! My last week hitting 100 kilometers was an anomaly on May 19th.

Coast to Kosciusko 2013

The seed for this race was planted a number of years back when I was first told that you can’t call yourself an ultrarunner until you’ve done C2K. I was training for a 100 kilometer race at that point which at the time was a massive undertaking. After googling C2K and reading up about it I was intrigued and in awe but I couldn’t fathom running it myself.

Fast forward  3 years and a few more ultras later including two 100 mile races and I was ready to toe the line. Unlike many other competitors I hadn’t experienced the race previously from a crew perspective so it was all brand new to me. I had however followed the races online so I was familiar with all the famous landmarks.

In the lead up to C2K I employed the help of Andy Dubois to provide some structure to my training. This was a first for me. I’m usually the sort of person that would have a plan in my head but not on paper and I’d mostly just go out and run what I felt like. Having a plan setup for me was good, it took all the guess work away.

I peaked at around 175 kilometers per week for a few weeks, around 6-3 weeks out from the race. I’d had some early issues with pain on the inside of my knee which a physio had addressed with weekly sessions of massage and prescribed exercises. Apart from a sore left foot which was a source of great pain after my long runs I was feeling pretty good. My longest run in the lead up was a little over 60 kilometers.

My crew consisted of my long suffering wife Phill, my best man Hywel and Pistol Pete. Pistol Pete was the runner, Phill was chief organizer extraordinaire and chef and Hywel was there to provide the banter.

My awesome crew!

My awesome crew!

We left Sydney at 5am on Thursday morning for the drive down to Eden. Fortunately Hywel had Maria Carey’s Christmas album on his ipod so I was a happy man.

After a false alarm with arrived at our caravan park in Eden. It was pretty cold and the ‘deluxe’ caravan hut thingy wasn’t well insulated. In fact, it wasn’t insulated at all. Nice spot on the bay though.

The pre-race dinner was good fun. The buffet was great and I loaded up on the vegetarian options. I’m not a vego but I tend to refrain from meat in the week leading up to the race as it takes a long time to digest fully.

After the meal it was back to the shack for a shower and I was in bed just after 9pm. It was freezing but I slept ok. I had the alarm set at 4.30am to be out of there at 5am.

My crew joined me at the start and there was a lot of nervous excitement in the air. It was the day I had been waiting for and I was amped to be there.

Phill and I before kick-off

Phill and I before kick-off

I switched my garmin on and set it to show me my splits every 10 kilometers. My rough game plan was not to run faster than 50 minutes for each 10km section and to not run slower than 60 minutes until it was dark. I also had another goal of running a 100 mile pb so I wanted to tick that off in under 16 hours. That was the extent of my game plan. I hadn’t bothered studying other splits in detail. After looking at the course profile I decided that I would take it very comfortably until the top of Big Jack which is 63 kilometers in. I was hoping that if I was still feeling good then I could put in a big effort for 100 kilometers, all the way to Beloka Range, 100 miles in. I anticipated that by the time I make it that far something will be hurting pretty badly and I can use the hills as an excuse to walk and just grind it out.

I had no idea how the race was going to pan out. I wanted to finish at a reasonable hour so my crew wouldn’t have to be out there for 2 days. This was actually Phill’s request so that was my main motivator.

On my feet I wore my Newton Gravity’s. For nutrition I had a whole heap of food. Nutella sandwiches, museli bars, haribo, fruit, potatoes etc. I also had Hammer Perpetuem to top it up.

So, 5.30am and we’re off. Woo hoo! I broke the race down in my head into sections. My first milestone is where I can meet my crew  24 kilometers in. I have a 2 hour bottle of perpetuem and there are a few aid stations on the way where I can take on additional fluid.

There is some nice bush running at the start of the race. I’m loving it. I settle into a nice rhythm and I’m quite surprised by some of the climbs, all of it I run but i’m sure its comfortable. Out of the bush and onto the road I start chatting to Lachlan Fraser. He is a runner from Melbourne. He has done this race a number of times. We have a good chat about races we’ve done, upcoming races and everything in between. I let him go on the downhills as I dont want to fry my quads and I catch him on the climbs. My climbing legs feel good – always a good sign. Eventually Lachlan’s pace is a bit too hot for me at this stage and I let him go completely. I then have the pleasure of chatting with Kevin Muller for a little while. Again we play back and forth a little, he runs downhill quicker and I go uphill quicker. Plenty of back and forth which is quite nice. Kevin ran over 400 kilometers in 48 hours on a track – yep you read that right! Insane.

Jo Blake and Trevor Allen are out of sight by this stage which is fine by me. Ewan Horsborough is close by (winner of the previous 2 events) and we have a quick chat, both pumped for the day ahead.

Soon enough we are 24 kilometers in and there are crew cars everywhere.

Coming into the crew rendezvous point

Coming into the crew rendezvous point

After some communication issues we changeover my water bottle and I grab a nutella sanga and i’m on my way having stopped for a couple of minutes. After the pit stop all the other ones go perfectly. My crew were spot on!

The plan now is for my crew to drive 5 kilometers up the road where I’ll grab more fluids etc. Life is good and I spend some time for the next little while swapping back and forth with Kevin and Ewan.

Unfortunately, during the night when I was a bit out of it I took off my garmin and lost it. So I don’t have splits of my race. However I made note of some major milestons. The first being the marathon distance – this flew by in 3 hours 47 minutes. Only 5 more marathons to go!

Somewhere along the way I passed Trevor Allen who was walking up a runnable incline. I said g’day and headed off to Rocky Hall. This is the first checkpoint and the site of a pair of toilets. I was very much looking forward to doing a number 2. Jo blake was first into the checkpoint 3 minutes ahead of me and he was occupying the first toilet. Ewan didn’t stop and ran past. I didn’t take too long and I was out of there in 3rd place and back into the race.

So far the race was going really well. I was ignoring all foot pain, whilst it hurt I just refused to let it consume me. I disowned it from the start and just focused on having fun.

A few kilometers later I caught sight of Ewan up an incline with Jo still out of sight. Without pushing it I was able to catch up to Ewan at the base of Big Jack Mountain. We are now 56.8 kilometers in. This is a 6.7k climb with over 500 meters of ascent. Uniquely, our pacers are allowed to join us here for the climb.

Great crew!

Great crew!

When I get to the base Pistol Pete is raring to go. Immediately I know this is going to be good climb. My legs feel awesome! It really is quite strange, but they feel fresh. I pass Ewan early on and then proceed to run down Jo. Some sections I powerwalk but alot of the climb I just run and in a flash the climb is over.

At the top of the climb poor Hywel and Phill are just getting settled as I come by. I thank Pistol Pete for the ride and now is only 6.5 kilometers to Check Point 2 – Cathcart.

Cathcart marks the 70 kilometer point in the race.

So far so good!

So far so good!

I am feeling absolutely brilliant at this stage. Running freely, taking on board calories and hydrating well. Life is good.

Typically what happens in a long race is my big toes explode. I have no idea why, I think the pressure just builds from all the pounding. At the 100 kilometer point this is exactly what happened. The pain is manageable though. I don’t bother addressing the issue. I leave the same pair of shoes and socks on for the entire race.

I pass the dead tree at 102 kilometres without any fanfare.  Its only a dead tree but its good to see it after reading about it in lots of reports.

In terms of a race report there isn’t much to say until I hit 140 kilometers.

Awesome views all day

Awesome views all day

There is a long stretch of downhill and I’m running so well still I can’t believe it. Then ‘pop’, my left knee goes and drops me to the floor. I can’t believe it. I get up and get moving and it drops me again. The pain is excruciating and is on the inside of my knee. I immediately think that my race is over, I cant possibly go on with pain like this. The crew car is not too far ahead in the distance so I try to walk and then force myself into a run/limp thing. Once I get to the car Hywel

Aussie of the year

Aussie of the year

gets the vaseline out and gives me a rub down. Immense amount of pain but he works on it for a couple of minutes. I get going again and then stop 5 minutes later for another massage. It doesn’t seem to be doing a great deal apart from really hurting me. By this stage I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the rest of the journey is going to be a struggle but I’ve come to far to quit now. Only 100 kilometers to go, I can walk that if I need to.

I force myself to stop feeling sorry for myself and I get going again. My stride is altered to compensate for the knee but somehow I am running again. Each step from here on in is painful but it is what it is.

I tick off the 100 mile distance in around 15 and half hours – again I don’t have the exact splits as my garmin is still out in the wilderness sadly. 100 mile pb achieved which gives me some satisfaction. I still cant believe how easy it felt, even with the issues at 140 kilometers.

I’m now at the base of Beloka Range – a nice 5 kilometre climb. The sun has just gone down as I reach it. At 9pm Pistol Pete joins me again. Once it is dark runners are allowed pacers again. I’ve been really looking forward to Beloka Range as my running is becoming more and more laboured now. The knee is now completely stuffed and running just isn’t happening. Somehow, in my head at the start of the race I envisaged that something like this would occur. I had no faith in my knee holding up. I looked at the course profile and knew that if I could just make it to the base of Beloka Range then its all uphill. This meant that even if I could only power walk I would probably still do ok. I’ve got a decent walk and wouldn’t lose huge amounts of time compared to running.

Well this situation had become real and that’s what I was left with. I felt sorry for Pete as he was trying to encourage me on but running was just hurting my knee so much. I was now just focused on moving moving moving. Apart from the knee everything else was still ok – I kept that at the front of my mind.

At 180 kilometres I have a second wind of sorts. The pain is still there but I’m able to run a bit. Hywel joins me for 7 kilometres as we go through the caravan park. The pace feels pretty good whilst it lasts and I’m enjoying running with my mate.

The good time doesn’t last long though and I’m out of CP5 and i’m suffering again. From the 190 kilometre mark it now really is all up hill. The sleep monsters have hit me hard and the race is now becoming a struggle. I’m entertaining all sorts of thoughts of stopping for a rest. My pit stops are becoming more and more frequent. I feel sorry for my crew as I was hoping they’d be able to get some rest but thats not happening.

Im still leading the race at the 212 kilometre mark at Perisher Village. I’m not in a good way though. I have no idea who is behind me or how close they are but I sense Ewan isn’t too far away.I’m hallucinating a little as lights on the side of the road look like they are flying around the place, I even think I can see runners ahead. Soon lights from behind appear now and again and instead of making me fight my mind is telling me to pack it in! I’m in so much pain. I can’t even touch my knee. It’s smashed.

Inevitably I make a pact with myself that when Ewan passes I’m going to get in the car and take 10 minutes rest. I just cannot keep my eyes open.

The climbing continues. I’ve been running by myself for quite a while as Pete is resting up in the car. My guts are starting to feel a bit off too making moving awkward.

Finally, after what seems like an eternity Ewan and Andrew Vize pass me. Ewan is extremely chipper which is great too see and after some encouragement they are on their way. At that moment in time I’m actually looking for a place to do a number 2! Too much information I know. I look for a place on the left side of the road and I walk straight into a marshy area. Water straight up my shins. The water is freezing on my feet. My crew is shouting at me to go there but there is no chance of that. Meanwhile, Ewan’s 2 crew cars are hanging back and appear to be watching all this going on. Sod it, on the right side of the road there are no bushes on hiding places but when you gotta go you gotta go. So with 3 cars lined up I do my business. Funny what ultra running reduces you too. I then take a 10 minute break in the car in which time the lead cars have gone.

The rest doesn’t do me any good, in fact I force myself out of the car after 7 minutes and I’m as stiff as anything. Pete hops out with my and we get moving. Not running as I can’t, but moving with purpose anyway.

However, i’m really struggling with the desire to go to sleep and soon enough i’m back in the car again. I limit myself to 10 minutes but I’m back out on the road way before then and thats the last time I allow myself to rest. It’s just not worth it, I want to get the race finished now. 5 marathons down and now less than 1 to go!

At around what must be the 215 kilometre point on the way to Charlottes Pass I start complaining to Pete that the fog is really making it hard for me to see where I am going. He tells me its alright and to keep on moving. I don’t think anything of it and keep on marching. As we approach Charlottes Pass we can just make out first light, however the fog is really thick. Pete turns off his headlamp to run and tells me to do the same. I tell him that he is mad as the fog is too thick then he tells me there is NO fog. Not sure what this means but probably not a great sign.

Finally we make it to Charlottes Pass. My crew is there to meet me and I’m so keen to finish this beast that I don’t really want to stop. However we faff about a bit to get things sorted and to locate walking poles. I grab the poles and run off. Immediately I trip over myself as I can’t see anything. I shout out to the volunteers where I need to go and I receive a bemused look and answer as they tell me to go up the mountain.

Path to the summit. I finally found it!

Path to the summit. I finally found it!

I knew that but little did they know that I can’t see a path. They point in a direction so I follow their guide and after a minute or so I’m back at the car park. Apparently I missed the turn off. I tell Pete to get in front but stay close and second time lucky we are on the right track. By this stage I can’t even see my hand a foot in front of my face. Literally.

There is some flat walking (would have been easy running if I could have seen) before the heavy snow appears. I’m so glad Pete is with me. I would never have made it. I look ahead and I can’t see anything. No peaks, no track, nothing. My pace is horribly slow. Every foot fall hurts now as my body knows it’s nearing the end and can soon just give up. Every now and again I fall into knee deep snow. My calfs are burnt and the snow makes them sting like crazy.

After what seems like an eternity Pete tells me we are about 2 kilometers from the summit. He then tells me that he can see Ewan and his crew coming down the mountain. Only 4 kilometers in front of me but they may as well me 20 miles ahead the way I am travelling. Crews and runners all give each other a hug as we pass. Ewan tells me that he is also practically blind and is only seeing fog, which makes his finish even more spectacular. Good on ya mate! Cracking run!

The path narrows off as we round the mountain towards the summit. This section is sketchy and I slip a few times and almost slide off 100 foot. Eventually however he Strezleki monument comes into sight – for Pete anyway. I can’t see it until I am touching it. No emotions run through my body, all I want to do is get off this mountain and have a beer. Pete takes a photo, I think its pointless as its too foggy and I tell him to hurry up ( I still didn’t comprehend how clear a day it was until I look at the photos the next day).

At the summit! I still can't believe how clear it was!

At the summit! I still can’t believe how clear it was!

Pete has to take a selfie as cant make out any of the buttons on his iphone to take one of him. And then we are off.

Going down is slightly easy but still a struggle. By this stage I have broken both walking poles after slipping and applying too much force to them. Paranoia is beginning to set in now as I keep asking Pete if he can see other runners.

At about the same point that Ewan passed me, Pete and I pass the 3rd place runner from Canada. We then pass another runner and from then till the finish I think i’m asking Pete every 10 minutes if he can see them coming down the mountain. Although I’m wrecked there is no way I’m giving up second place now.

Nearing the finish Pete tells me to start running.

Rumplestiltskin about to finish!

Rumplestiltskin about to finish!

Apparently the finish line is up ahead. I can’t see  the cars, Phill, Hywel, or volunteers. All I can see is thick fog until i’m a few feet away and then i’m done.

26 hours 54 minutes. I don’t hang around long. All I want to do is go back to the hotel and have a shower and a nap and I’m sure my crew want to do the same.

After a few hours of tossing and turning i’m back to life. My vision has improved and I head off the pub to meet Ewan for a few beers and to chew the fat.

Post race beers

Post race beers

Me and the Champ!

Me and the Champ!

The awards ceremony on Sunday is good fun as Paul talks genuinely about each runner. We receive our Akubras and hat pins, have a group photo and a chat with other runners and crews. Lots of brusied and battered runners out there.

After the ceremony we’re in the car again for the long drive back to Sydney as we all have work on Monday. What a weekend!

A big thanks to Paul and Dianne for putting on this race. It really is spectacular. And thanks to all the volunteers who give up there time. People, put this race on your to do list!

And of course, this race would be impossible to do without the support of my crew, particularly Phill who has had to put up with all my 4am runs, no weekend lie-ins and boring conversation topics! Phill was also the main driver, organiser and everything in between. Legend!

A big thanks to Hywel too for providing the entertainment. Always something amusing to say and also does a mean massage! Chief!

And Pistol Pete. There wasn’t a hope in hell of me finishing this race without you guiding me up the mountain. I’ll be there to support you for your half marathon pb! 😉

It’s now been almost a month since I finished the race. My left knee stopped hurting about 10 days after. It was incredibly sore to touch and walk about on. Likewise, it took this long for the my face and body stop peeling after suffering from deep burns. My big toe nails both fell off a couple of days ago so i’d say i’m almost back to normal. My left foot was really numb for quite some time after the race and its only in the last week that the numbness has mostly disappeared. All that’s lingering is some numbness in my left leg running up my IT Band. I’m guessing its some sort of nerve damage.

I’ve now spent the vast majority of the last month in a pub and getting heavily involved in the festive season without having any urge to run. It’s only now those thoughts are returning….

Glenbrook Marathon Race Report

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.

Centennial Park 100 – Race Report

On Sunday I thankfully managed to complete the Centennial Park 100 race.

It’s 28 laps of Centennial Park plus a little extra. The trail is hard packed dirt and very runnable and the park is beautiful.

I started the day at 4.15am and immediately set about necking 500ml’s of beetroot juice for the extra 16% of endurance its meant to provide – if you have no idea what i’m talking about then look it up.

Breakfast was porridge with blueberries and 2 bananas. On the way to the venue I drank 350ml’s of water and that was it before kick off.

I had very loft ambitions of aiming for 7hrs 30 which equated to an average pace of 4.30 per kilometre. I knew this would feel easy to start with so I had to make a conscious effort to not get too carried away. I’d run my own race and just see what happens.

My nutrition plan was Gu’s. I taped 12 Gu’s to 12 bottles of water/sports drink (350ml) and I planned to grab a bottle every other lap after the 3rd lap. This worked really well as the tape sticking down the Gu was pretty strong so when tore the Gu off it opened it up for me. Easy.

The first couple of laps I was tucked in about 20 seconds behind Jo Blake and Kevin Muller and then suddenly Jo disappeared. I presumed he had gone for a toilet stop but I never saw him again for the entire race.

I had the urge to pee the moment I started the race but I kept telling myself to hold it until the 30km point. I was looking for a good spot to go as I didn’t want to waste time heading to the loos. I managed to find a large tree just off the course and at a quiet time I nipped over and I was in and out ticking that kilometre off in 4.45. That was the last one I had – I dont tend to go much when im running but I know of other runners who are always going. Anyway I digress.

There isnt a huge amount to say abut this race. It’s just round and round like a hamster.

My nutrition plan was working well and I comfortably ticked off the first marathon in 3.06 and 50km in 3.40  –  I felt good when I saw that but then the negative thoughts hit me. How can I keep this up for another 50km’s!?!? pull out now!

At the 60km mark I desperately wanted to just sack it off and have a beer and I thought I could feel a twinge in my legs. Of course, by this stage everything hurts but there is a difference between muscle soreness and an injury. Yes I had soreness, but I didn’t really have an injury – although my brain was searching for one somewhere. I stopped after crossing for another loop and asked at the aid stations if anyone had panadol. This was more of an excuse to stop (although my ankles were more sore than they have ever been). No one had anything so I trudged off again.

On the next lap I stopped again and someone had drugs for me – advil. I wasnt sure about taking them but actually my ankles were hurting and they still are today. So I popped them and waddled back out.

Phill rocked up at 75km’s and it was good to see her. However it just gave me yet another excuse to stop and stop I did. I said that I was pulling out and luckily she got me questioning myself if I really wanted to do that. Only 25km’s to go. I’d come that far. She also said that Jo was looking really strong. great!

I walked back out and grabbed a load of sweets and walked a bit more whilst I got those down. I think this perked me up slightly as I didn’t stop to speak with Phill again after that, only pausing to grab sweets from the aid station.

I passed the 50 mile mark in 6hrs 9 minutes and the double marathon in 6hrs 29. So the second marathon was 17 minutes slower than the first. That’s quite a slow down but it was unknown territory to me. I’ve never run this pace over this distance before – i think I had underestimated the pain and effort levels involved.

Buzz and Milov were giving me updates as to how behind Jo was. At one stage it was 11 minutes, then 8 minutes then it got down to 3 minutes as I was struggling.

Robert Woolley, who came in 3rd, caught up with me and had a chat for a lap or 2. It was great to take the mind of the pain. He was only a lap behind me but full of beans and really chirpy and moving along well. Meanwhile I felt like death.

Slowly but surely the end was in sight and for the penultimate and last lap I cranked out 17.24 and 16.11 compared to my first two 3.54km laps of 15.40 and 15.33. I really couldn’t go any faster as I was beginning to seize up each time I tried to push it.

I had the course record in my sights which I thought was 7.54 going into the race so on the last lap I was confident of achieving this. It was only when I finished that I was told the record was 7.51 so I only had a minute spare.

Chris Truscott, last years winner and previous record holder, was there to give me my medal which was a nice touch. No doubt he’ll be there again to smash that time apart.

I have so much respect for any runner who completes these kind of lap courses, in particular those who do so on a 400m athletics track. I cant fathom that and I know I wouldn’t have the mental strength to complete one.

This race really really pushed me and I had to dig deeper than ever before which only made it much more enjoyable (after I had finished of course!).

Would I do this again? Not sure. I said yesterday that no way would I do it again, although I feel there is much better performance in me somewhere.

This race is to be used as a qualifier for Spartathlon next year which is at the end of September. If for whatever reason I don’t enter or get in then I may give this one another shot – but only on the premise that I am properly trained for it.

Long slow running (which is all i’ve been doing) really doesn’t cut it. I’ll need to train like I’m gunning for a marathon pb plus put in the extra long runs. If I do that and do it properly then I think I’d have a better day out.

Next stop, Coast to Kosci!

The North Face 100 Race Report – 2013

My training in the lead up to this race had not been ideal to say the least. Other more important things had taken priority in the lead up (as they should) such as getting married, my family visiting, honeymoon so I only really started focussing on the race during the first week of April. I love stats so below are some numbers:

Feb Mileage (KM) – 320
March Mileage (KM) – 147
April Mileage (KM) – 348

Long runs 30 – 40km + in 3 month lead up = 3
Long runs 40-50km + in 3 month lead up = 1

Even though the above numbers are really low I was still confident that my 3 year base of running would see me improve on 2011’s time of 11.32.

My goal was to break 11 hours – I had been fixated on this arbitrary goal and I decided to use Jon O’Loughlin’s splits from 2012 as a guide where he ran 10.47 (this year he ran 9.58!!)

Now, word of warning, this isn’t another race report where you’ll read about the runner going on a spiritual journey and just enjoying being out in nature and finding myself blah blah blah. I didn’t float along the trail or experience any out of body moments. I ran 100 kilometres in the Blue Mountains. It a hurt a bit…

Leg 1 – Leura to Narrow Neck (18km) (1hr 48)

Nice easy start to the race, set off quite comfortably with the main pack about 50 meters in front on the first road section until we hit the small area of single track. Shona Stephenson came storming past shouting at us men to move out of her way. Found this quite amusing that I was already being passed on the single track at such an early stage but its not my strength.

On the next long stretch of road I started working my way through the field running mainly with Damian Smith, front runners still just in sight. My legs were feeling good, I was feeling good and I was looking forward to the day.

The pace was comfortable on Cliff Walk but I didnt want to push it any harder, it’s a long day out and I had a vague race plan that I wanted to stick to.

I was swigging my Hammer Perpteum every 15 minutes along with a gulp of water. No issues.

Just before the Landslide I passed Tim Cochrane who was off the track – I could smell him before I could see him… Shortly after doing his business he overtook me and I made sure not to run too closely behind.

I inhaled a gel then it was then up the Golden Stairs climbing 200 meters and then a 1km stroll to CP1.

Leg 2 – Narrow Neck to Dunphys Camp (20km) (1hr 48)

I left CP1 feeling really good. Dan Bleakman of Ultra168 was there providing race updates doing a good job. This is a good section of runnable dirt road that was just plain good fun. My climbing legs were strong and I was easily running the inclines thinking it was going to be an awesome day. I got to the Tarros Ladders with Tim Cochrane and he went down first and stayed in front on the descent. Once on the dirt road and I passed him on one of the small climbs and didnt see him for the rest of the race.

There is a good descent into Dunphys Camp and I made sure I didn’t run it too hard. I’ve paid the price for that in the past. Stick to your game plan Ian!

At CP2 there was a quick gear check, I filled up my water bottles and was on my way. I had to take a double look upon departing as I thought I saw Ryan Sandes. Unfortunately he had to pull out due to stomach issues.

Leg 3 – Dunphys Camp to Sixfoot Track (16km) (1hr 47)

The hill up to Iron Pot Ridge took a bit out of me but not really an issue. I had to walk a little as it flattened out at the top and then plodded on. Once at the out n back section I saw Mick Donges just finishing up that section, Grant Guise, Sam Walker and others I didn’t recognise.

The digeridoo guys were great and I laughed when they said I only had 60km’s to go. I remember giving a thumbs up to that and on the return section they said it again and this time I gave a rock an almighty boot. Ouch. The rock won. I firstly saw Hanny Allston then Beth Cardelli when I was on my return leg so they weren’t too far behind. I knew it wouldn’t be long before they caught me, absolutely no shame in that though. Brilliant runners.

After Iron Pot Ridge my world fell apart. Sounds dramatic and it probably is a little but that’s how I felt. My calves, without warning, suddenly started cramping. Visibly spasming. It was completely disabling and alarming. I didn’t have any salt tablets on me but deep down I knew the real cause was probably my lack of training and muscle fatigue. This was very frustrating as fitness/energy wise I was feeling dead good.

There were a few of us runners bunched along here and no-one had any salt tablets. Paul O’Connor had bi-carb of soda which I poured into my water bottle. Tasted horrible but I got it down. Not sure it made a huge difference but I was at least able to run now and again. Thanks Paul! I passed Sam Walker along here too. Brilliant runner, he was also struggling but seemed to be in good spirits. I think he was also suffering from cramps.

My goal now was just to get to CP3, have a good stretch, empty the dirt from my shoes and get going. There were a few stiles along the way which caused a few issues. Each time I went over one not only did my calves cramp up but also my hamstrings and quads. More time lost stopping and stretching. My toes even cramped occasionally. I’d never experienced anything like this before – why now!!

Finally I made it into CP3 and my wife, Phill, was there to greet me. I immediately dropped to the floor to take my shoes off. I was in a world of pain and couldn’t control the cramping. I think Phill was a bit concerned with the state I was in. I got some powerade in me and asked around for salt but no-one had any. I think I was clutching at straws!

Phill had to put my shoes back on as I couldn’t get into the correct position due to cramps. Phill said I was still on track to go sub 11 but I was seriously considering jacking it in as the cramps were doing me in. Still, only 11km’s to the next checkpoint, get going and re-asses   at the next stop. I spent just over 5 minutes in this CP which wasn’t ideal but on reflection it could have been a lot worse.

Leg  4 – Six Foot Track to Katoomba Aquatic Centre (11km) (1hr 20)

I’d run this section a few times in the last year so I knew the vast majority of it was runnable. My game plan was to hit this hard as in the past I had always come unstuck here. Lots of good running to be had as the inclines aren’t bad at all. I  had been looking forward to this section during my mental prep.

Once I got going I had a 2nd wind and started feeling ok. I was running, not fast, but I was running at least. The calves would twinge occasionally and I was only hit with severe cramps going over a couple of stiles. I could handle that.

I hit the base on Nellies Glen, found a suitable stick to use as a walking pole (great thing to do) and started the 480 meter climb. Its pretty brutal and never easy and my legs started cramping up on some of the steps. It was just more frustrating than anything as each time I had to stop to massage them, this took time as the spasms would last up to 30 seconds each. I was cursing myself at the time for my lack of training.

Half way up the stairs I passed a guy I had been running with in the previous legs. I’ve completely forgotten his name though. This time when I asked him for salt tabs he had some on him. I swallowed 3 and plodded on feeling sorry for myself. Thank you that man!

After Nellies Glen had chewed me up and spat me out I followed the single track round and actually passed the house we were renting for the weekend. Phill was there with her family cheering me on. She had a bottle of powerade there to give me which was tempting but I shouted out that i’d have it at the next CP. I wasn’t sure of the rules but I wanted to be careful that I didn’t breach any.

I ran into CP4 a battered man! Phill was waiting there for me and I did my best to force down half a protein shake and some powerade. My stomach had decided to act up a few hours earlier and I was struggling to take in any calories. I didn’t take much on board all day. As I was drinking my shake I saw Barefoot Inc athlete Matty Abel on a chair eating noodles. Sitting on a chair is never a good sign – I knew if I sat down I wouldnt be able to get up so I ducked out of there just as Beth Cardelli came in to a loud cheer. I later read that Matty rolled his ankle earlier in the race but didn’t give up. We like that!

Leg 5 – Katoomba Aquatic Centre to Queen Victoria Hospital (24km) (2hr 37)

Now on the home straight. Only 36 kilometres to go, doesn’t sound too demanding. I had been looking forward to this section in the lead up to the race. The downhills heading to the base of Kedumba are historically my worst sections. In 2010 and 2011 I had to go down slowly and backwards and lost a lot of time. This time around I had at least done a couple of downhill specific training sessions so I was looking forward to testing myself. Before getting to that section though you have to run through Echo Point to the Giant Stairway. Just before getting to the Giant Stairway I stopped to let Beth go past me. She had been on my tail for a little while and she is 1000% better on technical terrain than me. It was a good thing I let her past as before I knew it she was down those stairs and out of sight in no time. Unreal. I thought that if I can stick with her then I might still be a shoe in to go sub 11.

After descending the stairs I was able to run ok and wasn’t cramping which was good. I was starting to liven up. I wasn’t moving fast but I was definitely moving so I concentrated on just plodding forward. There were quite a few 50 kilometre runners on the course and I fed off their encouragement and I hope they fed off mine.

Before long the quad sapping descent started. Beth was still no-where in sight which wasn’t a surprise. After 10 or 15 minutes I rounded a corner and saw a speck in the distance descending and figured it was Beth. I had her in my sights so I increased my tempo in a bid to catch her. It wasn’t easy but I eventually caught up to her on one of the steep hills on that section. We had a quick chat, I think I moaned about how many cramps I had throughout the day (poor old me, no one likes to hear a moaner its not cool) then I looked up and saw a runner up ahead. I put my head down and started my power hike. No cramps. Great. Give it some Ian!!

It turns out that it was Grant Guise ahead and we had a quick chat as I passed him. He is a great runner and Salomon sponsored athlete from NZ. I had actually read his race reports on TNF100 a couple of days before so it was good to see him. Top bloke and I was surprised I passed him so guessed he couldn’t have been well. Turns out he had been throwing up for a while. Cant be nice but he encouraged me to power on as there were another couple of runners ahead that I might be able to catch if I kept my tempo up. Cheers Grant, that was all the encouragement I needed.

I rounded another bend or so and passed Mick Donges and I think Chris Truscott. Man I was now pumped to be in 10th place! I knew what I had to  do and I didn’t want to be passed. These are some quality runners i’ve just passed!

I was now running scared!

So I did my best to bomb down the remaining hills, it hurt but I just wanted to get to the base of Kedumba as quickly as possible. I knew once there I needed to powerhike as hard as I could to put as much of a buffer on the other runners as possible. The last leg is hard and gets quite technical, I knew I was going to be stalked on that leg so I needed to work as I hard as I could up Kedumba.

I got to the base and looked over my shoulder. No-one was behind me, great. Time to get as far out of sight as possible to give the impression i’m smashing it. Quick gear check and off I go. Probably too much detail but I had my first and only pee of the day going up Kedumba. By that point in the day I had drunk about 4.5 litres of water so I wasn’t too dehydrated. I wasn’t concerned that I hadn’t peed all day. Never really happens in training either.

The true hiking parts here were fine, the runnable sections were frustrating. I knew everyone behind me would be running these sections so I had too as well. Every time I tried to run these easy sections I would start cramping. Aaaarrrgh!! Regardless, I got to CP5 without anyone in sight. Now for the hard part.

Leg 6 – Queen Victoria Hospital to Finish (11km) (1hr 21)

I forced another protein shake down at this last section. I knew I desperately needed calories, I hadn’t had alot all day. I took a couple of powerades with me and was on my way. I knew I had to run this road, its easy kilometres and my bread and butter. Each time I tried to push the pace, bang, my calves would go. Only 10 kilometres to go, come on Ian hold it together – DO NOT GIVE IN!

It was good doing the vast majority of this section in daylight, definitely makes a difference. Still, it was pretty slow going. I had my worst cramp on the day on the board walk section where there were a few walkers. It was really embarrassing as they were encouraging me on. I tried not to make too much of a fuss and they were probably all wondering why I had suddenly stopped. After 40 seconds or so the spasms stopped and I was cautiously able to plod on.

Things get a bit hazy here but I think I had to put my head torch on at the 5km to go point. I knew I was being stalked, I was very conscious of it and it was mentally exhausting. I was also trying to work out if I still had a shot to break 11 hours. With 3 kilometres to go I saw a couple of bobbing head torches not too far behind me. The panic was starting to set in.

I was 10hrs 30 into the race and I had 30 minutes to break 11 hours. 10 minutes per kilometre – that would be easy surely. Well it wasn’t. Those last agonising 3 kilometres were 8.42/11.11/6.8

The finish was a welcome sight as was my time of 10.54 – A goal achieved.

Immediately post race I had a beer followed swiftly by 2 more. Phill was great and went above and beyond by helping to stretch my legs. Even I wouldn’t want to touch my feet, particularly after having run 100km’s!. That definitely made a difference. Thanks Phill.

My nutrition for the race was as follows:

  • Breakfast: 1 large bowl of museli and greek yoghurt + banana + 2 cups of tea + glass of water
  • Race Food: 5 hammer gels + 2 hammer bars + 1 banana + 3 salt tabs and bi-carb
  • Race Fluid: 5.5 litres of water + 2.5 litres powerade + 2 protein shakes

Post race I felt as good after a race as i’ve ever done. Not sure why or how but I had no trouble walking around, upstairs or downstairs. No hobbling, no issues at all. Only damage is 2 black big toes – I do love kicking the odd rock or two.

Highlight of the day has to be Brendan Davies killing it out there with winning in a time of 9hrs 16 and breaking Kilians record in the process – awesome! Also, Beth breaking her old record significantly and coming so close to breaking 11hrs – Beth if you are reading this I think you should start wearing a watch!

Even though i’ve felt good I haven’t run at all this week. I’ve loaded up on beer and enjoyed my recovery immensely. Keen to start getting back into training again though and I feel more motivated then ever to start taking this a bit more seriously.I’ll be back in the game on Monday.

All thoughts now are heading towards Coast to Kosciusko in December. I plan on getting to the start line of this race in the best possible condition. Its on the road, its long, i think its going to suit me. Definitely a good warm up for the Spartathlon 🙂