Brindabella Classic - 54 km
Distance (measured by GPS) 53.15 km
Time: 5 hrs 7 mins 04 secs
Finished place: 9th
Weather: sunny, temp 15-30 degrees, humidity 25%, light NW wind at times, mainly calm
Week: 53.15 km
October: 223.9 km
Year: 3544.6 km
Weather predictions earlier in the week proved to be correct, it turned out to be a nice day, unless you were out running over 50 km. It was warm already at Bull's Head when the bus stopped for 10 minutes, and by the time the run started at 8:15 am, there was no need for long anything to wear except spending a long time applying sunscreen.
Settled into an easy pace with a 3 others, downhill and still fresh and enthusiastic, passing through Phibes' drink station early on and by Emma-Kate soon after. The down hill soon gave way to the two main uphill section on the 2nd relay section at which time the group had broken up a bit. Ewan had charged away never to be seen again and to record an excellent top 5 place, I think at his 1st attempt on the course.
Made the half way mark at Bulls Head where the two young girls were happily playing away on a couple of musical instruments, too tired to see exactly what. I was told I was in 11th place at this stage so that was good news. Top 10 was on the cards if I could hold it all together. Always plenty of encouragement at the drink stations, but you can also waste plenty of time, however today was vitally important to rehydrate, it was getting very warm.
The 3rd relay leg has plenty of downhill and the quads now start to take a hammering. Early on relay runner Maria zoomed past just after I had caught Mick in survival mode. He just does not like the heat and he had also done Fitzroy Falls marathon only last weekend. I also managed to pass another runner or two putting me in 8th place which I held for a long time. However, into open section after DS7 and on to DS8 (relay change) the heat, time and distance combined for me to have my first walk except in and out of drink stations. Left DS8 with 9km to go and going OK, tired but no other problems until a few cramps set in, just little annoying ones in the calves. Not wanting to have them stop me completely, slowed down waiting for the cool waters of Vanity's Crossing to arrive. If ever there is heaven on earth when you need some help, this is it. Water levels have risen, probably due to snow melt, nice and cool.
Walked up Ma and Pa, jogged down to Pierces Creek drink station where Peter C passed to to take my 8th place.A No matter what I tried, just too buggered to catch him, although he was never more than 100 metres in front. With sub 5 hours out, holding on to a top 10 place was the next objective. I finished fairly strongly, 9th place was not too bad in today's conditions. Time wise I was 22 minutes slower than last year when temp range was 3 - 16 degrees, but 4 places better.
As usual through the run I kept saying this is the last one I do, now completed 12 on a variety of courses, I will no doubt be on the start line again next year.
I love this run, a highlight of the running year for me. A great place to catch up with other ultra runners you know who are just or sillier than me. Trevor Jacobs completed his 20th run today. the heat took it's toll on two runners after the finish who needed medical attention after collapsing, both now appear to be OK. A few DNFs, not a surprise and very smart to pull out before doing any long term damage.
I ran early on with a guy who has recently completed the Marathon de Sables ( Sahara Desert run over numbers of days) and a run in the Gobi Desert over 5 days, marathon every day and 85 km on the last day. Very interesting to hear of their adventures, and hear Phibes' tales from the Western States 100 mile and World 24 hour run Canada in the past few months. These guys make my running look pretty tame, must get out more often.
Rest day tomorrow and Tuesday, may get out on Wednesday if the weather is OK.
Great way to fill in on a lazy Sunday afternoon. A the time of writing this, the great debate between a couple of no name politicians is on, I bet they had a boring day compared with running the wonderful Brindabella Classic.