Mt Tennent & Bushfold Flats - AMRA Run
Distance: 20.35 km plus warm up 500 metres
Time: 2 hrs 3 mins 15 secs
Rate: 6' 03 " per km
Altitude gain: 770 metres
Week: 32.85 km
Jan & Year: 362.7 km
Brilliant morning in the mountains of Namadgi National Park. One of my favourite places to run, tough, plenty of hills, usually few others around.
This morning starting just before 7:30, a small but dedicated group started in a couple of events, all of which were to go to the top of Mt Tennent. Some then came straight back down on the fire trail, while some went out on to Bushfold Flats on the grassy 4WD track.
Starting inside the gate on Apollo Road that leads to the former space tracking station at Honeysuckle Creek, the tracks drops 100 metres in height right from the start. That's not good, because starting at 755 metres above sea level, with the top of the mountain at 1375 metres, a climb of 620 metres, the last thing you want is a down hill start adding to the altitude.
However, away we went spreading out and going well after the black Angus cows moooved out of the way. The achilles and calf muscles in both legs hurt early on. Not wanting to walk if possible, the pain eventually went after I walked about 30 metres after the 1st drink station at 2.75 kms from the start. Just another 4 kms to go, but there are a few flat parts, I mean a very few, before the last steep climb to the top.
Reaching the top, distance 6.76 kms in 51' 44" , rate 7' 38" ave per km, I turned after saying hello/goodbye to John ( taking photos) and Martin ( recording names & times) , I set off back down the 4 kms to the Bushfold turn, the drink station. CJ and softshoeshuffle were not far behind me, but I was on the down and they were still climbing, so I would have put good time on them.
As I wrote yesterday about the monthly handicap, I have lost a lot of down hill speed, and it showed again today, running only 5'00" km pace down to the drink station. Two years ago, I ran that section at 4' 27" pace. It's gone somewhere, hope I can find it again, it's starting to cost me in races.
Quick drink, then out to Bushfold Flats, some including CJ don't like this section, the grassy track a bit uneven under foot, I don't mind it, nice and open, exposed to the elements. Today, it was getting warm, no wind, just me and the kangaroos most of the time.
An out and back section of 3.4 kms, always good to see the leaders, Trevor and Vanessa, well in front of me. Surprise of the day, Vanessa in front of Trevor at the top of the mountain. Then Trevor took control, longer legs helping on the down hill.
Met CJ and softshoeshuffle on their way out, close together, CJ listening to music I presume, must have been to " zone out" of the run.
Then the sweepers came towards me, Martin from the top of the mountain and James form the drink station. I didn't think there was a time limit, so I pushed on still feeling Ok, but as I said, no top end speed. Just grinding it out. Past Carol taking more photos at the drink station, now just 2.75 kms to go, all down hill except for the last 500 metres up to the road. A horrible finish.
Ran all but 30 metres of the whole race, felt good all the way. Quads sore now, desperately need a massage this week.
A good solid run, finished just over 9 minutes in front of CJ, with softshoeshuffle another couple of minutes behind her. Mick had a shocker, I presume he ran out of energy, not injured I hope.
Driving back, we ventured to Pine Is to the cool water at the south car park beach area. The water is deeper and cooler here in the Murrumbidgee River, a few very cold places, but just what we needed.
Great event, lots of fun, plenty tough enough, but good if fit enough. Certainly not for the softies, the road runners or the sprinters. Not many will take it on, I don't know why, it is a big challenge, doesn't matter how. Certainly nothing to do with a clock time, as Nike say " Just Do It". Gotta love this mountain running.
Go Aussie, what a wonderful place to live.