Six Foot Track... No. 11
Distance: 45 km
Time: 5 hrs 10 mins 9 secs
Rate: 6' 54" per km
Finished: 250th out of 849 starters - 29%
Weather: mostly sunny, temp 14-20 degrees, humidity 65%, wind calm
Week: 84.1 km
March: 153.6 km
Year: 984.0 km
Well, I've done 11 of them now with one to go to get the belt to go with the buckle. I can't believe I keep going back again and again. Every year it's that is the last, but soon the mind says what a great event it is. Easy it isn't, otherwise the field would be like City to Surf. However, the hills are longer and higher, the track is dirt, sand, rocky and gravel, narrow and twisty and technical. That's what makes it fun along with catching up with other ultra and hill running nuts that like this sort of adventure.
Rain and cooler conditions results in a good surface, hardened the sand at the river but produced a humid day. One can't complain about the weather when the men's race record was broken again, a record number under 4 hours and a full field of 850 entrants.
A wave 2 start, I'm getting slower, meant a very ordinary start racing down to the top of Nellie's Glen, very slow down the steep slope, 22 minutes to start running and then a slow trip to Coxes River, 1 hr 35 mins. Previously around 1 hr 20 mins was considered Ok. No chance then to break 5 hours for me, last year I ran 4 hrs 50 minutes. So settled into plan B, run the rest of the race with only walks out of drinks stations.
Plan B would soon see if the training up and down local mountains had worked over the last 4 months. It did work. The only small part I walked is a rocky 200 metres near the end of the deviation. Ran or jogged up the mini saddle, up the pluviometer, all along the Black Range and on to the finish.
A slight cramping in the left hamstring on the Black Range found me looking for a salt tablet, that worked well. Some salt into a drink at the road crossing plus a couple of good drinks and that problem disappeared.
I thought I was going Ok towards the finish, but the clock still said 7 minute km pace. Such is the delusion after 5 hours out there.
Coxes river crossing was a relief, but the sand is a potential problem every year to get in a shoe and start to rub causing blisters. Thankfully, not a problem this year with a few pieces getting washed out later on at the next creek crossings before the climb up the pluviometer.
Another one done, I was the 2nd Steve to finish out of about 10, 19th in my age group and that's in 10 year blocks, inside the top 30%, that's still good. Back again next year for the belt. you bet. After that, who knows.
Today, we drove back home after a very good night's sleep, might have the been the beer I won off Ewen, thanks ot the huge amount of food at the banquet at the RSL club. Today, I feel good, a little quad soreness, that will be gone tomorrow, no feet problems, all Ok. A couple of days of just riding the mtn bike to work and home and some time each day down in the cool water of the river at Pine Is.
A decision has already been made to give the Canberra marathon a miss, concentrate on recovery and then start some serious long distance training for Glasshouse 80 km run in mid May. Much more my type of running, and walking. Some how, 80 kms is so much easier than 45 kms at SFT. No pressure, not many hills, no hard road surface, great fun. And a trip away to sunny Qld.