Two Fruits

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pyramid Running

Distance: 16.25 km
Time: 87' 05"
Rate: 5' 21" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 13-14 degrees, humidity 35%, wind calm
Week: 28.3 km, Aug: 230.85 km, Year: 2815.75 km

When I was visiting my brother in Cairns a few years ago, we ran ( loose description) up the Pyramid near Gordonvale, just south of Cairns.
It is sheer up hill on a goat track, may be improved now but very tough. Distance from base to top is only 3 kms but it took me over an hour to get to the top and 45 minutes to get back down. That's all we ran on the day, 6 kms.
Local knowledge is vital in this event, the track is very hard to follow.
The photo above, courtesy of the Cairns Post on line, is from last weekend, the 50th time this event has been held. By any standard, it is the hardest mountain running event in Australia. The actual event starts in the town of Gordonvale with a 3 km start to the base, up and down the mountain and 3 kms back to the finish. Winning time for the men is around 1 hr 45 mins.
Interstate mountain runners from the south have been up there and tried but the locals hold the edge. This year, John Winsbury from Canberra finished 2nd behind a young gun from Newcastle but now living in Cairns. John is an Australian representative at the world mountain running championships next month.
On the female side, my sister-in-law still holds the female record for the event, finishing 5th this year, and the record remains intact. Hot, sunny conditions, temp near 30 degrees, dry humidity, wind calm with a 2 pm start resulted in a tough day out for a record 150 entrants.Those going up give way to those coming down. In fact, the drink station at half way and on the top is put in place by helicopter, also used to transport out anyone seriously injured.
Today, I ran easy but a little longer home for lunch and back to work. Nice day, best day of winter this year.


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