Two Fruits

Monday, May 31, 2010

Gold Rush off road Marathon, Babinda North Qld

Distance: 42.0 km
Time: 5 hrs 0 mins 5 secs
Rate: 7' 09" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp range 20-26 degrees, humidity 75-80%, wind calm

Very early out of bed, 4:30 am to be ready for the 45 minute drive south from Cairns to the start at the Babinda Boulders. It's a recreation area next to the river, very fast flowing during the wet season which has now finished. Biggest surprise was how dry the area has become in a few weeks. My brother & few others ran part of the track 3 weeks ago in muddy, rainy conditions with creeks overflowing, thereby creating a perfect environment for leeches and other nasty bitey insects.
Arrived at the start area just as the sun was rising, the White boys as organisers still with headlamps on. Slowly the car park filled as the hard nuts rolled in, that's those doing the full marathon. I think they had 21 entries, whittled down to 14 as some opted for the shorter 23 km event. As well one, started but turned at half way, I presume finding the going a little tough.
And a little tough it was. After a quick race brief, making sure we all had the compulsory two bandages & whistle in case of emergency, and a proper hydration plan, off we went.
After a short 300 metres tour of the car park, to make up the full distance & separate the field, the track goes from a narrow bush track and runable to a messy rocky, tree rooted, very undulating goat track. Trail shoes essential to gain grip on the wet surface although drying, still needing good traction to climb the many short steep slopes. Getting down not much easier, plenty of care required.
I had tailed out to 2nd last early, mainly saving myself due to the warm conditions and the high humidity under the rainforest tree canopy. The hydration plan for me was a 3 litre back pack with sports drink & 600 mil hand held bottle of water to be refilled from the many creek crossings. Probably a bit of overkill, but I'm not used to running in such humid conditions. The plan worked well although I didn't drinks as much of the sports drink as expected.
The field had disappeared by the time I reached the top of the climb at a saddle between Mt Bartle Frere & Mt Belenden Ker, the two highest peaks in Qld.
The down part to a causeway crossing was easier, at least runable, but still care required. The White boys had cleared parts of the tracks, cutting up a few logs, eg Maroondah Dam run this year, and clearing some stinging trees & wait-a-while, another vine that catches clothing with big barbs. Still plenty of creek crossing so filling the drink bottle not a problem.
I finished up drinking almost 7 litres of fluid during the run, needed it all as I didn't cramp or suffer from dehydration as did some of the locals.
The causeway crossing was a bigger version of Vanities Crossing at the Cotter, this time may be 100 metres across. Water level on me just under knee height, but not flowing too fast. Certainly not cold water, no signs of crocs. The 23 km run turned here, distance so far then just over 11 kms in 1 hr 26 mins.
We had a name check as we exited, then a nice forest trail, bit slippery in parts due to a shiney surface, but at least a bit of pace. Reasonably flat still under tree cover but a bit more open, nice part of the course. Finally made an open section heading to the Kearney Falls car park & camp ground. A beautiful red belly black snake on the side of an old sugar cane plantation caused a stir, apparently no one else saw the it, a nice well fed specimen.
We had arranged a car to have some supplies meet us here, we had to do a couple of out and backs to make up the full distance as the car park was at the 19 km mark. A short run up to the falls was quite nice, water coming over smooth rocks dropping about 50 metres, good views from a platform, but I didn't have time to stop.
As well, the leaders were on their way back so at least I had a chance to say g'day and work out how far behind I was at this stage. A rough calculation about 30 minutes behind the leader, about 15 mins behind my sister-in-law Anita, a maybe 10 minutes behind my brother. But I was feeling good, I knew my recent training would help in the second half.
Replenished as off again on the return journey, finally caught my brother a couple of kms in, he had upgraded from the 23 km on the day, and was feeling the pinch. We ran together for a while until a small up slope appeared and away I went. Very comfortable back to the causeway river crossing, still 17 minutes behind Anita and no chance to catch her. But I was looking at sub 5 hours so pushed on as best I could, a few nasty slippery up and down slopes didn't help, but I was full of food and well hydrated with nothing to hold me back.
As well catching a few of the slow 23 km runners, and finally a couple of 42 km runners inspired me push on as well as the clock.
I need to average 7 min per km for the last 8 kms, that blew out a bit with the up hill climb to the saddle. Still going Ok on the top that signalled 6 kmss to go and about 35 minutes to finish under 5 hours. It was going to be close so no time to eat or drink any more.
The trail gets more runable in the last 3 kms, but even so maintaining 6 min km pace is not easy after hours of hard running, walking and climbing.
Didn't look at the clock or even have a chance to acknowledge Anita who had finished and was 500 metres back up the track on a bridge crossing, just going for it. I had forgotten where the finish line was, rounded a corner and there were a few markers and the finish line. Very pleased to have finished so well, but a bit disappointed at the time, 5 seconds over 5 hours.
Anita ran 4 hrs 38 mins, me 5 hrs and my brother 5 hrs 25 mins, we were all happy although very tired at the finish. Drying conditions meant no leeches or bitey insects, we were smothered in repellent from the start.
It's a great event, I hope the White boys continue to put on these type of events that we down south have enjoyed for a long time. However, it's not easy although the male winner, Chris White, did run about 3 hours 45 mins, a great effort. The main group ran between 4:30 & 5 hrs, the drying track helping, but the weather conditions, especially the humidity a worry to the unfamiliar.
All up numbers in the two events around 50.
Looking forward to their 56 km event in October from Jelatten up the Mt Molloy Road, should be easier on proper fire trail & 4 WD tracks.
Great day had by all, I would certainly recommend the event to any one interested in something a little bit different. Good preparation required, but well worth the effort.
Going to the beach this afternoon for a swim & recovery, perfect day here in Cairns.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Acclimatising on the Red & Blue Arrow

Distance: 7.85 km
Time: 73' 54"
Rate: 9' 25" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 30 degrees, humidity 75%, wind calm
Week: 57.85 km, May: 330.25 km, Year: 1929.35 km

The flights to Cairns were quiet, mainly because I slept most of the way. A full plane load from Brisbane to Cairns and I know why, even Brissie was cool. The economic climate has hit town badly recently and nowhere as busy as previous times I have visited. Plenty of empty shops, not that many tourists soaking up the sun on the esplanade. Cool it is not, very warm overnight.
The local tap water supply is contaminated with some virus bug, all drinking water needs to be boiled.
Ran mid afternoon on Friday to have some chance of getting used to the weather, heat won't be a problem, but the humidity is high all the time. We ran from a car park near the centre of town to the top of a hill called the Red Arrow. It overlooks the airport runway, and although only 160 metres above sea level, it's a fair climb in 1.5 kms.
Then a circuit of 4.5 kms around the Blue Arrow, a narrow rough walking track in the rainforest, very similar to what to expect on Sunday morning. Dark under the trees, plenty of tree roots and large rocks to negotiate. Sunday won't be fast, it reminds of the last section on Six Foot Track leading to the Coxes River, although the track surface is not as good. Sun glasses not required, too dark. The trail is very dry, a couple of weeks without rain and the creeks are down to a trickle.
We then went to the school oval where a group are coached by my brother. They did 2 x 4, 300 metres, leading kids running 50 seconds for each, the last one in 46 secs. The best of them was missing this week, he really keeps them honest, capable of running 2'50" for a km.
All good so far, stocking up on food and drinks for tomorrow, with an early night planned.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tapering, a Couple of Days to Go

Distance: 4.85 km
Time: 24' 42"
Rate: 5' 05" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 12 degrees, humidity 66%, wind SE at 25 kmph
Week: 50.0 km, May: 322.4 km, Year: 1921.5 km

Waiting and waiting & ready to go. Nothing to gain & plenty to lose doing too much. Short easy run, felt Ok as it should.
Weather wise in Qld should be good, would like a reasonably dry track even if there are creek & river crossings.
Next report, hopefully with a good news story, from Cairns.

Monday, May 24, 2010

48 Hours in France

Distance: 16.5 km
Time: 85' 50"
Rate: 5' 12" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 14 degrees, humidity 66%, wind calm
Week: 45.15 km, May: 317.55 km, Year: 1916.65 km

A slow news day in my running world. It looked like rain all day but nothing yet. Ran from home to Theodore on the fire trail to the sub station. Then a short loop to the two reservoirs, back to the sub station and home via the oval & shops.
Gee, Ewen, the oval is in good condition for this time of year.
I have been consistently watching the live video & hourly updates on the 48 hour run in France. It's the same event that Phibes won this time last year with 433.68 kms covering 11 kms in the last hour. This year the winners were both Japanese with the male winner covering 407.966 kms & the female winner covering 397.103 kms. She broke the World record and looked good to go over 400 kms until the last 6 hours when she slowed with just over 6 kms in the last hour.
But if you do a quick calculation, the male winner covered on average 8.5 kms every hour. The female winner covered 8.27 km on average every hour. That is not slow taking into account some necessary stops, plenty of walking, may be some sleep or rest time. The chat on "coolrunning" suggested that most went out too fast.
In comparison, when Kouros ran the current 24 hour world record in Adelaide about 10 years ago, he ran 303 kms in 24 hours at average 12.6 km per hour or 4' 45" per km. That's fast !!
As I mentioned in my previous post, Martin is 3 weeks away from a 6 day event in Europe, forgotten where exactly. He won't be fast like Kouros, but I would suggest he is targetting 1000 kms. Quite a few have done this in the past, it will certainly be a major achievement if he gets it.
However, one must dedicate oneself to the training, a week or so ago he did 240 kms for the week with a 100 km run on the Saturday over the Bush Capital ultra course, followed up with 40 kms on the Sunday. A few short one's thrown in during the week, a bit of tempo running for a change of pace, some long hill sessions on Stromlo. That's an average of nearly 35 kms a day, must have a good job.
Information obtained from standing on top of Mt Tennent for 3 hours with both Martin & John Winsbury, winner of this year's Bogong to Hotham run. John likes running up and down the front walking track of Tennent, same as I do. Lots of fun, but must concentrate, dangerous if you go over the edge, could be life threatening.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Smaller Mountain but with Colour

Distance: 28.65 km
Time: 2 hrs 56 mins 54 secs
Rate: 6' 10" per km
Altitude gain & loss: 500 metres
Calories used: 2220
Weather: sunny, temp 5-12 degrees, humidity 75% down to 60%, wind calm,
Week: 28.65 km, May: 301.05 km, Year: 1900.15 km

We started from the Cotter Road at the old Deek's Dr car park not long after a fast group lead by Martin Dent had gone past. Nick & Softshoe ran today but we all have excuses for our current form, either sick & an injury, recovering from an excellent effort last weekend or getting over a head cold.
We headed towards Clo's crossing with a lady running and pushing a pram a little way in front. She was going very well, strong on the up hill, quick on the flat, we couldn't catch her even at under 5 min pace. With no arm movement & the effort of pushing the pram, she is certainly a strong runner. Luckily she turned off just before the base of Dairy Farmer's Hill or we could have been embarrassed.
We had also met the Marty Dent group coming back, no way we could run at their pace. We ran the outside of the cork plantation before going under Glenlock to the base of Black Mtn. Up to the top of the mountain, walked a fair bit of this, no point pushing too hard. A short stop to chat.
Then down the run-up course behind the CSIRO & Botanic Gardens to the LBG bike track. Plenty of activity on a Sunday morning including meeting Andy & waving to Speedygeoff at the Rowing sheds. Nick took the lower tracks back to our start as Softshoe & I walked up the gun barrel to the Arboretum & easy jog over to the eagle's nest on top of Dairy Farmer's Hill.
Plenty of construction work on seating and a viewing platform which will be great to entice visitors to see the city from a distance.
The last of the up hill done, a quicker run back to the start with a short detour for me to add a couple of kms to make the day really worthwhile. Also the last longish run before next Sunday's Gold Rush 42 km in Qld.
Good company today, a nice morning to run in perfect conditions.
Tomorrow, I will tell about a week of running as done by Martin Fryer. Big kms!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Australian Mountain Running Championships - Mt Tennent

Today: Nil
Weather: sunny, temp about 12 degrees, humidity 40%, wind calm.
Full distance men's event: 11 km, altitude gain - 1000 metres.
Full distance women's event: 8 km altitude gain - 795 metres.

The Aussie championships were held today on Mt Tennent. Image on left shows the main fire trail from the start at the bottom to the top. The short section out to the left is Bushfold Flats which was not run today. We run this usually in February or March, a 19 km event which is great fun. With no recent rain, the fire trail surface was good with a couple of rocky bits where the track has been repaired due to rain damage.
Events for open men & women, junior boys and girls as well as age groups. Those with a little local knowledge certainly had an advantage knowing where the steep parts were. It's not all up hill. Open winners were Scott McTaggart & Vanessa Haverd, both very well credentialled runners. Vanessa won women's section of Six Foot Track this year. Scott won the Hobart marathon this year a very impressive time of 2 hrs 23 mins 39 secs showing that you don't have to be a mountain goat to win at this level.
Another great day on the mountain, even if I didn't run. Just a helper up the top.
Full results on website for mountain running soon on

Friday, May 21, 2010

Back Home & Still on Holidays

Distance: 14.9 km
Time: 83' 10"
Rate: 5' 35" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 15 degrees, humidity 46%, wind SE at 7 kmph
Week: 46.5 km, May: 272.4 km, Year: 1871.05 km

Only away for 6 days, felt like ages, but always happy to be back in familiar territory. We visited my brother-in-law north of Newcastle, they seem to live in the middle of nowhere, a long way from the sea, some bush around but not enough time to explore especially after rain when the tracks held the water.
The family moved from southern Victoria in January, where, although a 14 hour drive, the running tracks were excellent, and the scenery magnificent looking out to sea.
Back home today, a flat run just getting over the last effects of a head cold & blocked sinuses. Started out Ok, slowed down to very easy pace on way home. Nice day except for cool SE breeze.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rain Overnight, Thunder in the Sky

Distance: 15.15 km
Time: 81' 56"
Rate" 5' 25" per km
Weather: thick cloud, temp 15 degrees, humidity 85%, SW wind 20 kmph
Week: 31.6 km, May: 267.5 km, Year: 1856.15 km

Plenty of rain overnight set to continue until the end of the week. The usual story from the locals, it's been sunny for months, these are the first wet days we have had. Can't win.
At least the ground is soft to run on, too much water to head to the forest, so I stayed on the edge of the road around suburbia.
No point in offering a description of where I went, I don't know myself. All I did was an out and back towards Williamtown, home of a RAAF base.
Thunder in the clouds combined with fighter jets overhead, keep head down in case something drops from the sky. The jets scream across at reasonably low altitude, certainly hear them even if hidden by cloud. Spread out is loud, a couple together is louder, but more is deafening. Good for a tourist, no so good for the locals that put up with the sounds every day.
There are seats on the edge of the road at the end of the runway so people can stop to watch the fighters take off and land. That would be fun.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Port Stephens, NSW

Distance: 16.45 km
Time: 1 hr 29 mins 35 secs
Rate: 5' 27" per km
Weather: sun/cloud, temp 18 degrees, wind calm

Too much to do combined with packing and travelling have resulted in a very slack 6 days with little running.
As well, a cold picked up from an unwell passenger at work has slowed down both the desire and ability to run.
Weather here today is overcast with light drizzle all day, it's not cold but there is no incentive to get out and get wet. Yesterday the sun did shine for a while, an "explore and find somewhere to run" day. There is plenty of State Conservation Forest areas around, but not getting lost in the bush means staying close to civilization. Luckily, the locals are friendly and helped out a bit when I wasn't sure which direction to go. Even a young bloke on an illegal trail bike helped out after I told him there were no coppers about looking to arrest him.
No running today, hope to get out tomorrow if the weather improves. If I don't, just put it down to the rest time I probably need, then back home get ready for the real run in Qld at the end of the month.
I have read the results from Great Ocean Road, well done to the 4 who's names I recognized, Kelley, Mick, Michael & Elle. Great result from Kelley with Michael just behind her. I hope you all enjoyed the event & the weather was kind.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Usual Way Home

Distance: 12.15 km
Time: 62' 43"
Rate: 5' 10" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 13 degrees, humidity 38%, wind NE 7 kmph
Week: 53.55 km, May: 225.9 km, Year: 1824.55 km

This week's running will come to a screaming halt now with a planned rest day tomorrow, a packing & preparing day on Friday & travel day on Saturday.
Today, the usual way home at lunch time and back to work. Nothing happened, it was a better day but only just than Tuesday, cooler but next to no wind.
I will take these days as rest & recovery day's, may get a short run on Friday, may be not. By the image on Google Earth of where we are going, there is a large forested area over the back fence with many tracks visible. Hopefully this will provide somewhere to run during the week, even if I have to do multiple loops. I would also like a bit of time on the beach at some time. Wait and see.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Cold Wind Got Me

Distance: 11.25 km
Time: 62' 03"
Rate: 5' 31" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 18 degrees, humidity 40%, wind Westerly at 25 kmph
Week: 41.4 km, May: 213.75 km, Year: 1812.4 km

From inside it looked like a nice day outside. It was running with the wind assisting, but I didn't like or handle the conditions against the breeze.
I bit of a circle from work behind Bonython to Woodcock Dr, down to Point Hut, then along the river track against the wind to Pine Is, top car park, and back to work.
Stopped for 15 minutes in the river, really good for the legs and glutes, but it stuffs the jog up the road for the last 1 km.
Ewen, the answer to your question is Yes. But that's not necessarily the answer to the original question. Follow ? May be one day I will let you know, if I get permission.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Easy Monday

Distance: 10.9 km
Time: 55' 59"
Rate: 5' 08" per km
weather: sunny, temp 18 degrees, humidity 50%, wind NNW at 15 kmph
Week: 30.15 km, May: 202.5 km, Year: 1801.15 km

Easy day trying to consolidate a good weekend. Two easy runs, first around the Tuggie area, just over 4 kms, then rode the bike home for lunch.
Second, down hill back to work, nothing to report, nice autumn afternoon. Felt Ok, no damage done at all, but must be careful for the rest of the week, just in case.
Another couple of not much type days, then rest day on Thursday, meeting a VIP.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Arboretum & Eagle's Nest

Distance: 19.25 km
Time: 1 hr 41 mins 29 secs
Rate: 5' 16" per km
Altitude gain: 310 metres
Weather: sunny, temp 7-14 degrees, humidity 99% - 75%, wind calm
Week: 19.25 km, May: 191.6 km, Year: 1790.25 km

Didn't quite make the forecast 20 km back up from yesterday. But only because what we ran was far enough due to Mother's Day commitments at home.
Perfect autumn morning to run from Cotter Road, one of the last chances I will get to run in this area. More and more is being fenced off to make way for two new suburbs. It will certainly be the end of an era in Canberra running.
Very pleasant on good dirt trails over Clo's crossing to the central 6 track, then along side the Tuggie Parkway to the construction work on the lower side of the Arboretum. Up the infamous gun barrel to the main part of the tree planting, then we stopped at the eagle's nest to admire the views over the lake, the city and west to the Brindabellas. No snow over there yet, it won't be far away.
Off the top and we managed to get some speed going on the down towards the power lines and back to Clo's. We needed some extra distance so off to the old Jogalong course, up to Deek's Forest Park entrance, and down the trail next to the Cotter Road.
Very few out this morning, may be doing the Mother's Day classic, or just slept in for an easy day at home. Unfortunately, today doesn't get any attention from me, but I do hope all the mothers out there have a great day.
Speedygeoff, the virus didn't do any file damage, but it did stop a few functions, mostly the tool manager. It hid inside, and was difficult to find. I think the virus entered through a Facebook page, the only foreign website I have looked at recently. However, all is Ok now thanks to Mick.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

More of the Same on Saturdays

Dist: 10.4 km in 52' 52" at 5' 05" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 14 degrees, humidity 60%, wind calm
12 min in river at 12 degrees, getting cold

Distance: 52.05 km
Time: 5 hours 10 mins 31 secs ( running time )
Rate: 5' 58" per km
Altitude: 570 metres up, 610 metres down
Weather: sunny, temp 4-18 degrees, humidity 95% - 50%, wind calm
Week: 121.15 km, May: 172.35 km, Year: 1771.00 km

Computer virus hit yesterday, fixed thanks to anti virus software already loaded and 2 hours from Mick C this afternoon who fixed the other damage done. I owe him for that, I had no idea what to do.
That was after I finished a long run that started just after 8:00 am and went for a long time. I met Softshoe on the trail behind Theodore continuing behind Chisholm & Gilmore houses to reach Isabella Dr. Easy down hill running to Ashley Dr and home. End of 1st lap, distance 18.3 kms in 1 hr 50 mins. Inside to get honey & banana sandwich and a drink before starting lap 2.
This time up Ashley Dr thru Gowrie to the Fadden entrance to Wanniassa Hills nature park. Plenty of options, but opted to go under Yamba Dr to Farrer ridge, and return home same way. Lap 2 completed, 19.4 kms in 1 hr 56 mins. Slightly faster than lap 1, but not much, felt Ok. Small can of chocolate creamed rice and drink, then out again.
Lap 3 much more down hill towards Point Hut and Pine Is. Finished up in recovery mode in the river for 12 minutes, either I'm getting soft or the water is colder, 7 minutes in and 1 minute out, then final 5 minutes in. Whatever, it's good for tired legs.
I should be able to go Ok tomorrow, meeting Nick for a Stromlo stroll in the morning to start off another week while the good weather holds out.
Wore the new trail running shoes for the first 38 kms, really happy with the comfort and how they gripped, but will need to wear the short gaiters to keep those tiny stones out. Forgot for the first lap, remembered for the second lap, no worries after that. Changed to road shoes for third lap with the gaiters.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mt Taylor

Distance: 18.3 km
Time: 1 hr 39 mins 13 secs
Rate: 5' 25" per km
Altitude gain/loss: 340 metres
Weather: sunny, temp 15 degrees, humidity 45%, cool SW wind at 20 kmph
Week: 58.7 km, May: 109.9 km
Year: 1708.55 km in 18 weeks at ave 94.9 km per week

It's been nearly a year since I ran from work to the top of Mt Taylor and back. The picture shows the course nicely if you are lucky enough to live southside of this city.
Starting near the bottom, running outside of Lake Tuggeranong, then a long up hill on Athllon Dr to Sulwood Dr. Leaving the main roads, on to the fire trail at the back of Torrens houses to the newest of the tracks up the mountain. It's a zig zag track, about 900 metres long, easily runable except about 50 metres near the top that is rocky. A nice training track.
Windy on the top, stopped a couple of minutes to admire the views both towards the city over Woden, then looking south towards Rob Roy & Tennent.
The hard part done, then a bit of speed to make up for the slowness of the up hill. Down the western side to Sulwood Dr ( the way the Tour de Mtn goes up), down through Kambah to Athllon Dr, nice running over the dam wall, past Centrelink building and back to the depot.
It's not a good summer run, too open & few drink spots. Would have to carry too much water, although the dog bowl on top of the mountain could be used in an emergency.
Ewen & Jog, the trail running shoes I bought have the sole traction going across the shoe, the Salomon on the website, and the others I looked at have odd tread patterns which I didn't like.
Looks, mine are black & red, like the colour, you won't see how dirty they get. I need to wear red socks & cap to colour match. Must look the part even if I can't run.
I did read the Salomon write up, didn't understand the language, looked a bit foreign to me.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Trail Running Shoes

Distance: 9.6 km
Time: 50' 52"
Rate: 5' 18" per km
Weather: cloudy, temp 21 degrees, humidity 55%, NNW at 20 kmph
Week: 40.4 km, May: 91.6 km, Year: 1690.25 km

I had a chat to my brother in FNQ last night and suggested that proper trail running shoes would be required at the Gold Rush. I have never ran in anything other than road shoes with a good grippy tread. The first thing I do when looking for new running shoes is turn them over and look for some grip. But proper trail shoes, I have never considered them.
Part of that reasoning is that almost all my running trails are dry and dusty, not wet or rough, or that steep. I bought a pair of Adidas Response Trail shoes, and tried them out less than an hour after purchase. Certainly do give plenty of support both on up hill and down, and inspire confidence to go a bit harder.
I found an up hill, short but runable behind Bonython near Stranger Hill. Years ago, I ran repeats here, must have been silly then.
Finished at the river at Pine Is for 11 @ 13, really good, got out before the rain started & the shoes got wet.

Monday, May 3, 2010

End of May Run

Distance: 15.7 km
Time: 81' 42"
Rate: 5' 12" per km
Weather: sun/cloud, temp 16 degrees, humidity 66%, wind SW 8 kmph
Week: 30.8 km, May: 82.00 km, Year: 1680.65 km

Today I ran home at lunch time and back to work afterwards. Nothing to report, a dull day especially after the excitement and the beaut weather over the weekend.
The Gold Rush off road marathon is on in FNQ at the end of this month. A public holiday in Qld today allowed some runners from the local area to have a look over part of the course.
Firstly, it is wet, very wet. Metres of rain so far this year, the first creek crossing at 500 metres in to the run, and plenty thereafter. So wet feet all day.
Second, leeches, smaller than the mountain variety in Tassie I experienced as a youngster on bush walking trips. However, they are every where, and will cling on despite insect repellent.
Third, most of the climb up in the first 7 kms is under the cover of the rain forest, no GPS signal, the humidity will be high as will the temperature.
Fourth, after reaching the top of the mountains, it will open up allowing for some clear running before reaching a river crossing. Today it was too high and too fast flowing to cross. Hopefully it will recede during the next 4 weeks.
Fifth, I need some trail running shoes with real grip. Anything else will be like slicks on a race car on a wet road.
Sixth, I will love the run, the location, can't wait to get there. The training I have done will be plenty to get me through, if I can handle the conditions.
Seventh, my lovely sister-in-law is also running in the full distance 42 kms, I will not be happy if she runs past me with a couple of kms to go. And there is a very good chance she will. Time estimate at this stage is between 5 and 5.5 hours.
Early thoughts on the Spiny Cray in October from Julatten inland from Port Douglas in FNQ is more likely to be hot and dry, with an out and back course starting with a long 28 kms of up hill, then turn around, on fire trails. May be something like our Cotter to Bulls Head run and return.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Ultra

Distance: 15.1 km
Time: 78' 58"
Rate: 5' 13" per km
Weather: sunny, temp 18 degrees, humidity 65%, wind calm
Week: 15.1 km, May: 66.3 km, Year: 1664.95 km

I helped on the drink stations at the CRRF, missing all the action of the marathon and half marathon except the first 100 metres at the start. I did see the first few runners cross the line in the half marathon, but that was it for those events.
The ultra drink station behind the High Court was an interesting place to be. It was complete hive of activity along the edge of the lake between the two bridges that cross LBG. A near perfect autumn day had hundreds if not thousands of other people out enjoying the sunshine. But this did create a traffic problem along the course. Many people with dogs, bike riders, skate boarders, a few on roller blades plus around 40 ultra runners going out and back to the turnaround just past Commonwealth Avenue bridge.
I managed to get between the two drinks stations plus back towards the start line, with a long wait for the final marathon runners who were much later than the last ultra runner.
However, they finished their event with a smile and pride, happy to finish, get a medal and then start the reflection on how they completed the mission. Well done to the finishers.
No idea on any marathon results, the ultra winner ran very well, a big distance in front of the two running together in second place. They were using the ultra as a training run for Comrades coming up soon in South Africa. Makes the heart flutter a bit at the thought.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Running Around Suburbia

Distance: 51.2 km
Time: 5 hrs 14 mins 10 secs
Rate: 6' 08 " per km
Altitude: 500 metres up, 540 metres down
Calories: 3900
Weather: sunny, temp at 7 am, 8 degrees rising to 19 degrees, humidity 90% down to 50%, wind mostly calm rising to NW 15 km
Week: 113.7 km, May: 51.2 km, Year: 1649.85 km
The image shows two red courses, the top one was the first course I ran today with Softshoe, the lower one is the Mt Rob Roy course we ran a couple of weeks ago. Today we certainly covered plenty of territory and saw plenty of suburbs in the Tuggeranong & Woden area.
I also ran along the edge of Lake Burley Griffin in the afternoon checking the ultra course for use tomorrow at the Canberra Road Running Festival.
The morning was again near perfect conditions, a little cool to start, long sleeved shirt but nice and sunny. Felt comfortable, we walked up a few hills especially on Wanniassa Hills and Isaacs Ridge, we did the full loop,a bit of walking around the outside of Mt Taylor. But a generally good outing, very enjoyable. And a thanks to Softshoeshuffle for the company.