Coburg, northern suburb of Melbourne, Victoria
When: Saturday 14th April & Sunday 15th April
Distance: 156.889 kms
Time: 1440 minutes ( 24 hours)
Rate: 9' 10" per km ave
Weather: sunny during day time, temp ranges 20 degrees at 10 am (start) to 24 degrees mid afternoon, 19 degrees at midnight, 18 degrees at 6 am & 21 degrees at finish. Humidity between 30% & 55%, wind the main factor, all the time from north at 25 to 30 kms with gusts up to 45 kms.
Finished: 10th out of 19 starters in male 24 hour, not all finished, high attrition rate.
Start weight: 59.0 kgs, lost only 600 gms during the run. Weight taken every 6 hours
Calories used: 10,500
Week: 182.639 km, April: 230.589 kms, Year: 1567.689 kms
Another well organised 24 hour running event put on by the Coburg Harriers over the weekend.
As part of a long term plan, I entered with no expectations other than to finish without damage.
I had taken Easter and the week after off from work to freshen up and to travel down to Melbourne.
As we do now, we took the caravan loaded with all our gear plus some extras from Martin & Phil, both doing the 24 hour walk.
Stopped overnight at Wangaratta, then easy day to Coburg on Friday to arrive at the venue mid afternoon ready to set up as soon as the RD arrived to open the gate.
We found a perfect spot on flat ground on the back of the track up against lane 8, so no distance to have tables, chairs, food and drinks set ready for me and others during the race.
We stayed overnight on site with other person, so a peaceful night, good sleep except for a couple of hoons in cars during the night.
Everyone arrived from 7 am onwards, set up with race briefing at 9:30. The weather was going to be a big factor today, it was warm already with a wind blowing from the north that didn't stop during the entire next 24 hours. It certainly took a toll.
In combination with the running side, the 24 hour event also has a serious walking side with many out to achieve the very respectable 100 miles. Race director's Tim ( walking side) and Bernie ( running side) both gave final instructions including care with the weather & dehydration.
Runners were allocated lanes 1 & 2 with the walkers in lanes 3 & 4. Lane 3 measured at just under 414 metres. With distances calculated in laps, I wonder how the walkers knew how far they had covered.
I started out as conservative as possible, even slow at times but this had to be done. The picture above shows me just behind Malcolm Gamble who actually said he thought the pace was too quick. He went on to DNF overcome by stomach problems. He was not alone, many others also taken down. A few collapses requiring first aid attention caught our notice as it could easily have been any of us in the conditions.
Mid afternoon saw most of this happening, so inside the 1st 6 hours with warm weather and a strong northerly wind.
This was drinking and eating at it's best, about every 15 minutes getting something down and this resulted in no problems from cramps or stomach upsets.
Went thru 100 kms in 13 hours but the coolness of the night was a factor with not much padding to keep me warm. The RD's had also said this would happen & layers were the way to go. I finished wearing 4 layers during the night including and old track suit top over 2 tops and my running singlet. Not cold enough for gloves, but some did have a beanie & many did wear long pants of varied descriptions.
A couple of short nana naps between 3 & 6 am probably cost me time & distance, but then keeping on going at the time may have cost me more.
Slowly started to get sore shins at this time as well, so more walking than planned. The original plan started with 25 - 30 minutes of running with 5- 10 minutes of walking while eating and drinking.
A very sore right hip flexor also cost time, but running kept this manageable, then shins slowed the running.
Martin's crew person also helping me with the race plan was loading me up with much encouragement. The fact that was not running due to injury due to pushing himself too hard last year didn't matter. He ran a brilliant Tan 100 kms in 2010 to win gave him plenty of credibility in the motivation stakes.
He was pushing me as best he could to get to 100 miles with plenty to do inside the last 3 hours. As well, another runner who had disappeared during the night reappeared and looked to be hunting down my 10th place spot although I did have 30 laps on him. He was giving all and lapping me regularly, but I knew if I kept going I could hold him off.
I needed around 27 kms in the last 3 hours to make 100 miles ( 161kms) and although I did 17 laps in the 2nd last hour. I was too far behind the target, so consolidated my 10th spot in the male 24 hour.
I was helped by a couple of great runners, Justin Scholtz & Malcolm Gamble both falling to injury and not finishing, but that's the nature of these events.
In the long run, a good event for me. I know where I am at, what I need to improve on. Plenty went right, a bit not so good, but great fun. Excellent to catch up with some running mates from previous events. Wonderful to see some performances from top class competitors. Especially being on the track with these people, rubbing shoulders & saying hi as they go past.
I need the pain from the hip flexor problem to now go away. A swollen right foot caused by fluid retention, but no blisters or feet problems. Actually feel pretty good today after driving home.
Slept 12 hourts last night in a rest area outside Melbourne and could easily be the same tonight.
Return to work on Wednesday. Next holiday in May, next major run in July, can't wait.