Distance: 215.7 km
Time: 2880 minutes
Rate: 13' 36" per km or 4.49 km per hour
Weather: sunny, temp range each day 6- 21 degrees, humidity daytime around 50%, wind calm
Other running last 2 weeks:
2 x 6 kms on beach on Gold Coast before main event
1 x 3 kms jog on Thurs after plus relax in sea.
I'll cover the last 2 weeks in order so I don't forget the main parts.
We left Canberra after I finished work on the Friday night with caravan in tow & stayed at a rest area just before Sydney. This allowed for a good start on Saturday after getting through Sydney on the M7 & M2 & getting on to the Newcastle Expressway. No problems on the Saturday as we made our way up the NSW coast to stop just before Grafton around 9 pm. With plenty of stops for fuel, rest & eating, it was an easy day in good conditions with a southerly wind assisting.
We made to the Gold Coast before noon on Sunday & had a booking at a caravan park where our friends for many years from our Tassie days are now living.
The sad news is that Tony has motor neurone disease and is going down hill fast. The body mass is wasting away but the brain at this stage is still active & alert. Communication is difficult for him, he has to be fed with his food mashed, and has to have a frame to walk. Not a good time & there is no cure. The wonderful staff at the aged care home take care of him, although at his age, just older than me, he is young to be in such a facility.
A couple of easy jogs on the beach at Broadbeach helped keep the legs moving. The king tides have resulted in many beaches being eroded with big drops, 4-5 metres, from the dunes to the sea. The tourists & locals alike are feeling betrayed by the current condition of the Gold Coast beaches.
On the Wednesday we headed north to Caboolture for a night at the showgrounds before moving the 500 metres to the Caboolture Historical Village on Thursday.
After setting up next to the running track, we drove to Beerwah near Australia Zoo to go to the strawberry farm. We were able to get 4 kgs of strawberries for free to make jam. These are the ones not good enough for the supermarket & would be tossed out otherwise. They come out on a conveyor belt & just drop into a drum. Help yourself. Mrs TF made the jam up that night, now we have plenty.
An early night, continue the carbo loading & be ready for a 8 am start on Friday.
There were 11 starters in the 48 hour run/walk. After receiving our timing chip which worked so brilliantly well all the time with instant updates every time you passed over the mat, & RD Geoff issuing last minute instructions, we were all set to go.
On a 500 metre gravel track with a 2 metre rise & fall every lap, we changed direction every hour. So not to confuse the timing, we turned on the back straight at the 250 metre mark. Funny how even the slightest distraction is so welcome and this was so. It gave a chance to also say Hi to the rest of the field, some you just didn't see during the hour when moving at the same pace and with historical buildings blocking the view across the track.
There is no way I can remember what happened every hour, but as the afternoon on day 1 came, so did the storm clouds arrive. We were so lucky however, that no rain came after some lightning, and soon the clouds moved on. It did come out very warm for a while which suited me.
It was as I completed 50 kms, so around 7 hours, that the photographer having taken heaps of still photos, decided to get the video camera out and run a lap with me while I tried to drink a mug of coffee. Copy of video is here: http://youtu.be/lftOjlusHbk
There is also a video of Tamyka as well as a video of a group of runners all having a chat.
Night time came and so did the problems. Eating & feeling OK were good, but hot spots & blisters were developing and I sought out Paul, the first aid guy.
Patched up but moving slowly during the night, I got cold as I expected. I was not liking the nights as the temperature dropped to around 7 degrees, and wearing 4 layers of clothes.
Working out a sleeping pattern was also difficult & resulted in much discussion as to whether a series of short nana naps were better than a 2 - 3 hour solid sleep.
I still don't know, and until you get into day 2 or longer will this decision be best for you.
Morning on day 2 and the 24 hour competitors arrive having mostly set up the day before. Another 11 people on the track all moving much quicker, but plenty move activity, so a good motive booster.
A few in the 48 hour were now having problems from feet to stomach. Our American runner didn't have a good fueling plan just heaps of bottles of Powerade & very little food. He was off the track for many hours as were a few others.
It was nice to have the 24 hour runners on the track for a few hours before the 6 hour runners started at noon. It was all go for them & so good so they were mostly very in awe of those doing the longer events. A few running their very first marathon distance were out there for 6 hours, talk about jump in a the deep end.
Not as warm in the afternoon as day 1, but the night was certainly as cold. Being tired & cold I was walking plenty at this stage but making steady progress.
Splits during the run were 12 hours= 84 kms, 24 hours= 128 kms & 36 hours= 176 kms. Final total of 215.7 kms was acceptable on first attempt at this time.
Lessons & important info gained were invaluable watching how the front runners were handling the conditions.
As mentioned sleep pattern is something that can't be trained for as even a 24 hour run, you wouldn't expect to stop for anymore than to change gear & eat.
Feet care is vital especially on the gravel surface with almost everyone wearing gaiters & still suffering from hot spots & blisters.
Getting the eating pattern wrong can also cause problems. I like to eat proper food, pancakes, peaches, soup, potatoes etc. Many others opt for traditional runners foods like gu's and gels plus any other foods. Plenty to consider on this as well.
The shorter 3 hour & 1.5 hour events seemed to blend in with all the others on the track.
As the 2nd night came and went, a few of those that had stopped earlier came back to finish off. We picked up our block of wood to carry for the last few minutes to drop on the sounding of the gun to end the events.
An extra 200 metres didn't mean much at the time, it was so good to be able to stop.
Presentations were made by the AURA president to AURA members. I finished 3rd here and 6th overall, so a big heavy trophy now sits at home after so much hard work.
We stayed the day, sleeping most of the day after a nice shower. Slept well all night as well feeling Ok except for very sore feet.
Packing up the next day, we headed back to the Gold Coast staying at the same caravan park as before to visit our friend with the motor neurone disease. You could see in a week how much more he had deteriorated.
Left GC on Friday morning, drove all day to get to the south side of Sydney late at night to stop at a rest area before an easy few hours to get home yesterday.
If it wasn't so windy outside at the moment, I would go for a run, but I won't. Plenty of time for that. My Garmin stopped working during the run while I was recharging it. Now it won't fire up even though the battery indicates fully charged. Something else to get fixed.