Marree to Birdsville
Distance: easy 7 km
Saturday - 3.8.13
Purpose: long run
Distance: 518.1 kms
Total time: 8 days 6 hours
Running time: 60 hours 38 mins 22 secs
Running rate: 7' 02" per km
Saturday: 3.8.13 start time temp at 8:30 am about 13 degrees, sunny, humidity 50%, light southerly 15 kmph
Sunday: 11.8.13 finish day, sunny, temp about 30 degrees, humidity 30%, wind calm
August: 525.1 km, Year: 3722.35 km
I had a major birthday on the 3rd of August, so to celebrate I ran from Marree in northern South Australia to Birdsville to south west Queensland.
It's almost a straight line on the map with a short easterly turn near the finish, but otherwise it's just heading north.
Therefore, moving into the sun all day with the wind being the major influence on how each day would pan out.
Lucky, day 1 & day 2 were wind assisted, so along with freshness & a good gravel road surface, all was Ok.
Day 1 produced only 53 kms after an 8:30 am start outside the Marree Hotel where the support crew, a few locals & a couple of other travellers from the caravan park farewelled us off.
First day finished early due to a great camping spot with a very warm artesian bore spa was too good to resist.
After that, camping spots conditions fell away with many being just pull off areas in the middle of no where.
Day 2 again had favourable winds so a healthy 69 kms done with a finish just after dark.
Day 3 produced the first of the head wind days, slower progress made & using more energy to keep the show going forward. Covered 60 kms.
Day 4 was always going to be the hardest day, a long way from the start, not yet half way & no where near the end. Slacked off to cover 59 kms.
Day 5 was the best day, woke to a nice southerly assisting wind & a nice sunny, as usual day. Put in the hard yards today with 72.5 kms covered in 7 hrs 46 mins of running time at 6' 26" per km pace.
Day 6 and beyond, the wind again swung around to the north and the pace slowed. Covered only 57 kms and may be paid the price of too good a day previously.
Day 7 & day 8 very similar with 58 & 56 kms covered at a slowing rate of just under 7'30" pace.
However, now the end was near with just half a day to go as we crossed into Queensland & the finish line.
All in all, a huge effort to get the mission completed. never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I could run over 500 kms in just over a week.
I had no problems at all with blisters, not ever a hint due to good preparation each day. Shoes & socks changed mostly twice a day, feet smothered every morning with Vaseline.
During day 7, I developed a sore left shin in the afternoon, so some icing, anti inflammatory cream & a couple of pain killers helped get a reasonable night's sleep.
Repeat on day 8, slightly more tender but still manageable & certainly no stopping now.
Finished just after lunch outside the Birdsville Hotel, so really a pub crawl over a longer distance.
Finally, to me it was the ultimate achievement with almost 2 years of planning, running ultra races over distances up to 48 hours to work out as many problems as I would encounter.
Biggest problem, sleep, least problem, soreness, other than those just general fatigue from so much continuous movement.
Do it again ? Never, my long distance journey is over.