Two Fruits

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Darling River Run


Where: Bourke to Wilcannia, NSW

Distance:  335.95 kms
Total time:  6 and half days
Running time:  34 hours 48 mins 23 secs
Running rate:  6' 13 " per km
Altitude gain:  240 metres
Weather: mostly sunny, temp range 8 mins rising to 20 degrees on day 1, then gradually increasing to 32 degrees on days 6 and 7.
Surface: first 5 kms on sealed road then all gravel outback roads
Shoes: except for first 2 hours on day 1 wearing NB 860 road shoes, remainder in same pair if Asics Kahana trail shoes.


Running:  3349.0kms in 38 weeks at ave 88.1 kms per week ( up from 85.7 kms at end of week 35, last report)
Sept:  352.8 kms

Altitude:  58,255 metres in 38 weeks at ave 1,533 metres per week ( down from 1,655 metres at end of week 38, last report)
Sept:  406 metres

The last 3 weeks have been taken up with getting the Darling River Run done. A few days to get to the start, then a week to run, 4 days at the finish town to rest, then time to travel back home.
The run went really well, no problems with the running. I had tried to factor in the wind before deciding on how to do this run. But basically, I tried to follow the Darling River downstream.
However, although I had perfect days, cool mornings, warm daytime temps and a mostly a good flat dirt road to run on, the wind did blow for the first 3 days.
A southerly head wind certainly hindered progress and took more out of me than I expected. Running into a 25 kmph head wind with no respite was not easy. This was always going to be for fun, a solo effort just because I could. The wish list was to make 520 kms, more than my previous PB form 2013 when I ran along the Birdsville Track in outback South Aust.
This time, with only my wife as support, we took it more casual averaging about 52 kms per day. We stopped for a morning tea break, 20 mins usually, then stopped for lunch, about an hour. Also had quite a few stops during the day to chat to other travellers who were interested in what I was doing. Most were very interested although I imagine after leaving the discussion would have been Why!
The wind dropped out after day 3 then swung around to assist, so a tail wind from the North East. But then the temps started to rise closer to 30 degrees in the afternoons. Much more to my liking with very little humidity. Still drank around 6-7 litres of water a day, and was eating about every 20 mins.
Passed by some very small towns such as Louth & Tilpa once ports of the paddle steamers back in the mid 1800's. Now days, these town survive on a pub serving the passing travellers & a few locals coming in from a cattle farm.
We decided to finish the running side of the journey at Wilcannia, a town with a poor reputation from years ago. These days, the crime rate is well under control. The small and new caravan park just outside of town is a beauty, we stayed 4 nights.
All was still good with the running, but going solo was proving a bit tougher mentally on both of us with no one else to push us along. Continuing on would have been a long stint of 150 kms to Menindee on a road we drove last year and actually not close to the river at all.
A good decision as after a couple of days, I felt as though I had not ran anywhere near the distance. I'll put all of that down to those altitude metres ran, walked and climbed so far this year, figures in the stats above.
In comparison with the Birdsville run of 2 years ago, this was easier. The km rate was much faster although the daily distance covered was 8 kms less on average.
Would I do it all again? Yes, for sure. But, I would go way outback to the desert again as I get more of a sense of " being out there".
For now, and this year, nothing planned, just get back into a routine and find something for early next year. Probably involve hills & mountains, that's my favourite training.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home