Monday, 18 June 2007

A slightly longer second post

Picture Above:
My Second last Australian Start a win (my eigth) at the 62 KM Tamborine Trek, shame that two weeks later i was looking much worse at the 100K's also on the Gold Coast.

For those people out there familiar with my previous blog i'm sure that first post sounded terribly short and abrupt and unlike me. Very simple explanation i'd just arrived back in Melbourne at 2AM after a flight from the Gold Coast and had basically a day to find my passport and pack for a trip to the US as well as organising various things with my Real Estate agent and solicitor regarding the sale of my house, time was precious. Now i sit at 4:30 with a midday flight and no longer tired only excited about the trip ahead so i can give a little more background to it all, so bear with this long post as i doubt i will do any this long again, forgive the large amounts of links as they help explain it all way better than i could.
It all started with this post on Coolrunning on September 14 2005 by Geelong Ultra runner "Whippet Man" and i quote in full:
"OK, so now I can really say "walks with a limp but runs 100 miles". GH100 still surging through my very dilated veins but the seeds have been planted. I really wanted to go to WS100 in 2006 if I had a successful GH100 in 2005. But having experienced a 100 mile event alone (2004) and then as a group (2005) there is no comparison. So, I'm calling for expressions of interest in a travel group to form an aussie raid on the 2007 WS100. I'm offering to do the leg work and put this together if people are genuinely interested. You need a qualifier in the lead up to the entry cut-off in November 2006. This doesn't have to be a 100 miler but of course that would make sense. Several people have expressed an interest on the old WS100 thread from this years running but I'm starting this from scratch. I envisage a small group (with or without families as suits) that will hopefully get us a group discount. At the very least it will allow some cost sharing. But the big bonus, and my comrades of the recent weekend will attest I'm sure, is the real buzz of sharing the whole experience. And the best part: there's still lots and lots of sleeps left "
Essentially this was the beginning of the so called "Aussie Assault"
Most of us had sat through the 2006 internet coverage of the race as Victorian John Lindsay valiantly struggled through terrible conditions to achieve an incredible peformance and finish in a year where almost half the field didn't make it
So when entry forms came out in July 2006, there was a number of us already qualified who put ours in immediately to take advantage of the race conditions that the first 25 Non American entries get an automatic start rather than having to go in the lottery .
So that is the background, eventually we end up with the following 21 Aussies running (as well as some partners and support crew):
Number first, Name, Coolrunning Handle
110 Tamyka Bell Tank Girl
116 Robert Boyce RB
170 Jason Dunn Dunny
172 David Eadie chefsontherun1
176 Paul Every Paul Every
189 Martin Fryer Phibes
199 Sean Greenhill Mr G
207 Philip Murphy Spud
214 Andrew Hewat Whippet Man
234 Ian Javes Glassman
248 Wayne Gregory Blue Dog
274 Glenn Lockwood Horrie
283 Kelvin Marshall Kelvin (that would be me :-))
287 Brendan Mason Virtual
290 Richard McCormick RMC
302 Nic Moloney PreWannaBe
319 Scott Orchard chefsontherun2
362 Martin Schot MRX
364 Ron Schwebel Sportsman
397 William Thompson Bill T
407 Tim Turner Tim

So that's the background, many way more organised than me had booked flights last December whilst i'd had many other things (as well as many other races on my mind) for alot of that time only keeping this trip at the back of my mind (with 181 Ultras and 131 Marathons under my belt only one or two real goal races a year and simply this wasn't one of them). Having left my employer of 23 years in late February in theory i had plenty of time to organise things but me being me had been sidetracked with other projects (and frankly a dislike of flying had meant i'd spent much time doing other things to take my mind off it), still had thoughts of a 3 month tour starting with Western States, followed by some other races, then the Rolling Stones in Europe
and finishing off with a second Trans Gaule
but eventually other things got in the way and ultimately i needed to be back in Melbourne for my house auction on July 15 (still with thoughts of the Stones and Trans Gaule the month after all being well).
Fast forward to May 2007 and i had one goal race ahead of me the Australian 100 KM Championships my main aim being to beat a nine year old PB (which i'd been very close to the previous two years) and also go sub 8 Hours 30 Minutes, unfortunately that was two weeks prior to Western States and frankly was way more important to me so there i was still no trip arranged and away from a real phone and internet connection to make organisation much easier (as well as sorting out the sale of my house and seemingly a million other things).
The 100K's went from brilliant (the first half in 3:51:28 and 75K's in 6:15) to absolute shocker after the 86K mark, cramping incredibly painfully and unable to run (and a slow walk only at that) the rest of the way to come way closer to a PW and finish in 10:04:31
Basically i finished that and by the time i'd got back to Palm Beach i'd resolved to redeem myself, if possible, by organising myself and going over for this race.
Only problem, Monday June 11 is a Public Holiday as well as the fact i wake up with a shocking sore throat (possibly that explains why i ran so badly the previous day i was coming down with a cold) so unable to do anything and simply exhasuted after only 4 Hours up anyway.
Even worse on Tuesday and spend most of the day in bed, come Wednesday still crook but decide that if i'm to do anything i'll have to head down to Flight Centre and get a quote.
So off to Coolangatta and get a quote to depart on the 18th (the next Monday), rather interesting thought as i'd driven up the Gold Coast and in theory was going to drive back to Melbourne when i was feeling better, basically to get the flights reserved i would need to book and pay within 24 Hours.
At that time i was spending most of my time (shortened days as that as my illness meant i was only good for at best 6 Hours each day) going up and down the coast house hunting, so it wasn't till 3:30 on the Thursday that i finally came in to pay for the trip, of course nothing is that easy, was too late for BPay (needs 3 working days between payment and flights) and typically there was no way i'd be paying the %1.9 Surcharge by using my Mastercard, so into the bank (probably the first time i'd been in one for years - just where are the withdrawal slips ????) and a great wad of cash (shame they'd run out of 100 Dollar bills !!) and finally that was paid for.
In the meantime i'd booked a very cheap flight 10PM Saturday night out of Coolangatta (had an Auction Saturday Afternoon that i was not going to miss) so that i'd be back in Melbourne on Sunday. In short with a delay of 20 minutes and not arriving in Melbourne till after Midnight (and not home till 1:30) that brings us up to the first post. Now the journey begins !!!

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