Monday, 9 July 2007

Finally a successful US ultra!

At last race day, a 10 minute drive to the ferry terminal ($15 for all day parking :-( ), picked up my number as well as a ferry ticket, now i had an hour to kill. The queue at the coffee shop showed it was the preferred option. Cappucino and a chat with a few runners (only proves some people read this blog) then off to the ferry queue. Dramas for a moment when it looked like there may have been more runners than the 396 allowed on the ferry (there were 4 distances: 9km, 16km, 25km & my 50km). All was right in the end but were now running late and looking at a 9AM start, nice trip but freezing under the fog. Alighted at the terminal (apparently an old immigration stopping point) and then us 50 & 25 k runners were sent off together. First a lap of the lower island (first 5ks on road made me wonder what sort of "trail run" this was) of around 9ks and was starting to awaken that dormant "racing" feeling. Next lap was up mid height, unfortunately still foggy and i was struggling to stay warm. Next lap was up to the heights of Mount Livemore (750 feet ??), very steep up and down some narrow trails. That was the first 25ks (in 1:58), the second 25 being an exact repeat (still meant another 3 times up the 50 odd steps behind the ferry terminal - well over them!!). Had pretty much been running with the same 5 blokes throughout but was feeling stronger the longer the run went so passed in a couple of surges and felt even better. Last lap was getting hard with lots of tourists on the thin trails making it hard to get a good rhythm going as well as the early leader (who i learnt later had lost 12 minutes with a wrong turn) right behind me. On the way down from the top he passed me and stayed just in front from then on. Finally i finished 7th in 4:35 with the winner doing a bit under 4:20, off hand there 40 or so in our distance. Heaps of soup & chili (i was still cold and running with gloves at the end), after was much appreciated. At least the sun was now burning through the fog as we all sat around and traded "running war stories", even met a runner formerly from Broadmeadows. Caught the 4:20 (second last) ferry back and really enjoyed the day (and redeemed myself after Western States as well as being rapt to still have that old "fire in the belly"). I'll happilly do some runs next time i'm here and would thoroughly recommend these to all.

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