Monday, 4 February 2008

Get me to the run on time

Another good gig Friday night and thankfully no injuries from the dancefloor.
The band "The Rolling Stonez" were the same ones i'd seen at Burleigh Bears back in November and certainly didn't lack energy as they really got stuck into some Stones Songs. Strangely first of all they did seven Doors Songs and then finished with Pink Floyds "Another Brick in the Wall".
Luckily enough those seven (and LA Woman) were probably the only Doors songs i could honestly remember anywhere close to word for word (Light My Fire and Roadhouse Blues being favourites), so it was all good.
Somewhat later night than i planned as ended up talking to some of the band and a couple of fans from up in Brisbane, meant that my plan of a run before heading off to Mt Glorious and a carbo load of pasta for lunch was all somewhat late and ultimately didn't head off until 4PM. Found Camp Constable and was a little disturbed to find the actual race start was still 20 odd minutes away, with lots of fog.
Found Greg and all his helpers having their pre race barbie, so that was pretty much all i had time for as it was beginning to get dark and the damned mozzies were beginning to attack, bit guilty actually only got there in time to eat their food !!.
An interesting drive back to the Camp as heavy fog was rolling in, making me think more of Ferntree Gully or the Blue Mountains rather than somewhere just out of Brisbane.
Took a while to find our tents (no lights bar our torches and hidden down a slope) and with my mobile not yet back i knew i had no alarm so was relying on hearing our neighbouring tents getting up earlier (aid stations) and other peoples alarms.
Big mistake, was awoken to be told it was 6:05 !!!, no time for breakfast and barely time to get there on time, off hand made it dead on 6:30 but let everyone go as i put my race number on (if i was superstitious maybe i'd have been worried by that number 13 ???).
Passed Bill Thompson, taking it steadily along the road to the trail section, but from then on it was uphill through steep, slippery trails so was fairly cautious and frankly i think i'd lost all my adrenaline on the drive to the start, really seemed flat and not in race mode. Had passed a few by the time i reached Martin & Di (from the Western States Aussie Assault) at checkpoint 1 and was very thankful for a drink as it was incredibly humid (and not far off raining).
Feeling of Binna Burra deja-vu when after crossing a creek took a wrong turn and was followed by Tamsin Barnes, she navigated much better than me and got us back on track (simply couldn't see a pink ribbon round a corner as needed to look upwards), apparently many made similar mistakes. Rapt to get to the second manned checkpoint as was really flagging and felt i needed food (lack of breakfast i guess). From then on it was mainly a steady uphill but was struggling to run this and tended to walk when the people in front walked but was making no ground.
Was surprised it took so long till i saw Don Wallace returning (expected to see him earlier but apparently he'd had navigational difficulties as well) and then a steady stream of runners, even found time to yell to David McKinnon that he'd better get moving as i'd be chasing him on the way back (way more bravado than serious thought at the time as i was dead flat). Finally the top and i had a feast, oranges, cake, endura, pretty much if it wasn't nailed down i'd eat it, actually had time for at least 6 people to come into that aid station but really i knew what i needed.
Ran well finally for that section but still didn't catch anyone (and was surprised to see so many behind me - many with wrong turns), but was flagging by the checkpoint, think i used the last of my energy yelling out to a runner who'd taken the same wrong turn as me on the way out (strangely enough i had Tamsin behind me and between the two of us yelling he heard us !!).
From then it was a case of running as much as possible but the rain was very steady by then and was feeling like a drowned rat, we came across David having many problems with his glasses as he couldn't see through them in the rain (found later he'd broken them as well) so he was doing it hard.
Missed the turnoff to checkpoint 1 by a few metres (this time following Tamsin), but could see it so headed back to be caught by David again and then another woman (still can't remember her name).
From then on ran with two girls and tried to break away on the uphills but found it was never enough by the downhills and eventually Tamsin broke away on the long slippery last downhill beating me by a minute or so, i think i was 3:44 and 11th in with Don Wallace doing 3:02. Content with about 10K's of my 30K performance to be honest, no sciatic nerve problem, no knee problem but a sore back which was from a mattress that didn't agree with me the night before at Camp Constable.
Very thankful for all the food at the end and probably the first time i've ever had a 600ml bottle of water on finishing. Cereal, watermelon, cake and more cake pretty much summed up my finish, as my back slowly stiffened (probably not helped by the fact i'd take off my top 20K's in - was just too humid).
Overall not unhappy with my run but certainly not jumping up and down with excitement either.
Big thanks to all the volunteers as it certainly wasn't a day for hanging around in the rubbish weather and that course took an awful lot of marking (and i assume macheteing).
Had to do a few tourist things on the way back, had a walk around Wivenhoe Outlook (the dam being probably the only place in Greater Brisbane without rain !!), and then back to Camp Constable to collect my gear and have a hot shower.
Typically couldn't resist a walk around Maalia National Park, but cut my hike short when i found the trails were getting muddier and muddier (and i had clean shoes on), even more typically didn't get back till again the heavens opened up and was drenched.
By then the cricket was on so turned the air con on to dry off and drove to Samford for lunch, great Hamburger and chips washed down by a cappucino, now i was ready for the drive home.

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