Friday, 30 May 2008

A bit of rock to go with the running

Nothing too exciting to report training wise, since the chiropractor visit on Monday i've twice done a lap of the Gold Coast 100 course, not sure if knowing it intimately will be a help or a hindrance, but on the other hand realise that it's not a real good idea to run harder courses and flatten myself beforehand.
Wednesday Night was the Australian Premiere of the Rolling Stones Movie "Shine A Light" (preview above), really incredible film, probably the only time i'll ever get front row at a Stones Concert, was surprised just how few people were there though (it's only released in a very limited number of cinemas), and there were only 40 odd in this large cinema !!, that certainly didn't stop me enjoying it though !!.
Last night was the beginning our local Blues Festival "Blues on Broadbeach", unfortunately it seemed to bring the shocking weather, with torrential rain last night, with only one stage last night everyone was thankful the "sunsails" are waterproof as well, not sure about the three stage set up tonight though.
Some genuine Aussie legends played last night Dutch Tilders and Phil Manning, great sets from both of them and they are still as good as ever, others of note were former Angels and Screaming Jets Guitarist Jimi Hocking (playing a Blues Mandolin - looked like the rain had shrunk his guitar !!) playing a set with violinist Heather Stewart, American Doc Span playing some great Harmonica and local Mason Rack, a performer i've seen a number of times on the Coast, with a great voice and killer guitar, all backed up by another local band Blind Lemon (pictures above).
Looking forward to another big night tonight, particularly Kevin Borich and the Bondi Cigars, just got to make sure i don't do anything too silly on the dance floor :-)

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Sort of a Marathon as i do my shortest race for two years

Finally decided that i would do the Warwick Half Marathon which is part of a 5 run Marathon over the weekend at Warwick. With a chiropractor appointment on Monday it seemed silly to not give myself a hard race beforehand (having not run a race shorter than a half - excepting the "Beer Mile" and weekly 5KM Gunn Runs when i was living in Melbourne - it was 40 races since my last Half Marathon, May 2006 and also my first Half in Queensland since Gladstone in 1989 !!).
Bit like Marathons i know that with no speed work i've pretty much got a fastest possible time and in this case it tends to be around 85 to 86 minutes.
168 Runners, not bad for a little town 2 Hours west of Brisbane and lot's of familiar faces, started well but 5K's in was feeling something like a stitch, ultimately i think it was more back related, but the next 10K's weren't overly comfortable. Thankfully the road had good ascents and descents to use muscles slightly differently and was going smoothly by the end. My pet hate in races where you have a 90 degree turn at the finish, in this event the 21K was on the corner and then you turned, reckon i was passed by two runners in that little bit rather frustratingly. Ended up with 1:29:48 so not quite as good as i'd hoped but like a sub 3 Hour Marathon a sub 90 Minute Half keeps me happy enough.
Breakfast (well breakfast number 2 i'd had mine watching the Test Match from the Windies at 5), was a big variety of food, i mainly stuck to homemade cakes and orange juice typical me post race.
I'd then decided i'd head homewards and do some trails on the Main Range National Park at Cunninghams Gap, but was curious about the second event the 4.6K Cross Country and by the time i'd followed the arrows there (and had got lost driving around a paddock of cows) thought it wouldn't do me any harm.
167 Starters, not sure how many of them had also done the Half (talking to some beforehand there were some new guns here for the shorter events), felt strange jumping tree stumps etc, but ultimately it was like a short trail run, 54th in a time of 20:20 i think, not too bad and now time for that beer i had in esky (Afternoon by then).
This time it was all over so i took my number off, and headed into town for lunch.
Ended up joining some other runners, the fact i had calamari, fish bites and chips as opposed to their toasted sandwiches pretty much showed i wasn't racing again today and they were.
Actually my intention was to finish off my own version of a multi part marathon, the trails at Cunninghams Gap, looking at signs it was 5.1Ks to Mount Mitchell (the picture taken from it), 2.5K's to a picnic area and then a 1.4K lookout lap in total 16.6K's just what i needed. By then it was just after 3 so knew i'd be pushing to make it back before sunset, so first it was Mt Mitchell an absolutely beautiful area with great views, back to the car by 4:30 and time to scare a few roos on the way through (get's darker here earlier as the sun sets behind the range), still vaguely light by the time i'd done that 5K's so didn't bother with the torch for the last loop (pitch black pretty quick though).
Then back home, nicely timed for the Richmond V Essendon Match at 7:30.
No thoughts of a Gold Coast Runners Club run this Sunday morning too busy sleeping it had been a hard day.
Still did a midday 30K's and definitely needing the chiro the next day, but overall very content with my fitness in the lead up to the 100K's on June 8.
Chiro today and a fair bit of manipulation, will go back on Friday and take it relatively easy this week (music may be more of a focus than running just for a change :-) ).

Thursday, 22 May 2008

BAR Shoe Road Test

Before anyone misinterprets the title of this post, no i haven't hopped back onto the booze when injured, i'm actually talking about the shoes i recieved from the Badwater Sponsors (and not having a keyboard that has German "Umlauts" can't get the name right).
Firstly the shoes fitted (real strange, i'm quite sure that nowhere in the Badwater Application did they ask shoe size) so i decided that being relatively not stiff (a couple of painkillers last night seemed to do the trick and neck and knee felt reasonable on waking) it was a good chance to try the shoes.
I'll admit that they are a little heavier than i'm used to (ie Racing Flats and Nike Frees), but otherwise pretty good, comfortable on both feet (always an issue with my right being a size bigger than my left) and did an easy 26K's (following the Gold Coast 100KM Course), doubt i'd use them in marathons and other short stuff but quite possibly they may be the way to go for Badwater, certainly i'll give them a few more runs before heading over.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Injury Update

Just back from the chiropractor, get the feeling yesterdays good hit out did me way more harm than good, not only was the neck very ordinary but as briefly noted yesterday the left knee was also affected by this (sounds strange but believe me i know what parts of my body are connected together now !).
Fair bit of manipulation on the neck and mid back but i know with this stuff it's really not until the next day that i know just how it's all gone.
I'll see him again on Monday, but it's making Warwick look more unlikely i fear, just hope i wake up tomorrow morning and it's all gone.
Was reminded of Badwater when i find a UPS Parcel at my front door BAR Shoes from the race sponsor, i've no idea how they have guessed the sizes (and fear they may be a size or so small - the box says 12), considering the wrapping and plastic around the box will confirm this later, for now it's a nice glass of red and a chance to put my feet up.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Tally Valley Today, Death Valley in 7 weeks time, will i notice a difference ????

Recovered well from Sundays race with an easy 10K's on Monday along the coast, knew i'd get a chance for a long run today and thought it was worthwile just to see how the body had recovered. Decided i'd find out just where Trees Road got to (and decided that doing it in reverse was much more tempting than going up that hill i'd turned back at last week - later found it was a 22 degree slope !!).
No running through Fleays Nature Trails today as there was a sign they were shut for trail maintenance (at least they told us at the start this time, back when they were working on them January you only ever found out when you got to taped over tracks at the end !!), so looked like it'd all be road this time.
Found that Syndicate Rd was only a further K along Tallebudgera Creek Rd than when i'd run that really bad Sunday last month and turned back, great winding road actually the perfect training for Mansfield to Mt Buller (except nothing like the altitude) and eventually up to Trees Rd (apparently it goes on a few more K's and dies in the middle of nowhere), another mile of uphill and then the extremely steep section (road sign says 22 degree slope and to apply brakes), for my own sake will have to do this in reverse sometime as this was brilliant just down and down for a mile or so (funny enough saw a runner with a camelbak on the way up but she was too breathless to reply to my gidday), from then on rolling hills and was beginning to feel a little stiff (still the neck and it giving grief to my opposing knee) so decided i'd take the easy way in, via Kornhauser Park and 19th Ave basically all flat. 2 Hours 56 Minutes, pretty happy with that for 31K's two days after an Ultra but stiffening up further as i type, think i'll wait another day before entering the Warwick Half.

Monday, 19 May 2008

And to think people came up here for the weather !

Had a nice easy 20K's along the beachfront on Saturday as well as a good bodysurf out in the waves after (now if only every day could be like that), still not %100 convinced that i wouldn't get the urge to drive up to Glasshouse in the dead of the morning and upgrade to the 50 Miles.
Had problems getting to sleep, which wasn't helped by the storm (first rain for 3 weeks) that was going on, to some degree it really worried me that the rain would go further north (and some of those trails are a quagmire once rain hits) but also to some degree making me want to head up there just to see what was happening.
Thankfully sleep intervened so my alarm woke me at 2:45, time for my bowl of Vita Brits etc and then off for the two hour drive to Woodford.
Thankfully no rain during the drive and i learnt the storms had pretty much stopped a few k's south at Caboolture, so all was good except for a biting cold squally wind (having done 8 events at Glasshouse before can't say i can ever recall wind at all).
Was initially going to use the 1.5 Litre Camelbak Bladder and my small camelbak but obviously my new drinking nozzle (hastily put together Saturday arvo) was not successful as i found everytime i let it hang water dropped out (the nozzle that came with it i've run with a number of times however have yet to be able to actually open it to drink !!), so it was a 600ML Bottle and my larger camelbak as it looked as though i'd have some clothes to store later. Originally was wearing short sleeve bike top and headband and possibly gloves but the cold wind convinced me to put long sleeved polypropylene top and beanie on as well as gloves, with any luck sooner rather than later i would have warmed up enough to ditch them.
In total a field of 16 but with 5 starting an hour early only 11 toeing the start line, down the road and then onto the trails, basically just following the leader although a few k's on was passed by one other runner. The first manned checkpoint was a welcome sight as were egg sandwiches, chocolate slices and endura talk about e feast. Di & Anne, manning this checkpoint were certainly having longer days than as runners as they'd arrived 7:30 that night and sent two runners (Ann's Husband Joe Raftery - Coolrunner Boonarga - and Rodney Ladyman - CR Hermie) off at 10 as they were both on the comeback trail.
After a quick chat and stuffing my face with delicious egg sandwiches i was back out there, i'd seen a few 50 Milers coming towards me on the way there (as well as some of the early starting 50K runners) and now was seeing the rest of the field heading towards the checkpoint giving me a better idea of how i was going.
By now the sun was out brightly but it was still quite cold and the strong cold gusts were enough to keep me fully clothed for the time being.
It was next off to "The Powerlines", basically a hardened mud trail following under some electric powerlines, sort of a poor mans Grand Canyon, never an easy part of the trails to run but thankfully dry. As usual that part of the course felt longer than it actually was (and seemed to go on forever) but after passing Glasshouse veteran Kerrie Hall (an early starter) was happy to see the road leading to checkpoint 8. It was then off to this checkpoint, familiar faces and a bit of banter and some coke and i was pretty content, 50 Mile race leader David Waugh was coming out of the first of 2 loops when i was heading to loop one so i knew he was in for a fantastic performance (i'd seen second place onwards previously but he was that far ahead i hadn't seen him before). Off on loop 8B, the course of an old railway line, so relatively flat and easy and i caught up with (and passed) Michael Lovric (CR Milov) who i had run with for a large percentage of Wilsons Prom. Back up checkpoint 8 seeing a number of other 50K and 50Mile runners still on their way to the first loop, a quicker drink (after all i knew i'd be back again) and then the harder loop 8B, passed a fellow with an arm in plaster doing the 80K but couldn't help him by telling how far left to go (without looking at the map i had idea).
Long haul up "Cooks Hill" and then put the foot down on the downhill back to checkpoint 8, again some more coke and a quick chat and i was off. (that's where the bottom picture was taken, the top one is heading down to loop 8B).
Was running along nicely until 13 (i think was what i counted) trail bike riders came along and found i was starting to really eat dust, pretty sure it wasn't related but around this time i started having a few gut aches (a problem that seems more likely for me in track races - still have never worked out why?) and very soon i was looking around for bushes, a quick pit stop (and as good a time as any to swap beanie for headband and take the gloves off) and i was off again.
Made it to the last checkpoint and was told 5K's to go and only a few minutes behind second place so took off quickly (just having a cup of Endura), and found a number of runners just ahead, assuming that many were early starters just made sure that i passed them all the same way (swiftly and not looking back), ultimately this did put me into second place in a finishing time of 5:04:03 for the 53.3K's (33 Miles), 17 minutes behind John Searston in 4:46:42. Pretty happy with that, well all bar the last few hundred metres up the road where left leg simply cramped up. Not a great one for milestones (but i keep an eye out for 100's etc) all in all wasn't a bad way to finish my 200th Ultra (was 3rd in my 100th, so logically i'm looking to improve to a win for my 300th just don't expect me to still be doing a blog then !!!).
A cold beer (thanks Nic) and all was good, bit of a leg dangle in the pool (a swim was tempting but really water needs waves to get me excited) and a very quick cold shower (no hot one's there) and it was then time for a feed (great barbecue) and a chat, getting up occasionally to cheer runners in.
Time flew and by the time i'd caught up with lots of people (and provided my eating talents to help clean the food) it was 2:30, off to Bribie Island to see some relatives.
Interesting footnote, the shoes i wore were the old Nike Free 4.0's, old favourites and a shoe i'd done 2,000K's in however i hadn't worn them since that memorable stack at Six Foot Track March 2007, they were ideal shoes for the Glasshouse Trails (worn out velcro ties held down by safety pins !) maybe they'll be my specialist Glasshouse Shoes.
As i type i'm having a few neck problems, had them immediately after Coffs last week but was too busy to see the chiro, looks as though i'd better take it a bit more seriously this week and get it done, reasonable chance of doing the Half Marathon leg of the Warwick Pentathrun on Saturday, and then a small taper before the Gold Coast 100KM's (the Gala Premiere of the Rolling Stones Movie "Shine A Light" on the 28th, followed by the Broadbeach Blues Festival that weekend may be just what i need to freshen up for a good 100K).

Friday, 16 May 2008

Better make it a 50

One more long run for the week and i now knew i was in pretty decent shape, still the question is would i be doing 50 Miles or 50 K's at the Glasshouse Mountains?.
Eventually decided to do 50K's, more because it starts at a normal racing time (6AM) rather than the 50 Milers 3AM start, i admit i don't mind running in the dark but i much prefer doing it after working into it from daylight rather than the other way around. Certainly had less than fond memories of the first hour of the 55K Hares and Hounds race back in January where i was essentially just following the people in front until daylight broke, basically if i want to race this thing (rather than just run it) 3 and a bit hours of following people isn't a good way to start.
Certainly a big weekend for Ultras in Australia with the first running of The North Face 100KM in the Blue Mountains (great area, but have spent lot's of time there around this time of year over the years freezing in the bush sounds closer to the truth !!), and the 4th running of the Great Ocean Road Marathon (45KM) yet another streak i've broken this year (having run the first 3) probably the best Australian Road Marathon scenery and course wise with the only thing to detract from it being that extra 3 odd K's !!.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

On the road again

Two days to recover from the Coffs 50 Miler seemed to show i'm slowly getting back to my old indestructible self (it's taken 6 months so far), so a longish run was in order. Personally i can never be bothered doing a long run in the rain on purpose, but when you're 20K's into it and the heavens suddenly open up there's not alot of choice. Typical Gold Coast Tropical style storm brought very heavy rain and lightening, but within 30 minutes after being totally soaked was dry again was actually quite refreshing. An area i've run in a little but mostly ignored simply because ultimately all the roads lead nowhere, other than Trees Road, and unfortunately Trees Road goes off at such an angle that i refused to believe i wasn't still on it (until i got home and read my street map).
So i have a bone to pick with Trees Road and have the feeling that next long run (sometime after Glasshouse - still tossing up between 50K & 50 Miler there - on Sunday), will follow it the whole way through, actually had almost made it as far as the through section (Ducats Rd becomes Syndicate Road and ultimately hits Tally Creek Rd) when a combination of rain getting even heavier and a very steep ascent seemingly going for miles in front of me, made me decide that i'd done enough for the day. Think the rain assisted on the long run good as despite spending 2:50 out there was quite fresh on the return home (get the feeling the rain was rather localised my two transplanted rather poorly looking trees didn't appear to have received a drop !!).
Bring on Glasshouse !

Monday, 12 May 2008

Now i remember why i love this course

Full report to follow soon on the Bananacoast Ultra Marathon (Grafton to Coffs this year), but in short, smallish than usual field this year with only 6 Starters, Myself, fellow Western States 2007 runners Robert Boyce (Coolrunner RB) and Glen Lockwood (Coolrunner Horrie), and Queenslander Bruce Webber as well as a local lady Meredith (i think) and another bloke who's names escape me as i type (i swear i knew them yesterday !!).
Definitely my favourite direction on this course (mentally much harder running through the last 30K's of nothing heading towards Grafton) and assuming that my fellow Western Staters would be the ones to beat made sure i ran out hard and essentially kept on running hard the whole way there.
Very cold early on and spent first 30K's wearing gloves and long sleeve top, but once the sun got bit of a sting in it couldn't asked for better conditions.
Had Robert's wife Pitsumi crewing for both myself and him, which must have been a terrible task as i'd gained a good early lead and was approx 5K's in front of him by half way, one of those times i just had to apologise for my style of racing (go out as hard as possible and simply blow the others away and assume that i can keep it up all the way to the finish line) as it definitely made crewing hard.
Finished in 7:14 (my 4th win in 5 starts there since 1996 although a few minutes outside my best time of 6:50), Glen was second in 8:17, Robert Third in 8:44, Bruce 9 Hours+, First Lady 10 Hours+ and the other runner dropping out after 25K's.
Really great course to run on (although i'm sure the road has grown progressively busier over the years), shame that there are simply so many Ultras in May and many of the people liking 50 Milers tend to prefer them on trails, as for me, point to point 50 Miles is what Ultras is all about !! (one day i'll work out just where Russell Crowe's farm is, i saw no evidence of broken phones along the road only "TOFOG" Football Ground :-)).
Big thanks to Steel and Lyn for organising (and the sandwiches and showers at the pub at the end) and for helping me out when it the distance between me and my crew was becoming too great.
As i type this, still physically shot (and a little mentally as well), have to admit i'm struggling to get my head around Ultra Number 200 next Sunday but i'm thinking a week long taper may be enjoyable !!.

Friday, 9 May 2008

If you have a chance for a long run - take it.

On yesterdays blog i said i'd do another shorter run if i got a chance today, well i got that chance and only ran for 2 hours and 20 minutes so it was shorter, a few hills but essentially reasonably fast and good steady running, now bring on Grafton !!!!
The course is as follows (or as close as i can get on

Thursday, 8 May 2008

One hitout before i head down to Grafton

Had struggled through the week, with only a 6K Beach run from Currumbin Creek to Tallebudgera Creek and return as my only notable effort so far this week it was pretty much a case of just let my cold get rid of itself.
Thursday was finally feeling decent, so thought a reasonably solid hitout was the way to go, essentially the reverse of various parts of some of my standard runs, but certainly the steep uphill on Tallebudgera Connection Road made it a little more dangerous than with the traffic going up towards me. A little shorter than usual (only 2.5 Hours), but was enough to let me know that i was ready for another long race on the weekend.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Head South Young Man

After doing another easy 20 Miles on Thursday Morning, i thought that doing one of the shorter Ultras at the Prom was probably going to be a good way to spend the weekend so it was onto the net to see if cheap flights were still available.
I get the feeling no one wants to fly from the Gold Coast to Melbourne in May as sure enough the cheap flights were still available, 10:30 on Friday would get me down around 1 in the afternoon.
I'd emailed and left a message with race director Paul Ashton that i'd only be doing the 80K option and i was pretty committed to only doing that as i knew the cold hadn't completely cleared and spending hours in the cold, dark evening would only be bad for me (as for the 80K's doubted it would do much harm to me although i knew that the weather would have a say in that as well).
Lovely day for a stroll down to the airport (now that's a change usually a signal for it to rain !!), and by 1 i'd landed at a very wet and stormy Tullamarine Airport and by 2 was in the centre of the city (interestingly the jetbus i'd booked over the net from Tulla to the city was not a bus but a BMW 735I Saloon, not exactly complaining !!) and was soon on a train to Dandenong, where i was getting a lift down from Beaconsfield with Richard McCormick.
From Dandenong station it was then catch another train to Beaconsfield, simple in theory but the train i was on obviously had some problem with the recorded PA announcements, when leaving Dandenong it said it was leaving Toorak and from then on announced stations from there onwards rather than the correct ones. Thankfully i found the correct station and nicely timed it to be picked up by Richard with his sons.
With a couple of hours before the drive down, ended up wearing myself out playing cricket with Josh and Thomas (Richard's Boys), personally reckon Ultra running is loads easier than running madly about back yards playing cricket so the next days 80K's would be relatively easy !!!
We were down the camping area by 9 and caught up with a number of the other runners, was good to see the weather was not too windy or wet (such a change from the previous year), but knowing that 16MM had fallen that day knew the next day could bring anything !!.
One embarassing moment, i couldn't find my tent, i had a feeling that Richards Ford Explorer was white so went to the nearest white 4WD shaped vehicle and discovered it wasn't ours after shining my torch in, i was about one camping space away.
Good night's sleep (after finding my tent !!) and awoke at 5 in time for the 6 Vita Brits etc, still good weather but certainly cold and dark.
Race briefing at 5:45 and then off at 6, lot's more comfortable than last year, wearing only short sleeved bike top, long sleeved polypropylene top, running shorts, warm beanie, running gloves and headlight. Certainly a little bit of cold wind about but overall looking a pleasant day, ran and chatted with a number of runners as we went along the road to Oberon Car Park where some just found another gear and took off. Spent quite a bit of time running with Sydney runner Michael Lovick (CR Milov), who like me had came down very last minute, enticed by the reports of this being one of the most beautiful places for a run.
Had turned the headlamp off halfway to Sealers Cove and by now was just enjoying the lovely wide trails and beautiful views (as in above picture), had my first drink of water at Refuge Cove and sculled the whole bottle had the feeling that this was more related to my cold rather than thirst but was thankful i'd taken two 600ML bottles with me. Was running with Michael and Kim Cook all this way with Mal Gamble just in front so navigational skills werent required (and basically no other tracks to distract). Incredible views and beautiful aqua water (the water was so Phuket like but i'm sure it was many degrees colder than there !), i knew Waterloo Bay was our first turn, but Kim had gone ahead when me and Michael had collected drinking water and was shocked to see him take after Mal and Peter Bignell who were doing the 60K (which is a different course). Michael yelled out a number of times, but the noise of the surf drowned him out so Kim was now off heading the wrong way (no point me yelling my throat was still pretty hacked from my cold).
Turned in just in time to see Robert Boyce taking the non beach track (deja-vu saw him exactly the same place last year), and we ran along together for most of the way to Telegraph Junction.
At this point i had a feed and drank some more (ideal would have been a bag drop)and me and Michael then headed off along the track, a few K's along and the intermittent drizzle had became heavier so it was off with long sleeve top and on with old faithful the Mountain Designs Goretex Jacket (used for 16 Hours there last year), and with the headband replacing the beanie. Rain stopped pretty much straight away but jacket breathes so well (and i'm so used to wearing it) that i didn't change, we then hit the trail to Roaring Meg, we had a long discussion as to what the old disused poles were (my guess was old powerlines to the Lighthouse, well maybe i should have taken in to account that the track was called "Telegraph"). Made good time to Roaring Meg and had another drink and feed but Michael had left one full bottle at the Junction (for use on the way back) and was now waterless, so i took a swig from my spare bottle and gave him the rest. Managed to see most of the leaders as we headed towards South Head which was comparitively calm (though still very cold between bursts of blue sky), and let Michael take the lead on the way back.
He'd left a drop bag at Roaring Meg but the ravens had made short work of it and it was a shredded black mess, but thankfully the birds hadn't worked out how to opened tinned spaghetti !!. Saw Richard and Brett Saxon just starting their loop and Peter Bignell,on his way back, also at Roaring Meg - talk about busy as Bourke St.
We both managed to run out of water before reaching the Lighthouse (also passing Amanda who had started the previous night with the second part 20K's) so very much appreciated when we reached the tap there (both other times i've done this run i've never even noticed the tap - obviously the cold was making me thirsty) and i filled both bottles
Ran with Michael for a while further but eventually he got away on the downhills going to Waterloo Bay, by the time i reached the beach he was a quarter beach in front of me but really this was now the easy part. The run to the Junction was spent trying to convince myself i may as well do the whole 100K's but i was taking lots of convincing !!!!.
From then on a nice easy run with the main excitement being a dead dolphin (i'll claim it was actually a small type of whale but whatever it was it had a helluva set of teeth !!) just before the Little Oberon Bay exit (my nightmare of 2006 in the dark !). I'd pretty much convinced myself i'd do the 100K option when i was only 1K from Tidal River but not taking the beach and heading along the track to the General Store and then less than brightly looking for 33rd AVE (as opposed to 23rd where our camp was) spent the best part of 20 minutes lost and so decided that 11 Hours 21 Minutes for the 80K's would be good enough for the day and a good hitout for Grafton to Coffs the week after.
Couldn't resist a Chilli Beer from Peter Mullins (CR Chilliman) and it went down well with my Finishers Prize Caramello Koala. Ultimately again my ability (or lack therof) to handle cold weather came into play as i pretty much spent the next few hours sitting at the finish line, occassionally drinking, occassionally grazing but more worryingly simply not feeling well enough to make a move (hence that last picture !!!).
Finally to bed at midnight, just after the last 100K runner finished (and i'd finally got internet access on the phone to find Richmond had again managed to give away a game) and next morning was as good as gold (bar feeling that damned cold again).
Finally home at 9 (couldn't resist the walk from Coolangatta Airport - beautiful balmy night) and ready for a good sleep, happy to be back in a real bed.
Looks like i'll get Ultra number 200 out the way at the Glasshouse 50K's in two weeks time, meaning i'll get there before turning 44 (i'm quite sure when i was i kid i didn't say to my parents "Gee i'd love to run 200 Ultras before turning 44").
So as far as i can see it's Grafton to Coffs next week, Glasshouse 50, then a week or so of seeing the Stones Movie , possibly the Doomben Half Marathon and then the Gold Coast 100KM and then it's back to the California and ultimately Death Valley (in the meantime race numbers for Badwater have come out and i'm number 65).
Certainly a busy schedule, but frankly it's just one race at a time !!!!.