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" http://www.shinealight.com.au/ on the 28th, followed by the Broadbeach Blues Festival that weekend may be just what i need to freshen up for a good 100K).