Monday, 12 May 2008
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 !!.