Thursday, 5 February 2009

Hares & Hounds 53K Glasshouse Mountains 11/1/2009

With "that" 3:30AM start i admit i was in a quandary as to when i'd get there or whether i'd have a sleep at home this year, ultimately a warm afternoon at the Tri Nations Beach Cricket solved that problem pretty well as by the time i'd walked back home i was quite ready for a nap (at 6PM ). However after 3 and a half hours of tossing and turning decided i may as well have "Dinnfast" (a combination of dinner and breakfast), and then hit the road. Got there at around 12:30 and had a good sleep in the car waking at 3, perfect timing. Gave me a chance to fill in the appropriate paperwork as well as catch up with a few other runners.
Personally i do find running in the dark hard when i haven't had some running in fading light first and when i decided to just run with the handheld bottle that meant i was committed to wearing the headlamp (no way was i going to run with torch in one hand, handheld in the other i would have been a certainty to do a faceplant somewhere early !).
A few words and we were off, very pleasant conditions (not the humidity of last year) and certainly made it to the first manned aid station earlier than last year (not early enough to hand in my headlight). Found i was running in a group with Tafftrail and Prewannabee and at one point in a group of six (unheard of in Glasshouse Ultras !).
We were making pretty good time but i wasn't really convinced that i was going to be able to hold that pace till the end. When we got into Beerburrum was surprised when me and PWB left and found Tafftrail not picking us up and we ran again very comfortably and relatively fast.
We'd seen a few Hounds running towards us when heading towards the next aid station but from what i could work out we looked comfortably placed to beat them all in.
Endura and Coke seemed to have a positive effect on me (i wish that was always the case ) and i got away from PWB, was just hoping i could see some other runners to chase. Steep downhill and i was passed by Roger Guard but caught up with him on the flat and we got into the aid station together. Roger made one fatal error there, he mentioned that he needed salt, so i assumed he was beginning to cramp seeing suffering in a fellow runner always spurs me on and i took off hard, had a good drink of coke at the last aid station (5? K's to go) and was still looking for people to chase.
Unfortunately that wasn't to be, i did pick up a couple of 10K runners but no sight of that leading group of three (results show why i was at least 20 minutes behind third), but was feeling full of energy and ultimately very happy with my 4:53 (an improvement of 40 minutes on last years injured performance). Great runs by the first three, some very talented runners.
Not sure which is my preferred place to finish a summer Ultra a pool or a pub but Woodford Pool was close enough to heaven for me this time and a good beginning to the year.

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