As well as various tops (singlet for the heat of the day, thermal top for nightfall etc), as well as cans of baked beans and similar luxuries in case i tired of the magnificent banquet that is the checkpoints at this event).
From now on i knew it would simply be an issue of how well i could run in the dark, i'm fine on roads but give me a headlight (and in this case also a torch) and i'm next too useless, having to walk as i simply fall over anything that's marginally non flat.
Wayne and Terry flew out out of view but i simply kept to my game plan of just going smoothly and not breaking my neck somewhere on the dark trails, also meant i was passed by a 100K finisher but frankly i was dying to get to base and then onto the bike/walking path which i know backwards night time or not.
Finally made it and had a cup of soup and a good meal as i knew this was going to be my hard part although a number of people suggested i leave earlier.
Finally i was off and i was surprised to see Robert Hall early on the trail, had thoughts of reeling him after but thought he'd be way ahead, certainly his first 100 miler was causing him problems he hadn't experienced before. Flew through the bike/walking path and then onto Moffats Rd, this was all good stuff to me as it was the eastern section i feared in terms of time.
Headed onto the trails and for the life i me i could work out whether i headed straight ahead or took an early turn as i could see no arrows, that was to be my sole navigational mistake as i decided to back track and take a right hand turn eventually turning back again and bumping into Rob.
The original way was correct so i had wasted a couple of miles which was not making me happy still the Bruce Highway was close by so things were looking good.
Navigational errors are one thing, but being stuck in the mud !!! is something else, misjudged where it was dry near the Highway and after 6 foot steps i was bogged, panic set in a little and i tried to move backwards, but two footsteps seemed to take an eternity and i knew Rob was not far behind so i waited and got him to give me a hand out, first i had to get out of my shoes and stand by the side in my Drymax Trail Socks (i know i'm biased but these are the best trails socks i've ever had for a while there i thought i'd have to complete the race in them !), before i pulled my shoes out and put them on, suddenly my lightweight Frees were many kilos heavier.
Was quite happy to go under the highway through the creek as at least it meant my shoes got a wash, but was very worried that wet gloves and wet feet may have meant hypothermic issues soon, so was very happy to hit the next checkpoint where i got stuck into soup.
Off with the camelbak again as i went up to Wild Horse Mountain and back, now it was just a case of getting through the rest of the run and maybe a sub 24 Hour.
A little disheartening to see the leaders coming towards me, but still i knew i had this thing beat and it was just a case of being able to retain enough heat.
Next aid station was rapt to find a fire going as well as hot soup and i toasted myself, will admit i was not happy to be passed by Alun and then Dom with pacers (freely admit i don't believe in pacers except in cases where crew is compulsory - fires me up no end but usually the fact the runners are being paced means i don't catch them to get my revenge !!!), and was warm (and fired up !!) for something like 8K's shame the last 2 K's i was freezing again.
No question i simply had to thaw out again and that i did, probably wasted time but for mine it was well spent as i headed off for the other lap, again was good for 8K's and then the cold set in, no choice again but to cook by the fire and eat hot stuff as i knew now the worst was over and i was having dreams of Moffats Rd.
On the way back i saw Bill and Nick and calculated that sub 24 was still possible.
Last checkpoint i made sure that i had lots of warm food and now it was a case of get through the trails and sprint once i hit Moffats Rd as after all the legs were still very fresh after my easy night of walking.
Was very careful dodging my bog spot and once i hit Moffats road it was pretty simple run like a sprinter, ultimately i finished in 23:45:21.
My 5th finish from 5 starts in the 100 Miler and my second fastest time although ultimately in 13th place, as far as i was concerned i'd set out to do what i wanted to.
Looking back over a week later, i'm convinced this is one race i'll never run to my true ability, firstly me and the Powerlines is never a good mix but probably more importantly i'm a useless runner at night i actually need longer or tougher courses so that i have more of the next day to make up for those failings.
Still this one was for Uncle Cyril, who had passed away 2 days previous, a great bloke, a great fan and a great friend (i was wearing a black armband in his memory but long sleeve shirts tended to negate that), whilst he wasn't a runner he had done way more tough stuff than me as he defended our country against the invaders at Milne Bay in PNG during World War II, as well as a great sportsman keeping a scratch handicap for over half a century.