Todays training in Perth hills was no pleasure. It normaly is and I have had plenty of rest during the week!?! I guess it was because of the quite warm autumn day and the lack of wind in the woods. I did sweat a fair deal and I kept drinking. After 20K I had 2L of water from my backpack. Fortunately I had another 2 X 750 ml botles in the back as well. At mark 25 K I guess we did finish. I am only guessing since I forgot my watch this morning. What a great day hey. I got home to the family, had a little bite, a short rest and a nice shower. Maybe I should stay out of the hills for a while. My next race is an almost flat 100 K race 2nd of June. I better start on picking up the pace for the Kep Ultra 100 K on the Kep Track Western Australia.
Last sunday the 21. April was a day I had been looking forward to. My first ultra trail marathon in Australia even though only 50K long. Also worked out as training run for my my 100K race in Australia in 5 weeks, win win,
I had an early start since I had to drive 125k to get to the starting line. Up 04:20 having a medium sized breakfast and then get dressed for the event and getting my stuff together. I had made all ready the night before so it was easy.
Out the door at little past 0500 perfect. Bib collection started at 0645 so that would give me enough time to get there, no worries and best of all no stress about it. Not well planed my family and I decided a week prior to the event that we wanted to move house ! A bigger better house with a better view, but we had to be quick. So my taper week was a kind of ruined with moving boxes and lifting heavy stuff down the long stairs from the old house. Painting the new house we also did since we wanted different colours, we wanted white walls. I did rest well though and eat an awful lot of food. Saturday I felt my head spinning of all those paint fumes and I said stop, sit down, rest and get ready for tomorrow now. And there I was Sunday morning going a little southeast of Perth, Western Australia. 38 ultra runners were joining the 50 k event and another 100 trail runners came later for the 25k and 12k events. A nice group of people, great scenery and rough trail to conquer.
0735 we went of with wave start and the first climb started immediately. I wanted to stay in the front group and not get stuck in the back. We sprinted of and one of my running mates Andy, who is really strong on the climbs, and I was comfortably in 9-10 position. The really fast runners we saw just a little ahead of us but I knew that, we weren’t going to beat them. I had set my mind for a top 10 position and would be extremely happy about a top 5. I’m all new to these hills in Perth and need much more hill training and I am totally aware of that. Since we came here I have managed to go training in the hills for about 10-12 times included some shorter trail races so I’m a little behind, but definitely closing up the gap. My condition is just getting better and better and we have only been here for three months.
The first 4k of the course was climbing and it went well. I could fell though that the pace was a bit over my likings if I had to make it to the finish. I lowered the pace a little and dropped back to 10th position again after being in 8th for a short while. My mate Andy continued and I never saw him again till the end. Great job Andy, your first ultra. At 6k after 2 k of running downhill in a crazy speed we met the first aid station. I stopped for a banana, a drink and then the next climb was there, the three steps its called. A steep climb of 2k and at spots a horrible climb. Eventually I had made it to the top and I was all alone in 10th position. I felt good and stayed in my pace and on the top of the for another 2ks before the next descent. After a descent then comes a climb, still alone. I enjoyed the trails, the forest and scenery until I came to a little town called Jarrahdale where the next aid station was at point 16k. I was glad to see the volunteers there because I was almost out of water. I only used my handheld bottle today figured it was enough so I hadn’t to bring a back pack hydration system. I filled my bottle and had a few pieces of bananas. Then it was 1 k of bitumen before I met the next forest. Yihaa, single trail for now 8 k through dense forests, rock climbing and really beautiful scenery. The best part of the course and I had a great time. Event caught up with a guy again and was now in 9th. Until I fell totally flat and hit my knee, shoulder and chin. I missed a rock and stumbled. Fortunately it was just before an aid station where I could wash up a bit. Unfortunately the guy overtook 9th again, but I lost a little of my momentum. At least the aid station gave me hydration, food and good support. Only 3 Ks to the finish/ start point where loop no 2 was about to begin. I made it there and I went for my drop bag to get more salt sticks, muesli bar, chocolate and a clean bottle for loop 2. First loop of 25k took 2:24:xx and I was pretty happy with that. I was hoping to do the race in 5 hours and even better sub 5. Worst case just sub 6 hours, it was looking good so far. I saw the guy in 9th again in the drop back area, but that was the last time – I only saw his back from behind till he was gone, also a good climber.
Just before I started loop 2 the 12k racers were sent of so there was a lot of company on the course again and a lot of people to race uphill. 6k later I was at the aid station again getting ready for the dreaded three steps. And boy those steps killed me. Second time around those and I was pretty wasted. At the top of the hill at point 8k the 12k racers turned the other way and I was alone again – still in 10th. When I reached 36ks I felt tired and I told my self to shut up and run. So I did, more than twice but it didn’t help. Then I told myself, “you’re wusch, not an Ultrarunner”. That helped extremely since I from then on simply had the best run, even better than first loop I thought. I enjoyed running again and met a few 25k racers on my way. They started later than us and had to do only one loop of the same course. As I made it to Jarrahdale and the 16/41k aid station I knew I was going to enjoy the rest of the race as well. Awaiting me was the beautiful Ketty Gorge trail, the single track trail through the dense forest. I met more runners in the forest and quite many hikers. At least the last aid station showed up and they had jellybeans for us as a nice treat amongst the lovely fruit and water/ energy drink. I stayed there for a few minutes chatting to the volunteers felling happy about my race and that I soon would be finished. Then just behind my back I got overtaken by a girl named Helen for God knows where she came from? For so long I had been on my own and not been able to spot anyone near me. I felt safe in 10th position but not anymore. I stayed chatting to other 25k runners for a minute and then I went hunting. But to late, Helen made it to the finish line 1 minute before me and I made the hole race in 5:09:xx. I was quite pleased with that even though Helen just stole my spot in overall position 🙂 At least I stayed in 10th position for the men, 4th position for my age group and Helen won the ladies race, congratulations.
Pictures is left out since all this is written on a tiny smartphone during a house move, but hey the report is there and now I’m recovering nicely. Soon I will be running again. See you there 🙂
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by: Chrissie Wellington