What a great Sunday. Up at sparrow’s fart to meet up with chauffeur David (also photographer extraordinaire), Kathy and Colette. Thanks to Adam for his car pooling organisation. Adam or more affectionately known as “KAOS” and I have known each other since Mt Sol last year. My kids were quite disturbed when I told them last year that I was being driven to the Blue Mountains by some guy I had never met… called Kaos.. I was very quickly reminded of safety issues and #1 daughter wanted his rego # as soon as I got in the car Anyhoo… this year we arrived in plenty of time with a frenzy of trusty parking attendants. Ben has far too much faith in people’s driving skills at 6am. Seems everyone stopped before they hit him….
Sean and Mel were as usual up early smiling and directing all runners in the right direction to gear check with Jo, then to Dean and Jo for race #.
Had to put up with the typical banter from Sarge…..who is so much nicer after I’ve had a wine or two.
The weather was cold at the start but how great was it to have such a clear day after missing out on the view from the top last year. I ran with so many talkative, lovely people. What a warm fuzzy vibe the whole day was blanketed in.
The top of Furber was like a slice of heaven with a decent slurp of coke from Buzz, Dean and Julie from Pink First Aid (I think she realized that the Hoka wearers don’t get blisters after I went through…)
The last 10kms from Jamison Valley and up Kedumba is always emotional for me. Remembering the phone call at the water crossing in TNF 3 years ago to say my brother had just died just gets me….. and then Kedumba. It’s so good to be alive and surrounded by such motivated, decent, happy, inspirational people in such a beautiful place.
To finish a run like that and have Luis throwing his rug over my shoulders, Buzz giving me his parka, Jaci sitting me in a chair and giving me someone else’s hard earned coke, Marty shouting me a can of soft drink….. did I look that bad?? I felt like shit…….I don’t think it was from looking at Halfwaydown’s feet …. I definitely didn’t eat enough. During the run I had one gel (not my favourite form of calories), two electrolyte tablets, two caffeine tabs, 2L water and an Up and Go. Coke, one piece of banana and watermelon at the 24km CP.
However…. I was very happy with my time. I was hoping to beat last year’s 8:22 and sneak in under 8 hours. So 7:39 was better than I imagined. It was nice to not be worried about seeing sweepers Brick and Jo behind me.
Felt seriously sorry for Helen and Ben on the timing having to listen to Luke on the mic for so long…..BUT Luke you are better to listen to than look at.
Pretty sure the car on the way home was full of nitrous oxide. Four very happy people and great new friends.
Thanks to all involved for putting on such a tough event with so many smiling, fabulous faces.
The marathon frenzy in July continues….. even managed to throw in a “Motherly” moment by getting into the city on Saturday morning to watch Charlie receive his Gold Duke of Ed award from Marie Bashir. That kid never ceases to amaze me. Met up with daughter Sal and (her boyfriend) Todd to hot foot it up to the Hunter for lunch at Tatler. Perfect pre marathon prep So great to see that they have the Half Marathon hype happening
Arrived at the race rego and picked up our bibs and some awesome new gear from Skirts Sports and Injinji. New dress, leggings, visor and arm warmers all got a workout the next day…. Who ever said not to wear anything new on race day hasn’t worn their gear! Not a chafe in sight
July 22nd….. Hunter Valley marathon saw so many of the usual tragics at the start line and a virgin road marathoner. She’s a trail ultra chick but had never run an official 42.195kms on road. Great to have a mate to chat to and forget about what we were doing. We were also too busy watching a Bride and Groom start the race and get hitched at Audrey’s on the first lap. They carried on running, finishing the marathon in just under 4:30…..
Kirrily and I ran together for the first 27kms before she left me in her dust going down the hill after Audrey Wilkinson Wines. I felt pretty good the whole run and was aiming for a cruisy 4:15. Very happy to get through the 42 kms in 4:03. Could I have done a sub 4hour Hunter Valley? Definitely. Shame I didn’t realise how well I was going until the last couple of k’s. That’s a PB for the HV so pretty stoked to see that my times aren’t slowing down.
For the next 6 days I recovered and tapered with only about 30kms of running. I don’t feel at all nervous about running my 100th marathon in September, but I am in cotton wool mode to keep injuries at bay (well, sort of…)
July 29th M7 Cities marathon was always going to be a cruise. As the official 4:30 pacer, I was pretty relaxed and happy to help out. Was a lonely bus….. started with a great group of happy runners (this is the happy photo)….. and finished on my own. Everyone fell off the bus or decided to run ahead.. and most of those that ran ahead I passed in the last 10kms. Met some great people and tried to pick a few up as I ran past but nobody seemed to want to play Gee some people just don’t know how to have a good time when they run. (won’t show you any sad photos…)
I ran in a pair of Hoka Evo Tarmacs that were couriered to me on Friday and hadn’t run a step in. Stupid? Nah, just proving the point that you can put a brand new pair of Hokas on, run 42kms and feel like you’re wearing your favourite ugh boots at the finish Feeling good for the tough Mt Solitary 45kms next weekend.
3 Marathons in 3 days. Cairns July 6-8 2012 #94/95/96
So what do I do to add a marathon due to the nightmare of finding out Canberra Bush Capital marathon was changing the day of their run without telling anyone until a month before?
Enter Cairns Road Running Club. Meet Race Directors Lorraine and Larry Lawson. With my son Charlie doing his HSC this year, I want to be around in the next few months. After the Simpson crossing I had decided to be at home as much as possible. 3 nights away to get me to marathon # 96 was a no brainer. Makes the next few months till my 100th in Sydney much less stressful.
I flew to Cairns on the Thursday afternoon ready to run the first marathon on Friday. One phone call from David and Brenda from the Cairns Road Runners and I was now being picked up outside my hotel accommodation instead of lugging my gear to the designated pickup post at the hospital. One gesture like that from the Club was the feeling for the whole three days.
Awesome organisation. Nothing was too much for the Club. They went out of their way to make sure the runners were happy, safe, supported and looked after….. all the way to making sure I had a lift back to the airport after marathon #3.
With really no idea on what to expect, I saved myself on Friday’s 1st marathon as I had been told # 2 was harder. Met so many of the runners on Day 1 from up north and they didn’t disappoint. I found it quite humbling to have someone come up and almost bow and ask if I was Jane… ran a fair bit with him, thank you for your company David. Lots of single trails to run with Lawyer vine (Wait a while) that stopped us in our tracks when caught on our clothes or skin. Plenty of water crossings to cool the legs and slow us down… weather was great for running but crap for lazing around in the afternoon. Finishing the first marathon in just over 6 hours, I was pretty happy to get up and run the next day. I felt good.
There were a few hard core runners (where’s Josh??) missing from the start on Day 2… How much harder could it be? The profile made the middle of the run look like an uphill climb for about 7kms. I was pretty surprised to see the 27km checkpoint when I did and happily motored on home finishing 20 minutes faster than yesterday. The courses were tough, I was happy with my pace and how well I knew my body. I wore my Hoka Evo Tarmac prototype with the trail sole. Paired with my Injinji’s, feet were pristine after 84.4kms.
Had an awesome meal with some runners at Cedar Park Saturday night, Jason and Sarah from WA and Eduardo. Back to my room for the packing and organising for the next day’s run and flight home.
Sunday morning, day 3, there were again a few people missing at the start line. How cool would it be to have a race where you just fronted up each day… give a generous cut off like 6:30hrs and just put on a marathon every day. How long would it take to have one man standing?…. mmm, how much annual leave do I have ??
Marathon #3 was by far the easiest for me. The last half (apart from the last 3kms) was downhill. I had the added enjoyment of running with David, Adam and Lorraine. 2 locals and my mate from Sydney…. It was always comforting to have the talkative Lorraine nearby… she knows the route
Photo of AURA members running 3 in 3 days.
Finished Marathon #3 in 5:10 in good shape ready to take on Hunter Valley in a fortnight. The trails were tough in spots and with no idea what to expect, I took the whole 3 days running at a pretty cruisy pace. The sub 4 hr marathon at the Gold Coast only 5 days earlier gave me confidence to just notch up 3 days of solid running and treat it like a holiday.
Great homemade food at aid stations the banana muffins at the finish!!!!??? YUMMM!!
…..Was it because we runners smell after 3 days and they wanted me back on the plane?? Well it was for the lovely Qantas man in customer service that got me on a flight boarding 5 mins after I got to the airport and blocking 3 seats for a smelly runner! Saved a 3 hour wait for my flight.
Fabulous weekend. Definitely a must do, not just for the trails but to experience the hospitality of Cairns Road Runners.
On my 16km run this morning I realised that they, while still comfortable, have been the best budget pair of shoes I have ever bought.
These were my first pair. (I actually paid good money for them…) To run injury free for less than $10 every 100kms… with no costly blister treatment… not even a bandaid, no physio visits… how good is that?
I will get a pair of Evo Tarmacs hitting stores for the first time this week to rotate with my existing Bondi’s.
The first weekend in July for the last 9 years has been up running the Gold Coast marathon with as many of the family that cares to join me.
This year I had all 3 kids and #1 daughter’s boyfriend all entered in the Half Marathon and Pete and I booked in for the full as usual. Some had done more training than others…. shame it really doesn’t show in the results. Charlie (17) spends all his time studying for his HSC and no time training…. finishing in 1:43:43. Hate to see what he could do with some training, but he has been doing the Half for a while…
Todd will beat him next year and the girls will be a little more competitive and have “less” fun…
Pete and I set off together as usual. Him on fresh legs, me in my usual state
Stayed with him till around 15kms and decided to give him the flick…. my agenda this year is not thrashing myself the week before Cairns (3 trail marathons in 3 days)
I was feeling pretty good and was on target for another sub 4 hour marathon…. couldn’t be happier. Pete on the other hand was just about to do the unthinkable…. smashing(?) our joint PB by 60 seconds……….. (bastard…) coming in at 3:44:05.
I was thrilled with my 3:55 but a bit pissed to now have a softer PB than him….. Next year, maybe, I will train for a faster marathon time…. maybe.:)
Great long weekend away catching up with a wonderful bunch of people.
So what do you do when you get back from Macleay River marathon with no run planned the next weekend? Thanks to Jaci’s little nudge, I booked some flights and entered Perth Marathon. Being able to catch up with my cousins, aunt and uncle on the Saturday afternoon, spend the night with Jaci and her sister Ruth and run Sunday made it a very enjoyable one night away.
With a sub 4hr marathon last week, the plan was to run by feel and enjoy the scenery in the city I’ve only been back to one other time since I was born.
I was pretty surprised at the 30 km mark when I was ahead of a 4hr marathon but by 34kms I had some pain in my chest that I had never had before. The reason this blog entry is a little late is probably because I didn’t want to write about chest pain and then go off and run 4 marathons in 8 days.
I was reduced to a walk which eased the pain. After the death of my brother Tim in his 40′s from a heart attack, I wasn’t going to ignore the signs. Breathing was fine and I had no trouble taking a deep breath, Pretty sure it wasn’t cardiac….. but I wanted a “seat” on the plane. It felt almost muscular and originated from near my right pec. I wasn’t prepared to give myself a little “HTFU” talk, slowed down and let the pain subside. After a few kms, I was feeling more confident that it was muscular, went into a bit of a trot finishing with a beating heart in 4hrs and 4minutes.
Happy to say that I haven’t felt the pain again.
This small town marathon at South West Rocks is one of my favourite weekends away. Always on the June long weekend, I managed to get daughter #1 and her boyfriend to tag along. Weather was a shocker on the Saturday but cleared for Sunday morning and we had perfect weather until we scrubbed up after the marathon. We were sitting in the pub when the downpour began on Sunday afternoon.
I was expecting to take it easy after Glow Worm Trail marathon last weekend. Thought a 4:15 would be achievable. The legs would be tired by 30kms after such a monster of a session at Glow Worm. I ran by myself for most of the run. I got through the first 21kms at the turnaround in about 1:56 and was still thinkng 4:15 would be good. Had no idea just how those legs would feel at 35kms. Passing a guy walking was the aim. With the ink on my calf letting everyone know that I was in the 50-59 age category, I was pretty determined to run past those young whipper snappers after 30kms. I ran up a hill at 32kms and mentally told myself that a Boston qualifier of sub 4:05 was on the cards. I don’t need to walk. Keep running Small. The last hill was runnable. “Should be good for a 4:03″ I got to the top of the last hill and could hear the commentary at the finish line. How far did I have to go?? Watch was on 3:57 something oh, SHIT… I can do it!! Sub 4 was on the offering…. with the added obstacle of some van reversing, driving forward, reversing with only 30 metres to go (some idiot trying to get the closest car park possible..). Had to throw my arms up and yell STOP to get their attention… and looked up at the clock to see 3:59:50 (Gun time) Didn’t know if our chips were recognised at the start or if Gun was it. I made the decision to run behind the van. Luckily I wasn’t at the front of the runners when we started… With the gun time being close to 4hours, I was happy to have the official time of 3:59:45… Marathon #91 done. With Ray, Tesso and Wayne around, the weekend is always fun.. but I missed the company of Blue Dog and Bernie. The course is definitely longer with the new bridge…
#1 Daughter and her boyfriend had a ball running the half and want to do it again next year (yeah, they liked the pub too…)
A new trail marathon to help me get to my 100th in September… why not?? The Glow Worm Trail Marathon is in the Wolgan Valley starting in Newnes.The old shale oil mining town of 3,000 has disappeared. The old hotel (pub) is now just a General Store. After driving about 30kms of dirt road from Lithgow, Ray, my crazy compulsive marathon mate running his 138th and I arrive at the hub of activity…. registration for the marathon the next day. Fires to warm yourself by, Mel cooking dinner, coffee van working overtime. A wonderful scene.
I had left Sydney Saturday lunchtime after visiting my sick father. He had just spent the first night in 13 years without his best friend Fred. His Jack Russell died Friday. He is one very lonely old man
I was glad to get away.
I get to work setting up my tent. I’d never used Charlie’s one man tent before, my 3 second tent was donated to the kind man and his wife that had taken it down every morning in the Simpson Desert. Charlie’s tent was a new experience. It was raining and I was a tad nervous on what the night would bring. The heat in the desert had to be worse than being cold and wet….?
The hardy souls that decided to camp were rewarded with a fabulous dinner cooked by Mel and her helpers at Mountain Sports. Sat around the fires talking to Neil, Marc, John and Ray until it was time to test out the tent. It was a wet night but not that cold.. I slept well in my little tent. Ray had resisted a tent and slept in his car…. I told him he was soft.
I woke the next morning (ok… and just a few times overnight, but don’t tell anyone…) to the starting up of a generator just after 5am to mark the start of Mel cooking breakfast. She didn’t stop all weekend.
I ate too much for breakfast. Lovely chat with Brendan D, Mick D and Tim C and his new wife. Can’t believe how humble these awesome runners are. Beth Cardelli was as always getting advice from me ;) Don’t take your pack for the first half, just your torch. Wow… she is so cool. So is her husband. I think even Mick took my advice… (where’s that ‘I am humbled’ emoticon when you want it?)
The race started just after 8am. The first half was beautiful. Lots of single trail, a few areas of land slide and a walk through the tunnel… I missed the glow worms but had Ray and Adam’s company instead I wasn’t feeling great for the first 10-15 kms. I blame it on my gluttinous portions of hash browns and bacon. Thanks Mel….
So, what am I doing running this?? Settle down small and look at the big picture. Have fun, stay uninjured and taper for next weekend… oh, shit. Macleay River Marathon in 7 days eh? Cool. Let’s enjoy what’s here. Ran with Ray and Adam in the first half and kept the pace easy. I knew the trail after the first 21kms was going to be tough and technical. Finished the first half in 2:44. Oh dear… don’t think I’m gonna win….
Ray had slowed down a bit and I soldiered on with Adam. The trail was TOUGH. This is no easy 6 ft Track. The single trail heading up… and up… was steep. Mick Donges was flying down as we were trudging up… WOW. Enough.
Had a nice little congo line down to the turn around. I felt good. The faces on everyone coming up told the story. It was going to be nasty. Adam told me he was suffering at the 32km mark. I kept moving through the checkpoint and the trudge back up the mountain. Managed to pass a few guys going up … pretty sure they hate being passed by ” a middle aged mother”. With some decent runners finishing behind me, I was happy with 6:44. You really had to see the course to appreciate the times ran. Arrived at the finish to a great goodie bag for being first old bag over the line…. there has to be something great about being out there…. no matter how old you are.
The trail was, in parts, incredibly technical, slippery and steep. Finishing in good condition and enjoying the first Glow Worm Trail Marathon was paramount. A huge congrats to Mel and Sean, Kirsty, Jo and all the people behind this. I love being part of the running community and being around happy, healthy people. Was also good to be away from phone reception…
My 4th TNF . No specific training after a few kms of desert, but I felt pretty good. I was worried about having too many kms in the legs after April (around 900kms for the month) I had only trained once on the course with one night run on the last section with Adam and a few of his mates a couple of weeks ago.
As usual I shared a room with Blue Dog and Bernie and felt pretty relaxed on the Friday evening until dropping off my drop bags and hoping to bypass the Bar at the Fairmont. All round great guy Andy Hewatt was calling out my name as I jumped up the stairs…. down I go to help him deliver first aid to some woman. She had totally obstructed her airway and was pretty blue. Ignoring all the things I teach down at North Curly, I went straight for the jaw thrust to get a grunt out of her… airway was tight, but she was trying to breathe. F#** I’m glad that worked…. wasn’t really wanting the adrenaline rush of CPR without my pocket mask… Had to continue until ambos arrived and off she went to hospital.
Great, now for bed. Slept pretty well which was very much needed after a week taking my sick Dad’s dog to the vet. Vet wanted to put him down (the dog, I think it should have been both…) Dad refused. Dog now craps on the carpet. With some cancer in his liver or stomach, it shouldn’t be more than a few weeks before Dad loses his best friend
OK… back to TNF. Up dressed and feeling ok. I didn’t really have my mojo. Maybe it’s because this is the 3rd anniversary of the weekend my brother died and I don’t get the race feel. Maybe it was after the Simpson Desert. Whatever. I was here to run 100kms and enjoy the people and the place. There is a certain magic that draws so many to run this. 2012 was no different. With just over 1000 entries, there were only 638 finishers.
Last year I ran 17:27, so had put myself in Wave 3 (finish between 17 and 19 hours) I don’t need to put pressure on myself in the early stages and look like a total wanker if I can’t keep up… the finish time will tell heaps more than starting earlier. The first section was slow. Waiting at the trail was frustrating for everyone. Maybe my total time could have been faster by 10mins.. big deal. Heard too many runners making excuses of wanting a sub “whatever” time and blaming it on slower runners. There were plenty of k’s to make up for it. (some runners ran 2 hours slower than they wanted and blamed a 10 minute hold up in the first few k’s!!)
Saw Brad (one of my gorgeous C2K crew from last year) up the top of the Golden Stairs just before CP1. The 18 km first section done in 2:48 was slow, but what I expected. Now to get a move on. Lovely running along Narrow Neck with a few guys and then a hold up at Tarros Ladder. One of the official guys asked if some of us wanted to take the detour. At around 400metres it was probably a good idea in hindsight as the ones that did from behind us ended up in front. Mostly lovely running to CP 2 apart from running past my lovely mate Richo. He hasn’t run for the last 2 months due to LOVE… and that’s a good thing He was my saviour at GNW last year when I fell and needed to be stitched up, so would have loved to have helped him, but I think… really, that he just wanted some chick called Jess…
38kms to CP 2 in 5:37 (5:48 last year) 11 mins ahead!! and a check of our compulsory gear..
Off for the 16kms to Cp3. Iron Pot wasn’t too bad. It’s a good climb, but not long. Will time it next year (did I just say that I would do this again?) Digeridoo and a good look on the out and backs to see who’s just in front and just behind. Shitty… REALLY SHITTY waste of time downhill off Iron Pot Ridge. Nothing worse than an unrunnable downhill. Would love to see the fast guys down this….
Felt pretty good and seemed to be passing more runners than were passing me. The uphill before a lovely 3 kms down to CP 3 was a boost as I walked past guys with twice my stride.
Looked for my drop bag, downed a pureed apple, Up and Go and grabbed a sambo to go. Had to walk back to put stuff in the bin (that sort of thing can really piss you off when doing 100kms..) Organisers need to look at helping the unsupported runners just a bit more.
Out of CP 3 at 8:18 (8:31 last year)13 minutes ahead!
Walked out eating the cheese and ham sandwich. My throat was sore and really didn’t need (read want) to eat. Was hoping that the sore throat was from running and not all the moaning from 100′s of runners on why their run was going to be violated…
So out of CP 3 for the next 11 kms and Nellies Glen. I walked for a while until Pat Gibbons caught me up and we ran for a bit. Pat and I had done Oxfam Trailwalker together in some fast times and we were justa “tad” competitive. I had beaten him by a few minutes last year and knew that he was on the money to fix that this year. I told him to run on as I wanted to keep my food down. I didn’t see him again….. until after the finish I had beaten him by over an hour YAY!!!!!!
Up Nellies is only 25 mins of pain. It was light, there were people suffering around me. That’s a good thing. I reached the top to the smiling assassin Brad again. He knows where people are suffering and loves to watch. Also up here and suffering as a runner was Luis. NO WAY should I ever be passing him!
I reached CP 4 at 5:10pm and found my bag. Grabbed some noodles but they were too hot to eat…….found my fleecy, put my head torch (or the great new PETZL NAO that I was trialling for the first time..) Got some help from Garth to get outta there and at 5:21pm 20 mins ahead of last year I ventured out for the longest section to CP 5 of 24kms.
Just out of the CP, I found Simon Da Rosa… we first met 6 years ago at 6 ft Track and it was so great to run with him for most of this section. We smashed this section and both decided to whack our head phones in at the base of Kedumba at 80kms. I reckon 15kms of chit chat was enough for him Nobody passed me going up Kedumba. I was smashing it (well. in my eyes I was smashin it….)
The goal Simon had suggested was to 89kms at 14:15…. so I did just a tad better than that. By the time I got to CP 5 I really couldn’t eat. I wanted nothing but knew I had to eat. Coke? the CP had none. I had one small can but I wasn’t sure it was enough.Brad and Kieron and Clare were all watching but they weren’t allowed in the unsupported runners tent. Wished they had been. I needed someone to shove something/anything they could find down my throat.Left CP 5 at 14:16….. 44mins ahead of last years time! I slipped out with a small bag of my favourite rice crackers from Suse in Tokyo. Just. Couldn’t. Eat. 11 kms. Just hold it together and you have a sub 17 Jane. I felt pretty nauseous and walked a lot of this section happy knowing that unless my guts unravelled I had my sub 17.
The last section was uneventful and I was in self preservation mode. There are some nasty narly sections and slippery rocks. All was good. I hadn’t changed shoes or socks during the race, my feet felt fabulous all race in new Hokas that I had been given the week before and only run 10kms in. They were a one off prototype for the new Evo Tarmac road shoe coming out in a couple of months but these had a trail tread. Totally awesome shoe. I really believe that my faster time this year is all thanks to my shoes. Comfy feet, comfy 100km ride. Finish time 16:36.
At $330 an entry, it’s the most expensive running event around. Will I do it again? That’s a 99% “yes” because of the people I get to run with…. not for the “extra small” men’s shirt that goes down to my knees. Really surprised that there aren’t more runners from overseas as it is the most scenic 100kms along side Great Ocean Walk.