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.