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…