I was asked by Liz at AURA to write a race report for You Yangs 100 miler held in June and located about 55km south-west of Melbourne near a place called Little River.
With Brett Saxon as RD and Andy Hewatt as Medic, I was compelled to enter this run in “Mexico”. I’d run Andy’s GOW 100 miler back in 2009 and Brett had pretty much saved me from a DNF. Both great guys that give so much to the running community.
Thanks to Jetstar, Sydney wannabes, Adam, Blue Dog, Dave and yours truly were forced to discuss race tactics for 3 hours in the bar at the airport. Now here’s a photo that doesn’t belong in Aura as pre race nutrition advice…….
I had perused the splits from the 2014 race of runners around the 24 hour mark. I had a plan. I’d never thought an old “has been” could run a sub 24 hour trail 100 miler, but the 8 x 20 km loops meant there would be no surprises for someone who had never seen the course. A “few beers” later, I had talked Adam into coming along for the ride. 🍻
Next morning as we all lined up, I managed to hang with George and realised we’d be stupid not to tag along with him for a few laps. Local knowledge would ensure we didn’t get lost. He knew my plan was to run around 2 hour 30 minute laps until it got dark and then not to slow down too much. It was going to be cold.
After a couple of laps I realised we were pretty much at the tail end of the field. Not to worry. Tortoise/hare mentality got me wondering when we’d catch the ones that may have gone out too fast. I felt fantastic.
George was super keen for a good result to qualify for C2K. As he complained about having a bad back and wanting to take drugs, I told him this wasn’t a dress rehearsal…. and off he went. Never caught him again.
Adam and I stuck to our plan and by night fall we were well on target with Adam playing the game “ooh, let’s do a sub 14 hr 100 km”.
Some of the field in front were slowing, with temps dropping below zero, I was sure this was going to cause a bit of carnage. Keep moving at a steady pace to stay warm and we’ll be ok.
Sarah, Adam’s much nicer half was crewing and couldn’t have done any more for us. Legend. She even managed to dress Adam like Little Red Riding Hood….. don’t know what that made me, but we were happy to stay teamed up.
The checkpoints were manned by the most energetic supporters and the one at the back end of the course was treated like a party every time we got there. The open fire was a deterrent and I refused to go near it and get too comfortable. Keep moving. As daybreak appeared, I could see some of the puddles were frozen. So it had been rather cold.
We’d managed to catch quite a few runners overnight, but couldn’t see all the field which was surprising. I thought we’d know where people were with the climb up and down Flinders Peak at the start of each loop.
As I got to the finish line after my last lap, there was Brett, up a ladder yelling at me “Just one more lap, Princess!” “No mate. I’m done!” and we argued…. Just a little bit 😉 My time 23:45:08
One pair of Hoka ATR Challengers kept my feet blister free the whole race. Not even a sock change.
Best massage at the end from Ross at Freedom Sports Medicine after I’d thawed out in Sarah and Adams’s car, heater cranked to the max and hidden under Dave’s sleeping bag. He’d been up for hours after smashing out the miler in 18:27:09!
Wondering how everyone else had gone, I was told that all the girls ahead of me had DNF’d! 44% of the field had pulled out and the old chick came first. Hilarious.
Photo credit to Brett Saxon and his team of volunteers and Sarah Connor.