Surf coast century 100km trail run
September 2012, Anglesea, Victoria.
A new race in a new location. I was looking forward to the event as it was going to be my first visit to the Great Ocean Road. It was my 4th 100km event this year as well as competing in the 24hr Australian Rogaining champs so I knew I had the endurance but perhaps I would be a little overcooked. If I was lucky I thought I had a chance to get in the top 5 and a pretty good chance of getting the top vet but as it worked out – 1st, 2nd and 3rd place all vets and I was very happy with 2nd overall.
Rowan Walker stepped up from the marathon distance (2:18) to compete In his first 100km. He was in a different league giving Dave Hosking and myself no chance with his amazing time of 8:25 (damn i wish he’d stuck with the marathon distance!). After halfway I stopped asking how far he was in front as the only answer I got was, “oh, he’e a long way”.
Shona Stephenson continued her superb season with another win in 10:18 in a much closer fought women’s race.
The event started at Anglesea taking us along the beach for 20km to Torquay, passing the surfing mecca of Bells beach. I ran at about 4:35 pace (not normal for a trail run), turning around then back along the cliff walk to back to the starting point at Anglesea. The course then headed inland for some MTB trails, single track and the main hills on te course. My pace dropping to around 5:30’s. Then back to the coast south of Aireys inlet, past the lighthouse, back up along cliff paths and finishing with a few more more kays of beach and straight into a headwind (urgh that wasn’t nice). I slowed considerably near then end where I joined a relay runner for some welcome company arriving at the finish line before dark.
There wasn’t much climbing nor long technical sections but the scenery was fantastic, sheer bluffs, long vistas along the coast, beach, some single track, fire road and walking/bike trails. The running was good mainly hard underfoot with only a couple of short sections where you needed to walk.
The weather turned out to be great, sunny with light wind and about 20c, in fact it was maybe a little too hot, a few runners suffering from cramps. We were lucky as the following days being wet and very cold.
Along with the solo 100km were multiple other events of various distances over the weekend. Which worked out well as after about 35km I didn’t see another solo runner but got passed by multiple relay runners allowing a quick chat and a little diversion.
Chris and his team at Rapid Ascent did a fantastic job, really well organized, the course was well marked and the aid stations stocked with a variety of goodies including risotto and pasta as well as the usual electrolyte and sports bars supplied by dextrose, (possibly learning from their adventure racing background).
For those new to ultras this is a great one to start you off, and for those more experienced although it’s a bit quick it’s still a fun run as you can have a thoroughly enjoyable weekend in a great neck of the woods (Great Ocean Road). Also easy crew access to the checkpoints.
Ps: Kate my partner (and crew) said I had to mention the beautiful flowers on the course such as multiple varieties of small orchid.
1st Rowan walker, 8:25
2nd Jonathan Worswick, 9:10
3rd Dave Hosking, 9:45
1st Shona Stephenson, 10:18
2nd Amy Hinds, 10:38
3rd Mandy Lee Noble, 10:52
– salomon pack – contained wind jacket, and first aid kit, space blanket
– 2 water bottles – 1 with hammer electrolyte fizz and the other with hammer perpetuem
– 1 hammer endurolyte salt tab per hour. Note: overlapped with fizz tabs.
– 1 gel flask full with hammer energy gel. Note: overlap with perpetuem but I used it when I ran low on perpetuem and it had a more concentrated form.
– sunglasses and cap
– inov8 195’s, not the right choice for this race. I needed something with a little more padding, you could almost use road shoes.