This would rate as the most incredible thing I've done. Truly spectacular bushland, tough trails, rain, mud... Doesn't get any better than this.
Our running club (Western District Joggers and Harriers) had 2 teams entered, and we mostly stayed together as we were sharing a support crew. Starting out I must admit I was mildly terrified, having never tried my body over this type of distance or terrain.
The first few checkpoints went by without much fuss, and we managed to avoid most of the rain. Our crew were awesome, having everything ready for us as we came into each rest stop. Hot food, doughnuts, drinks, lollies... fill up and move on.The last 3 sections of the course were incredibly tough, with thousands of rock stairs and seemingly endless uphill sections. One of my team members summed it up profoundly with his theory of relativity "For every up, there is a down, and then another up".
The night walking/running was fun, and time seemed to fly by. Having the company of and odd bits of conversation with team members made for an enjoyable couple of days.
Having been running for so long barefoot prior to this event, I managed to avoid any blisters, as the skin on my feet was just too hard. I'm grateful for it now, though it wasn't planned. I wore Nike Frees for the whole trail, and ditched the socks after about half way, as I felt they were starting to squeeze my toes up too much.
Bring on 2008, I just can't wait to do it all again! The most fun I've had, the most challenging physically and mentally and the most rewarding experience. Twelve months ago, even a 10km left me hurting and tired, and now to finish this in good spirits was just a huge thrill for me.