My best 100k so far. I say that, since I reckon I can do better. Lots better. If only I trained more, harder, better, got faster and wore the right shoes.....
I decided to take my whole family with me this time, as the run is in Queensland, a good chance to visit the grandparents and cousins.
Last year, my brother Scott had decided to start doing a little running, after helping me out at TNF100k. He was hooked in about a month, and now, 9 months after starting running, he was lining up for his first 100k with me. What a buzz for me to get to do this with him. We've always gotten along well, but lately we are finding lots in common, and a real love for bush trail running.
We arrived in Queensland a few days before, and spent some time hanging out with family, and talking tactics. The basic idea was to go out slow, then get slower and lastly, go as slow as possible and still get home in under 18 hours. Prior to this, my best finish was 22.57. We calculated a very precise and complicated pacing schedule, which I thought would last about 40k before the wheels fell off, but hey, outwardly I was optimistic.
Driving up to the the Glass House Mtns was exciting, the nervous tension/sick feeling in my stomach growing with each km. I was really worried that I would ruin Scott's race, that he would need to leave me broken at a checkpoint somewhere. But I put it all aside, and prepared for the onslaught of heaps of family/friends coming up. In all there were 12 of us, for 2 racing! My mum, Marty, my girls (helping to crew), the 2 boys, Deb (crew), Scott's 2 girls, and Sue (to help with the kids).
We went out for the pre race tour and lunch, so nice to catch up with old friends and meet some new folks. I was a bit freaked out with all the places we drove to, I was going to rely on Scott, who seemed to know exactly where we were all the time.
Back to pack some gear (I was seriously underprepared here) and some food, and go to the briefing and dinner. It was midnight before I got to bed, and was up again at 4am. I felt rested, scared, and ready to go.
Standing in the predawn light chatting, waiting for the gun to go, when I realised it had started. Just an 'off you go' or somthing similar. We jogged off to our adventure. A 10k loop back to the start before a trip up a big hill. We made good time here, moving quite well and chatting to other runners. I noticed a niggle in my right hip, but it wasnt too bad, so I kept moving.
This pretty much summed up the whole race... a little niggle or hassle here and there, but we kept moving. Our CP stops were fast, our crew brilliant, always ready to do anything we needed. Scott maintained a perfect pace, all I had to do was keep up with him. The heat started to bother me, and since I don't sweat, I started to get the familiar sick feeling of heating up internally. 3 solutions came to hand.... I took off the injinji socks I was wearing, cooling my feet, Scott gave me his straw hat, which covered my head, shoulders and back, and I grabbed a towel soaked in ice water and put it over my head and shoulders. I managed to keep moving through the powerlines (2 falls here) and the 8 loop without too much discomfort.
Having promised Scott that when the sun went away, I'd be able to run again, we made up good time in the section out to CP7, where we saw seris and eagle, buzz light year, brick and a couple of others. What a huge thrill for me to see people like this in a run. I know they were 10 in front of us, hey..... only 10k!! This spurred me on to move a bit faster. We had made it 3/4 through the race in daylight, an excellent pace for us.
There was one section during the night that annoyed me, with lots of up and down, but I think I was just getting tired by then and slightly emotional thinking about the time we were closing in on. Around here we were joined by Lynda, who stayed with us to the end of the race. She was targeting 20 hours and ran with us until we reached the school near the finish line.
Scott seemed to get faster and faster, more excited with each km. He never complained, or hated anything. He said AT LEAST once each km "How much fun is this?" and "I love this" or "When's the next one?" His enthusiasm was boundless and very infectious.
We crossed the line, arm in arm, toe to toe, in 17.50. Elated, tired and wondering if we should have pushed a bit harder! What a day. Finished before midnight, with a 5hr 7 min PB. I wanted the whole world to know how good I felt.
My brother Scott:
I'm so proud of him. He's come from a place so far removed from the discipline of ultra running. I know he won't mind me saying that even a few years ago, he was travelling on a downhill path to nowhere. He is now a strong, determined man who has set himself firmly in the right direction. To be out there with him, as he achieved something he never thought possible, was a defining moment for me. Actually he smashed it, with plenty left in the tank. So we are going to do the GOW 100k together in 3 weeks. Love ya bro x