SO i HAD ANOTHER CRACK AND FINISHED.
28 hrs, 31 minutes.
I had a pretty bad run up to this, with injuries and compromised training. But after pulling out at CP4 (58km) in 2016, I had re-entered this year with the goal of getting it done.I was stubborn enough to not want to pull out before I even started so had a plan to keep moving as best I could at each moment, and see how I went. I knew I had to push with some running in the first 32km to make the cutoffs, but then a solid fast walk would get me to the end.
I started with 3 PRP shots in my left knee, cortisone in the right, and 2 rolls of tape on my left knee for the race.I pushed as hard as I could, but smartly not flogging myself, and protecting my knee. Downsteps was particularly bad, and uphills showcased my lack of fitness and ideal race weight. But I kept trucking.
Made the first CP with about 20min, and moved quickly out. Tarros ladders were still awesome, Mt Derbert was huge, and the run into CP2 uneventful. I came in with a satisfactory buffer over cutoffs, and felt much better than the previous year.
I’d jarred my back in the first 50m of the race, so was having trouble stepping up et my left leg. Running actually felt good!
Ironpot was still lovely, and steep. But I was still feeling ok, and moving well enough., I was trading places with a small group of 3, and a couple of individuals, but I lost them in the dark heading in to CP3.
Nellies Glen was tough, and I started feeling weak and dizzy again – as I did in 2016. But I pushed on, and came into CP4 feeling OK. My time buffer wasn’t great, but I was only about 20min behind where I expected to be if everything went according to plan.
The weather was perfect, and I hadn’t needed to access any of my gear at the drop bag in CP3. Just restoked calories and water – and the same for CP4.
Out of CP4 and down the Giant staircase, which was challenging but very cool in the dark. Then the wheels totally fell off up Leura Forest climb. Nausea, dizzy, lightheaded. I made myself keep moving, with short goals of steps and rest.
It was tight coming into the 70km CP at Fairmont, but I ran in strong, filled my water and ran out strong. Not long after the sweeps caught up to me (Steve and Elke) as no one in the groups I passed had mde it out of Fairmont on time.
They were with me for a bit, then had to stay with other runners who pulled the pin.I’d almost decided to pull the pin at CP5, coming in with about 10min.
But they (Jaci, who I’d volunteered with on Thursday) wouldn’t let me, and pushed me out with Coke and refilled bottles- and the last 3 sweeps (SJ, Bec and Blake – awesome folks).
We went down Kedumba, it started to get light again, and I made it to the helipad time point about 3min over the cut – but I was moving strongly and they let me keep going.2 sweeps pulled ahead then to catch the group 15min ahead of me, and get them in. One stayed with me.
We kept plugging through the forest, and arrived at the bottom of Furber, absolutely shattered.The winner had hiked down and was there gee-ing me on, and after about 20 steps up I was surrounded by about a dozen other people who hiked down to bring me in.
The finish was epic – felt like a rock star welcome for being last.
It was the hardest, longest and most painful thing I have ever done. But I did it, and am very glad.
I was in a tent at the caravan park, so a slow walk back (with sweep Bec who was staying there also) , a sit down, struggle up the hill to the showers, ana very painful lie down, and it was time to pack up camp.
I did it on Tailwind, some gels, a few chips, and some on-course electrolyte.
YouTube vid I put together
15:30 long version https://youtu.be/HdJDzqVJZ1c