Sunday, November 24, 2013


Last night was the Moonshadow event of the Perth Trail Series. This was the first night run of the series, which is organised by bBernadette Benson. The first of her runs I did was the eagle & child run earlier this year  - the Lord of The Rings themed event. This event had a hippy/trippy theme.

This was my first foray into night running - i have a headlamp from some early start morning runs a few years ago but it's been in the garage for at least 5 years. Given my tendency to sprain ankles and get lost on trail runs, i was a little nervous. I was also concerned on first glance that i might be leading the race, but luckily at the last minute Scott Hawker entered, so that took one pressure off.

I arrived a bit early and warmed up over the first 2km of the course. This didn't help my confidence as it was straight up a hill with rocky trail and quite a bit of loose pea gravel. I was struggling in the light, let alon in torchlight.

The race started near dark and within a few minutes it was pitch black. Several guys went out fast and I sat in about 5th up the hilly first couple of km. The track improved thereafter and i moved forward - i thought at the time to about 3rd or 4th but was second. There was then some soft sand followed by a couple of km of firetrail - surprisingly i found this bit some of the toughest of the race, as I sped up I struggled to see the chanes to the level of the road and jolted on landing a few times. I also took a wrong turn about 6k mark and the 3rd place runner behind me (Luke McLean) caught up. Only lost 20sec or so here. Luke mentioned that he was 4 weeks post coming second in a 105k trail event, as he gapped me on the last of the firetrail.

The trail soon turned to single track and quite a steep, rocky hill. here i caught back to Luke and sat behind him for the next 2-3km. I probably could have gone a little faster here but I took advantage of being able to see the track in front of him as well. We came to a clearing and took a few seconds to see where the trail led - at which time the 4th placed runner caught us.

We proceeded to fly though single trail for the next couple of km in single file.

With 1.5k to go we hit a 200m section of road and I took the opportunity to push the pace and create a small gap - I felt i really needed a little break on them as I had found how easy it was to run in someone's footsteps. I ran fairly bravely through this very windy section - the trail surface was flatter but lots of twists & bends, some steps and footbridges to keep your concentration up.

I was no longer hearing their breathing behind me and came into the final clearing and though the finish gate in second, 3min behind first and 15 sec in front of 3rd.

A cool thing about bernadette's events are the trophies - last race was a lego Frodo baggins and today was a lego hippie sitting on a 'hash brownie' - actually a date and walnut cupcake.

I won my agegroup - which again was a bit different in this race - groups were baby boomers, genX (born 66-76) and GenY. Luckily for me all the other leading runners were genY.

Overall a fantastic race and I'm really running well at present. Three weeks to SixInch, hoping I'm in PB form.

Saturday, November 09, 2013


A bit of a last minute decision to pop down to ParkRun Claisebrook this morning for a 5k race.

Got down half an hour early and did about a 6k warmup. There was a light Easterly but didn't really notice it.

My plan was to go comfortably hard, but ended up going harder than that. Unfortunately I forgot my watch, so just ran by feel. The bigger issue was that no-one took it out and I found myself leading after the first corner. i spent the first 2k with the footsteps of 2nd in my ears and went too quick. he passed me just before the turnaround and after that it was really a matter of holding on.

Definitely lost time in the last couple of km - no splits but lost 20sec on the winner in the second half of the race.

Nonetheless I finished with 17:18 - new 5k PB and perhaps something to build on if I get around to some speedwork in the next month

4k cooldown and I felt pretty good afterwards - driving down to dwellingup for a recon of the altered course of Six Inch trail next month tomorrow morning (going to be an early one!).

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Augusta Adventure Race - Run Leg

I was fortunate enough to be asked to do the run leg of the (formerly Anaconda) Augusta Adventure Race.The team, a group of orthopaedic surgeons, have done it a few times, but their cyclist had pulled out. unable to find another cyclist the runner changed to cycling and i scored the run leg.

After the City to Surf i took some down time, including celebrating my 40th B'Day with a trip to NZ.

I restarted training in earnest in October and ran 460k for the month, with 4x 30k sunday runs all hilly, mainly on the trails through King's Park. Spring is a great time to be running in Perth, perfect conditions for crepuscular runs.

The run leg of the race was far more technical than I've run before, especially early on which involved 'rock-hopping' then sections of beach/rock hopping alternating. it's a type of running where technical ability trumps running ability, and i lacked the technical ability. Whilst I was clambering over boulderso n hands and knees and sliding down slopes on my backside, the fast guys were hopping over them like mountain goats and were out of sight within the first km. I found myself about 100th place at the 2k mark. I passed a good 60 people on a 1k stretch pf road then had little passing opportunity for the next few km.

7k onwards opened up on dirt trail and I was running really well, 10k pace and passed more and more competitors. The individual runners had started half an hour before us and i passed Andrew Forrest about 11k in - still impressive to see one of our wealthiest men do the entire race.

i was still passing people up until the finish, finishing 8th in my section of the race.

Our team swimmer did very well, and Toby, our paddler, dislocated his shoulder when he was knocked off his craft by a wave - it popped back in soon thereafter but it was a painful paddle for him.Matt, our cyclist did well for limited training, and then we finished with a 2.5k team beach run to the finish.

We finished 8th or 9th in the mens teams and 34th overall (official results i think had some errors initially so may change a little).

Overall this was a great event and a nice variation from normal running events.

Looking ahead I'm going to continue with the trails theme to the second half of 2013  - entered for the Perth Trail Series night race in a couple of weeks and then Six Inch Trail Ultra number 6 in December.