Saturday, January 28, 2012

Knapsack three-hour race - First place

Race briefing.
Every year I use Australia Day to mark the start of my preparations for the Canberra Marathon.

Now in its second year, the Australia Day Knapsack three/six-hour race is perfect for this. It's hosted by Running Wild, a new trail running association that's doing a great job of staging off-road races in the Blue Mountains.

This particular race is based on a popular style of mountain bike race. Basically, we run around and around a five kilometre course for three (or six) hours, completing as many laps as we can in the given time. You could choose to enter solo or as a team (where you complete the race in a relay).

Poor old shoes!
The course was challenging, with one particular climbing bit that I dreaded every single lap and some downhills that I had to take with a bit of caution so I didn't fall on my face (I am un-co). Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, with two toilet stops, one vomit, one fall and a wrong turn (or, to be exact, I missed a turn because I wasn't concentrating and began following some random runner that wasn't actually in the race!). It was also REALLY muddy thanks to the non-stop rain we've had recently. Loads of deep puddles and bogs that got worse as the morning wore on. My poor shoes are trashed.

The climbing section I dreaded.
For me, the day was less about running fast and more about getting some kilometres back in the legs. I ended up completing seven laps which put me in first place (out of both guys and girls) in the three hour race.  I was really lucky to finish before the rain started. It pelted down.

So very different from last year, when temperature hit 42 degrees C and everybody melted!

I was filthy afterwards, and no matter how hard I scrubbed my feet I couldn't get all the mud out from around my toenails. It's like it's engrained itself in there.

Thanks to Ben Berriman, the Race Director, and the Running Wild crew for a great morning (and for the Zooper Doopers and Coke!). It actually didn't feel like I was running for three hours, so I must have been enjoying it. My prizes included a great embroidered RW bag and towel, socks, a drink bottle, a buff and a few other bits and pieces.

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