Another catch up to bring my blog up to date...
Woodford to Glenbrook is my annual trail race. It's a 25k race for runners and mountain bikers on the Oaks Fire Trail (and a bit of Bennets Ridge) that runs from (surprise, surprise) Woodford to Glenbrook. This year it was held on Sunday 24 June.
Personally, I find this race hard. The first 15k (approx) is very up and down, with some big climbs and some downhills that I find myself taking slowly so I don't have a massive stack. (I have no idea how the cyclists do it!). The last 10 is a gentle downhill, but if you've smashed yourself in the first section your quads sure aint gonna like this bit.
I swear my body feels more battered in the days after W2G than after a marathon. Maybe I just need to toughen up!
I won this race in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and I was hoping for another win to make it four in a row. I was feeling a bit funny in my stomach and kept going to the toilet to see if it would make me feel better but to no avail. I put it down to the usual nerves.
We were held up on the start line for 20 minutes because a cyclist had been injured and they were waiting for him to be transported out. Waiting is never good - when I'm at the start I just want to hurry up and get moving. During the delay I ran off and went to the toilet yet again.
I'd decided I was going to run the race my way rather than watching and chasing other people from the start. As I said earlier, I think the race is tough and it'd only be tougher if I was running someone else's race at the beginning and not my own.
Having said that, let's not pretend I wasn't acutely aware of where the other women runners were. I wanted to win this race so I had to keep track of them and be ready to change plans if I had to.
By about the six kilometre mark (I think) I had taken the lead, and that was where I wanted to stay. My stomach was still feeling a bit yuck but I found the sports drink actually helped settle it (unusual, because usually it makes people feel sick). I decided to try walking the drink stations to make sure I got some sports drink down, rather than all over me. A bit risky, seeing as though I didn't know how close the next woman was, but I felt it would put me in better shape for the end section of the race.
Nearly had a big stack when I rolled my ankle (characteristically uncoordinated). There was some swearing (from me) and a concerned "Are you OK?" (from a fellow runner). Didn't let myself think about it and kept moving and it didn't give me any grief. My knee started to play up in the latter stages (it's been a bit uncooperative lately) so I tried to alter my form a bit to cater for it.
Was very relieved to enter Euroka as the first woman and to head down the grassy hill to the finish line.
Finished in 1:40 and seconds (I can't find the exact time at the moment). It was slower than last year by under a minute (last year I went 1:39), but that's easily explained by slowing down at the drink stations.
I want give both credit and thanks to the wonderful volunteers who made this event possible. The RFS, in particular, are major supporters of the race - the volunteer fireys not only help us out in bushfires and other natural disasters, they also generously give up their weekend so we can race through the bush doing what we love. St John's people were also on hand to patch up injuries and the crew from Careflight were simply fantastic.