ULTRA TRAIL AUSTRALIA 50km - Race Report
Well that would be the toughest event I’ve done.... forget Ironman or the 24hr Triathlon..
Was an excited lead into the event with lots of
Different events happening throughout May, Scored a rego 4 weeks out, leaving some time to hit the trails and try & build in a few longer runs, being reconnected with my love of running & training off-road.... Thanks to Vlad & Run Lab for the reconnection... The support from Stroke No Limits Team, always Training hard. Most importantly was having the support behind me and the encouragement to go and follow my goals from Sarah, the early Morning wake up alarms and late finishes... but I did make sure she was looked after during the day with cafe dates and home cooked lunches :)
Excited to hit the trail come Saturday morning... was up early to eat breakfast, my usual Sweet
potato, Tahini & Banana + Long Black coffee.
My gear was ready & packed. Sarah’s homemade Brownies x 2 Banana pancakes x 3 / 2 x Soft flask - Temple Nutrition mix electrolytes + hemp protein powder + Water Bladder.
Felt good not to have to worry about arranging swim / bike gear for a change, rigged up and heading to the race start via the bus.
Was relaxed with the help of Sarah making sure I ready and had everything I needed, so supportive with everything, considering what she has been though. Just wanted me to have my day and have the best race possible..
So hitting the start, my race plan was to pace it out and start strong from the 6km Loop, getting to see Sarah & a few Newcastle Runners was a good lift, hitting the next section & into the first lot of stairs, that section was a bit tougher then I had expected, on the 12km mark hit a bend as the trail turned sharper into the creek and having to jump down some rocks, my foot slipped and instead of turning a sharp right decided to go straight and down the ledge dropping 2
Metres into the creek, landing straight on my
Right knee twisted it as it collapsed under my
Body weight from fall, I had to stop and hobble about but got going again in a fair bit of pain but o well it happens... was struggling a bit through the next checkpoint @ 17km Fairmount Resort where Sarah was going to be cheering, well she was enjoying a nice cup of wild earl grey and saw me pass from the window in the dinning hall in front of the wood fireplace :) it is a long day for a spectator after all. I had to slow a bit from there to manage knee, but all was good. I did lose a bit of time of some running through the technical sections of the course, that will take time and practice in the trials to improve for future, but I know I would catch them on the road to the hospital 28km checkpoint and beyond using the fire trials and downhill to gain ground, ran straight through the checkpoints to continue pace, hitting the hills run up most of the sections, hiking up the rest, I had made
Ground and jumped back up places. I chose to skip the next water station at 41km, a risk As I knew I was low but was on a roll and didn’t want
To throw my Knee out as it was warm and in a rhythm. Made a lot of places in the final section, but the final 3km I hit a really hard spot, but my watch beeped and my 11am alarm went off - Quote “tell that voice to shut the F UP and just do it... “ by then Water was out and I was feeling it... fuel was okay but I was feeling dehydrated and just had to push through the final section of stairs and o more stairs. Body was sore & flat but I was honestly saying to myself Left Foot / Right Foot... but I hang in and made it through .... raised up to the top, thanks for the cheers from the Run Lab Crew, ran past the two close runners and hitting the finish chute to see Sarah sisters Nicole and boyfriend Chris to support also.. and most important had Sarah there in the chute to grab my hand and we ran down and crossed the finish line, such a special moment for me, never had to experience and was a lovely way to finish my first UTA... so Lucky to have the support all the way from start to finish... staggered over to get medal and gear check... was very wobbly and quickly grabbed a bottle of water, Sarah holding me up :) nurse Sarah was back again... hitting the recovery tent for a big cup of coke / pieces of watermelon and I was back in action... little cramping in the hip flexor and hobbling right knee I had a shower and was feeling much better...
Learnings from the UTA / As I develop and train more on trails/ work on the technical aspects & long stairs sets. Pack more water in bladder :)
Today’s - Race Fuel Plan/ 30-40 mins rotate a pancake / brownie / sipping water and temple Nutrition throughout...
Toughest run I have ever done, was found out in the technical section and the slip up on knee, very happy with the 5:43 mins... thanks again for all he support and the messages before and after the race ... looking forward to the next adventure .... will it be a 100km 🤔😳