Race 30 30km Course Insights
Our course for Race 3 has had a few positive changes made to it.
The route we have now is a sustainable one for future and it also makes for easier navigations. Its also fortunate that now it features aspects that I really wanted in the original course.
Those breathing a sigh of relief about the final climb up the Yambla Trail (Visions watching hands on heads, hands on knees. Broken)…. Breathe deeper because this course still has you measure.
Keen to get the logistics in order I planned Sunday as the day to put myself to the test and get the competitor experience first-hand.
I can imagine I wouldn’t be alone in having some apprehension as to whether I would hold up in the body and mind for the 30km. Race 2 at 18.5km was an annihilation in my mind. So how do you possibly add 12km?
The mind adjusts to the task at hand and if you lock something in then you can achieve it.
Pre run I set some focus and ‘Go to’s that I would hope to fight any doubts that might creep in – This would certainly be more of a mental endurance test.
‘Feel the deep breath’
‘Open your eyes, enjoy the journey’
‘The voice of concern is not as loud as the voice of determination’
Within 400m you’re climbing straight up onto the ridge an 800m climb up the Warrenlee Trail
I love climbing and this one is now a new favourite. I felt really good heading up here... So good that I thought I better check myself and hold the adrenalin a bit as I headed along the single track. So it was there I set my pace intention for the day – knocking about 5-10% of the growl out of the effort compared to my output across the McFarlanes course.
The race 2 course I was prepared to kamikaze the downs and flats but today knowing the climbs and distance ahead I needed to have my quads with me the whole 30km trip. Hard hard down hills destroy the quads so this would be a steady burn with ups downs and flats at even effort.
There is a lot more free speed in this course – Rolling fire trail and not overly technical singles. The nature of this means you get plenty of reprieve and can break down the course into segments or each of the 7 climbs.
Mcfarlanes Hill 18.5km and 813m El
Albury Ranges 30.2km 1100El - Only adding 277m in 11.7km
The second climb is the Waterview Trail up to the look out. Another legendary climb that’s peak has no face … there is a small break in it but its simply a matter of breathe and step. With plenty of dexcending to follow, once you get to the top of this you have 1/3 of the day beaten.
The sense of adventure kicks in when the road less travelled is taken. The Bakes Trail heads North of Centuar Rd towards Jindera Gap and its ‘naturescape’ is vastly different and awing in beauty. In my opinion the descent from the Northern Summit to the Gap is trail runners heaven. Sun beats the open valley field of green green grass as you follow a single trail that is faint enough to have you believe you’re discovering it all for yourself. I was high. The hike back up from the turnaround point would be a harsh taste of reality except your likely to still be high from the descent and the fact that you’ve turned for home helps too. I rapped a tune to give me floating rhythm up the accent until a 30% grade splintered my high - I’d found an un-runnable section. The hard bits are the best bits.
By this point I was through about 8 dates and a gel. Legs compounded and in mind trying to make grace of the remaining climbs ahead. I passed some hikers for the second time ‘You’re not tired out yet’ they said. I used that.
The climb back up the ridge from centaur rd is a familiar one and one I just chose to give no thought – let the body auto pilot it. What I was keying myself for was the hike back up the Gorge trail – The longest climb of the day. Memories of heading up here in the 2013 AWMA Trail series on a day were I was pushed by heat, heart and competition – On that day this climb exploded my quads , my head and my lungs. Redline. Today was different – Well paced but still my idea of where the peak kept moving farther away this is the biggest climb @ 1.1km average grade 10%.
7km to go. 1 Climb. Unemployment Track.
More free speed helps you reach the 26km mark and find yourself within a few hundred meters of the finish line BUT a final loop remains to make the 30. It could either unbutton you or have you lapping up the remains – Who wants to finish in one piece? The unemployment track is the final hike on a technical single trail – Pace doesn’t matter here but heart does. Hold it together and you’re rolling down hill to home.
30.2km 1100m El
I ended up with a faster average pace than Mcfarlanes Hill - Which aligns with my comments about free speed and the elevation/distance comparison.
Soak up your achievement … this one cracks the mind open to ‘what else is possible’ .. Faster? Farther?