Monday, 4 October 2010

Race Report

Trail Series Race # 1
Hennops River

I was up at 5am, left home at 5.30am and arrived at the venue before 6.30am. Great directions on the website, great markings from the turn off and great people directing us to park.  Quick and easy registration and number collection.  All good, SO FAR.
I took a toilet break and then I got a coffee - I figured that I had an hour until start time and the toilet facilities were good.

I lined up at 7.20am, nervously excited, this being my first 'graded' trail run and all. We got a briefing of the race and the maps were posted up on various trees.
The route started with a <2km jeep-track loop, the purpose of which, (as explained in the briefing) was to spread us out before the single track.  So far, so good. I was happy as we past the start area shortly before the short run got started.
Moving on to the single track got very rocky and the pace slowed to accommodate careful foot placing.  I was still happy with myself as I was keeping in pace with two groups of girls in front and a man slightly behind me.  I also knew that I had run past two girls just before I started the single track. (This was important to me as I didn't want to be last).
I was happily running where I could and going comfortably slowly where I had to. 

I stopped to take a picture at the bottom of the first hill and a number of people past me.

The jeep-track hill looked long, not worth the effort to run it and since most people were walking, I was comfortable to walk too.  At the top of the hill, the short course people split left and the long course climbed over a fence to the right.  At this point I started to run, felt my heart beating heavily in my chest and I couldn't breath in deeply.  This was the start of a kilometre uphill on single track and even tho' I was struggling, I was sure I could make up for it once the route got flat or downhill.  I was behind two girls at this point and they were sitting down every now and again 'to enjoy the view'.  I took a couple of pictures and could see the end of the hill.

By the time the track levelled, I was having a hard time breathing just from walking.  I tried to run but just couldn't breath and my heart rate was frightening. I could see nobody behind me or infront of me and I resigned myself to the fact that today wasn't going to be a good run. I walked, enjoyed the view, looked for snakes, noticed butterflies, giggled whenever I heard a cow moo and watched closely to make sure I followed the orange ties on the trees directing me.
I was very relieved to see a marshal just after 11km - I wasn't completely alone. The next marshal told me to walk over the bridge and that I only had 500m to go. 

There was a man standing on the rocks above the bridge.  He asked if I was the last person. I answered that I thought I could very well be because I hadn't seen anyone behind me, but I couldn't be sure. I walked to the finish, the water man had no water but did direct me to a tap and I didn't see anybody taking note of my finish. I filled up my water bottle at tap and climbed into my car for the drive home.  I felt very relieved that I had finished but quite gutted that i could've been last.
I was thrilled to see on the final results that there were still 2 people behind me - I wasn't last and somebody did log my finish.

146 2:50:35 910 Staci Katsivalis Veteran Female 40

147 3:01:24                                   Open Female 29

148 3:01:35                                    Master Male 56
I had very dirty feet for my efforts and I think I've learnt a very important lesson - NO COFFEE BEFORE A RUN!!!

1 comment:

Johann said...

Well done for finishing the Hennops race. That climb is not easy and the route quite technical. The views from the top are worth the effort. Yeah for not being last :)!