The Great Ocean Walk 100s Trail Ultramarathon (100km/3,300m vert) - 11:36:35, 7th place, my first 100k
Ok, this was pretty awesome. I’ll try to keep the log brief.
We were incredibly lucky with weather. Three weeks of constant shitstorms ceased on Wednesday for the trails to dry up during Thursday and Friday and then on Saturday blue skies, 16 degrees and low wind (just to wake up to rain and STRONG winds on Sunday)
Morning was hectic as usual (classic Ondrej), but was all ready at 6.30am for the start. Started easy, pace at 5min/km and keeping around 10th place. The first big hill through Otways started around 9th km, jogged up most of it. Ran with Kerry Sutter for a bit (winner), I did not know him but he seemed to be a top bloke (apparently he won Tarawera ultra twice and is quite a big deal kiwi coach). When I realised he’s aiming for sub 10hrs, I backed off and let him run. Cruised to the CP1 at Blanket Bay (22km) in just over 2 hours. Very quick stop, water refill and straight back into it.
The 10k trail towards the Cape Otway lighthouse was fantastic. Easy flowing, not very technical, loved it. Bart was waiting for me and cheering just before the lighthouse, legend. Next 10k to the CP2 at Aire Beach were pretty sandy, heat was picking up (it got a lot warmer than forecasted), first snakes met, legs getting weary. Saw dudes jumping from the bridge to Aire river – I was pretty damn jelly there. Got to the CP2 (41km) in just over 4 hours. Again only a quick stop, water refill and off towards CP3. The realisation that after finishing a marathon, I still had one and a half more to go kinda excited me – a good sign.
Next was only a 13km bit to CP3. Bart was cheering at Glenaire Lookout (directly on the Great Ocean Road) at around 47 km. Another few ups and downs and off to a popular 3km stretch of soft sand on Johanna beach. I saw steps in the softer part but I preferred the “risk” of getting already wet shoes wet and ran on a harder wet sand close to the relatively calm ocean. Think that paid off heaps, considering I gained a good 500m on the guy I was running with before we hit the beach. But that was quickly gone when they could not find my drop bag at Johanna Beach CP3 (55km, 5:40). Slightly frustrating, but Bart was a true legend and started sourcing mandatory gear (reflective vest, head torches) and also gels and muesli bars for the 2nd half that I had in my drop bag. Just when I was pretty much ready to go, my bag was found and I had to repack all my shit again. So lost some time but at least my legs rested for a bit after 3km on sand.
Next was the longest leg to Gabbles. Started with a long firetrail uphill towards the inland and the highest point (about 270m). Not very exciting but was running there with two other guys so we chatted through it. Then we returned back to the coast. A few very steep uphills and downhills and suddenly my quads started to scream out loud. The heat really kicked in. And I was struggling. The two guys were gone. An unmanned water drop at 75k, followed by a nice trail in cool forest saved me. When I got to CP4 (78k) at 9:16 (a little out and back to parking), both guys were already gone. But I was again in a good mood and ready to run strong again. Guys at the CP assured me that the last bit is the easiest bit (just that little detail I had already ran 80k made me second question their words).
When I got to the river crossing at Princetown – 10k away from the finish line - I boldly self-assessed my legs as ready to race. And the chase was on. I ran the last ondulating 5km at sub6 pace, overtook two struggling guys and finished – similarly like at Hounslow last year – in a pretty ecstatic state. My perfectionist me would say that I’m pretty sure if it was 2km longer, I would have overtaken another two. But whatever, I finished a 100km, in 11:36:35 and 7th place overall (out of 74 finishers). Pretty pumped about that.
Big thanks to Bart for being a legend during the run and also for driving my dysfunctional corpse to our hostel. You'll run it next time, yeah :)
Very happy with how I managed nutrition - forced myself to eat every 40 minutes or so (ate about 5 GU gels, 5 muesli bars, 2.5 bananas and some orange wedges) and had about 10l of fluids (half water, half electrolytes).
Ok this was not brief.https://www.strava.com/activities/739001072