Last Sundays run felt like a trail run due to the spectacular location, however it was 99% on road. I actually didn’t realise this until the day before the race when I eventually checked out the website, oops!
I arrived at Cambewarra Public School in time to register, visit the toilet and still have 45 mins to spare. And i remember thinking, most of my friends are probably still tucked up in bed…. I must plan a sleep in one weekend soon…..
The weather was very, very windy but thankfully not too cold. As i waited I ran into Sam and Gavin from Striders and a few other familiar faces. We gathered at the start line under the banner and when the gun went off we all wishes each other well and I promised myself to sit at a nice slow, comfortable pace for the start of the race.
Thankfully I suck to the plan. This race was 32km and I had not run that far since attempting TNF in May so it was going to be a bit of a challenge, especially as it was road which is a lot tougher on the body. However I did need the road practise as I have a marathon coming up in under a month – arghhhh!!
There were lots of rolling ups and downs and the local Nowra Athletics Club had put up some encouraging (and funny) signs along the road to cheer us along. These were most amusing at times.
I ran with Geoff who is a local and has one the race about 8 times, though he missed last year due to an achilles injury. It was great to have his company for about 5-6 kms as they flew by but eventually he struggled on the hills and I had to let him go.
There was a very rainforest-like section where we came flying down the hill and over a water crossing, this section was beautiful and the photo below makes me look like i’m running on water. How cool is that! (Thanks to specshots.com)
The largest hill we would encounter on the day was Mt Scuzi, where I met a lovely woman called Tina who ended up running with me all the way to the end. We chatted all the way up Mt Scuzi as we power walked and it made it such an easier challenge, check out the view from the top (below)
I did not stop at the drink stations as I had my hydration pack with all my goodies, however I waited for Tina and then we headed back down the mountain on the gravel road.
We chatted a lot and kept a very good pace as we moved down the mountain, and we realised that we had actually already met at the Mt Solitary Ultra a few months back when i ran with her for a section of that. it’s a very small world within the running community and i love it.
We ran a very consistent and competitive pace with each other through the rolling streets in front of us and we over took a few people who were struggling in the last 5-6kms. I actually felt better when i got to about the 16km mark and I’ve felt this before so it must take me a while for my body to warm up.
We ran into Kangaroo Valley on the main street (road closures of course) and we saw some people in front of us that we wanted to get past, so we both stepped up the pace and even though there was an incline we were both determined to push hard all the way to the finish.
As I got to the fence at the top of the last incline I heard Sam cheering for me and pointing at the finish line, so I kicked it up one more gear and went past Tina. She was struggling a little and I cheered her on and we sprinted over the finish line.
I had just run 32km in 3hrs 19 mins 12 seconds – I was very happy with that!!
Below is the always lovely Luigi (Sydney Striders) crossing the finish line too.
I had a most enjoyable run and will definitely be back next year to give it another crack, i highly recommend it to anyone as it was awesome!!
Happy Running 🙂