Australia Day training run

I think it was a first for me to get up at 5.30am on an Australia Day to drive for an hour to get to the start of a 6-hour race at the foot of the Blue Mountains, the Knapsack Lap Race of 5 km.

It was quite a nice morning weather-wise to start with, but the longer it went the warmer and more humid it got. I decided to run without a watch or iPod and enjoyed the sound of the forest (and the distant highway) on my circles of 5 km.

It was a kind of hilly course, and after about 3 hours and 5 laps, I started to slow down a bit. The check-point was well stocked with food and drinks and the cool Coke kept me going for another 3, slower rounds, however, with the sun almost straight on top, certain sections of the course got so hot and after 5.5 hours and 8 rounds I called it quits. It was a good 40 km training run for the Coastrek 2013. Sam did a great 6 rounds in 3 hours, and Denis, well, he is still somewhere on holiday probably with a Guinness in his hands. I am sure Mel is doing her running between the tennis matches down there at the Australian Open.

For once I was quite glad to have a car, as it took me about 10 minutes on full aircon to cool down to be in a state to drive back to Sydney.

For next week, we’ve planned a night training run to check out the trickier parts of the Coastrek.

Happy feet and happy Australia Day!

Farewell 2012

A short review of last year on the road shows me that I spent almost 300 hours on the road training and racing and covered 2,750 km doing that.

Winners are grinners

Highlight was of course the training and racing of the Sydney Coastrek 2012 from Palm Beach to Coogee Beach. Together with Jo, Sam and Denis we won the 100 km trail walk in 14hrs 28min and in the process we also raised over $15,000 for The Fred Hollows Foundation.

With Sam and Denis training for Coastrek

I also like to mention that Ben organised a team of four visually impaired walkers, and together with their four guides, they covered the 50 km from Palm Beach to Balmoral Beach in 18 hours. Like we, Ben not only raised much-needed funds for The Fred Hollows Foundation, but was liking it so much that he will be attempting to cover the entire 100 km in March this year. Denis, Sam and myself plus a still missing second female team member will be racing the 50 km night run from Balmoral to Coogee. Again, our goal is to give it the best on the trail and of course match our fundraising efforts from last year.

Ben and I at the City to Surf
Ben on the way to the finish

The rest of 2012 was spent with training and guiding Ben on the Sydney half-marathon in May and the City to Surf in August. I also went with Denis to Wagga Wagga and raced a full marathon. It was quite a different feeling to run by myself again (without guiding Ben and talking the whole time) and interesting to have to deal with my own pain and issues during the 42 km. Whilst guiding Ben, it is actually quite easy for me to forget my pain on the run as I have to talk all the time. In the meantime at home, Ben also ran for 12 hours and covered 75 km in the Centennial Park Ultra in September together with guide Elis. Whilst these guys were running in circles for a day, I did enjoy a couple of weeks at a beach in Tonga.

Thank you all for supporting us to raise money for a great cause. I look forward to be in touch again with many exciting stories of running, guiding and fundraising in 2013.

Happy feet, Happy New Year and save training!