31 July 2010

Trail Racing

One word……HILLS!

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But let’s back it up a bit….

Today I participated in the Bush Capital Bush Marathon Festival which, according to the website, is an:

“exciting off road running and bush walking event from the centre of Canberra through Mt Ainslie, Mt Majura, Goorooyarroo and Mulligans Flat nature reserves. Apart from a short stretch of bitumen in the area connecting Mt Majura and Goorooyarroo Nature Reserves, the events are fully off road.”

There were a variety of distances on offer, including 10km, 16km, 25km, 42km and 60km races. Knowing I don’t run trails very often, but also wanting a challenge, I signed up for the 16km event.

I headed to the race start at around 8am, but not before practising my game face…

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Hmmm…..a little scary no?

IMG_9010    That’s better!

Mr BBB, my ever loving cheerleader/bag holder/photographer extraordinaire had to work this morning so I was flying solo. It was a little strange arriving at the event alone, but it wasn’t long before the 25km event started and I was kept entertained by the amazing runners.

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Not long after, the 16km racers (all 200 of us?) were invited to the start line and we were off.

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My goals for the event were to (a) have fun and (b) to try and come in under 1:50.  I even decided to take my little camera with me to capture some of the trails.

The first 2km was uphill, and I knew my pace was rather slow. But after 3km, the tracks had flattened out a bit and I fell into a rhythm.

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Around the 7km mark, the incline started, as did the burn.

So very rocky and steep in parts.

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I walked a section of this and struck up a conversation with a fellow runner who, helpfully, informed me that this was only the first of two hills.

Nice.

But, the wonderful part about running hills is that what goes up, must come down. And true to form, once I hit the summit my legs were rewarded with a nice descent.

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I took a gel at the 11km marker, which provided a much needed energy hit. It was drizzling slightly at this stage, but the rain was actually quite nice.

The remaining 5km was mostly undulating which, after the earlier hills, was a nice way to finish.

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(Hmmm…apparently running while taking photos = a blurry pic oops)….

Before I knew it I hit the last marker and it was all downhill for the last 1km.

I crossed the line in 1:42:12 and I could not have been happier with that time.  Its quite amazing how much slower a trail run is, although with the amount of rocks, loose dirt and puddles, you really do need to keep an eye on the ground a lot more.

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(haha nothing like asking a stranger to take your pic after crossing the line….)

So, did I reach my goals? 

Most certainly! I had fun AND came in well under 1:50! Gotta be happy with that.

Overall this was a great event. It was informal yet well organised, and aside from the killer hills, the scenery was gorgeous. Who knows, perhaps I could even be talked into taking on the 25km event next year?

Post-race, my body is actually not feeling too bad. I do have some noticeable tightness in my hamstrings and calves, much more than I would feel after a “normal” run. Oh and my feet have some sore spots – which I suspect is from the uneven surface of the trails?

Time to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. On the agenda: grocery shopping, some cooking and a rugby watching (not playing hehe) party tonight.  Go Wallabies!

Happy Baking :)

18 comments:

  1. This is amazing girl, good job! Rugby watching that sure sounds fun!

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  2. I love it when I reach my goals! It's an awesome boost of self-confidence :D

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  3. Congratulations lady! What a stellar time and I'm amazed you thought to take photos while you went. Super impressed, and you definitely better treat yourself to a yummy dessert tonight! :)

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  4. Well done! (yo'll be sore tomorrow no doubt!) Yes, and dessert is well deserved!

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  5. Nice work!! I love trail racing- miss it heaps!

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  6. what fun trails! Nice job, beating your time by almost 8 minutes. WOOHOO!

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  7. Oh my goodness... You are amazing!! Congratulations!

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  8. Check out those hills! Glad you still enjoyed it though!

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  9. Nice job! Trail running is fun :)

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  10. Congrats!!! What a great run! I really should trail run again (used to years ago). I'm just a few minutes from the Rockies afterall.

    My boss does x-terra triathalons. I'm in awe of her adventures. She actually got invited to World's last year (and didn't do bad at all.)

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  12. Awesome job! That course looks brutal and you made great time. I love trail runs because they are so different from my day to day running routes. Your post made me excited for my 5k trail run coming up in 2 weeks. Thank you!

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  13. Great job, I'm impressed with you taking your camera along!

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  14. Good job!!!

    Looks like a great/tough run! Be proud!

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  15. congrats!! what a great race you had :) fun, too!

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  16. Yay! Awesome job!!
    What was the temperature? It looked like there were a lot of shorts and t-shirts?!

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  17. @NYGirl - it was actually pretty chilly - around 10 degrees or so. Most of the people in shorts / tshirts were the runners who completed the 25km + distances

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