Monday, 21 September 2015

SurfCoastCentury 100km (my first ultra trail)

I will try to tell you my journey to achieve this 100km trail called SurfcoatCentury because it happen on the surfcoast trails with some beach runs!
So I wanted to run this race maybe more than a year ago (even before my first marathon which I ran 12 october last year!).
But I have to train a lot first! Especially because I restarted doing sport seriously since around January 2013 (yup only for 18 months :-) ) after many years of very limited sport....
So during this year I managed to train a lot and do various long race bitumen and off road:
  • 17 May 2015: Great Ocean Road Marathon (44km )
  • 21 March 2015: RollerCoaster run (44km trail)
  • 11 January 2015: Two bays run (28km trail)
  • 12 Oct 2014: Melbourne Marathon
I remember someone saying: "your body must recover so you normally cannot run more than one or two marathons per year".
My answer was: "As my goal is to run 100km, those marathons are just training :-)"
Looking at the training log, I have 2000km running since 1st January 2015.
The hardest part was the 3 months before the big run. Despite a travel to France early July, I managed to run around 1200km from early June to the race (with a big August peak 470km). The France trip was not too bad as I ran a lot of off road compare to the city style suburb we live in Melbourne.
So here we are the big day!!!. Some stress coming!!! As I never ran more than 44km race (longest training was 48km) I don't know what will happen :-)
This start with the bag packing what to get what to wear etc... What to ask my great support crew to carry for various checkpoints...
The race start at 6.30am. We managed to find a house just 10 minutes walking from the start. For some reasons, I didn't want to ask my wife to drive me to a race start at 6.30am :-).
Obviously I didn't sleep a lot!
The program for today.

So here we are race start on a beach with an amazing sunrise!!! (for some reasons my wife prefer sunset over sunrise so she missed that one :P)

The first leg of the run is 21km of beach run: sand, cliff climbing and sometimes water until the knees (yup really wet shoes). Hopefully the sand is a bit humide so it's not soft sand.
The scenery is just amazing!!

After 21km we arrived at Torquay after passing trough beaches as Bells Beach, Point Addis (If you surf you know those mythics names). I managed to run those 21km in 2H30. Then I stopped 12 minutes. Yup that's too long as I didn't even change shoes but those long stops are the big mistake of this long run (but it was the first one so I didn't want to burn myself which I didn't for sure :-) ).
Now we are going back to Anglesea using the SurfCoast trails/walk (a mix of trail on the top of the cliff and a bit of bush) Again amazing scenery.

I'm happy as the family is here at Checkpoint3 so I got smiles and plenty of "Allez Papa!!" (Go Dad!!)

This leg2 is a bit more hilly: 28km with 520m elevation gain. I managed to run the first 11km with a good pace 6.22m/km then the last 17km at 7.20m/km.
I arrived at checkpoint 4 (mid race 50km) after 6h. Now time to change shoes/socks/t-shirt and got a lunch. I think here I made a BIG mistake as I stopped 35minutes!! Again I don't have the experience of such race so I did everything (eating/changing stuff) in a totally wrong order and do it bad. Next time: just have a printed TODO list with everything in a correct order. Other mistake I eat too much and too fast (sandwich and a banana) so my stomach was not really happy the next 15km :-(.

So now we start the leg 3 which is most difficult part of the race: 28km / 760 m elevation gain.
Here an other completely different scenery with a real bush part!! You know the famous red/orange Australian ground and a bush forest!! And here I start to run long distance alone (the 50km runners are not here anymore) and runners are more streched after such distance.

But that's ok plenty of crazy birds!!. The first 20km are really good I managed a good 7.26m/km for this hilly part. But the next 7km are bad (really hard time in this last hard up hill): 9.13m/km during 7km (yup really slow!! especially I stopped too long at CP5 water point). I'm happy to finish this 3rd leg but a bit tired :-). I got help from Nicolas who is biking with me during the last part.
So now an other smile time with the family at checkpoint 6. 77km done!! almost finished :-). An other mistake as I stopped too long again :-( (19minutes!!) but I was happy to have a chat with wife and kids.

So now time for the last leg, I still feel well (honestly you cannot give up after have done 77% of the race :-) ). The program is: 23km. Elevation gain / loss: 426m / 466m.

The first 9km are still a bit up/dow bush single track but then you are back to the ocean (you start thinking the finish line is not far anymore!!).
Last checkpoint (CP7) (time to change for long sleeve and get head torch) wife/kids are here again for a last smile! See you "soon" at the finish line :-)
This sunset really worth such a long run!! :-)

Now time to finish. But it's dark. I mean really dark as you are a middle nowhere without any lights from any cities.

And especially with the last beach run part around 4km (yup again beach run after 92km!!! Sacrebleu!!). So I do not see anything I just want to avoid running in the ocean :-).

Finally I can see lights wife/kids are here I can cross the line with the kids. That's it that's finished!! (yup you can't believe you only realise days after).

I believe I was crazy when I was thinking running this race more than a year ago. But now it's done and it was such an AMAZING experience.

It really worth all the hard training (wake up at 5am 5days/week during 2.5 months really need devotion/motivation the race is finally very easy compare to all the training).

I want to THANKS a lot wife and kids for all the support during this special and before when I was not here because training somewhere!!!

More details on my race here and the original race description (in a real good english :-) ).

My result. I'm happy to have finished (and with dignity). I think I could have made a better time especially with shorter break (but I'm French so I need long lunch break). It was my first experience on 100km so next one will be better :-)

And I already have some ideas for the next one. I'm pretty sure the family will be happy to visit the Blue mountains :-) ( see The north face 100 ).

I ran the race with a gopro so I have plenty of video materials to show you how Australia is such a beautiful country (but I need a bit of time to do it)

1 comment:

Proving said...

Congrats Oli, I see you're living a good life in Oz :-)