Sunday, January 22, 2012

The 2012 Two Bays Trail Run

My first race for 2012 came around quickly, and took me to the town of Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula. The 56km Two Bays Trail Marathon would be a good opportunity to test where I was at in my fitness, and to get in a longer run pushed by a group of pretty awesome runners. In the womens field were some swift ladies, notably Kirstin Bull and Louise Sharp, the former part of the Australian team that raced at the Commonwealth Ultra Distance and Mountain Running championship in Wales. The challenge for me would be to run a fast, non-technical course that would force me to focus on speed and cadence, not my strengths!

The race was tough! I ran a fast 28km out to Cape Schank, most of the time in 3rd place until just before the turn around, at which point Louise Sharp passed me in fine form and looking solid. I remember thinking "this feels too good, it will catch up to me." The course itself included a mix of road, fire trail and single track (not too technical), allowing runners to really open up on the downhill. At certain points of the course beautiful views out to the water encouraged runners along.

During the second half of the race my pace slowed, I battled a few nasty stomach cramps (I think from using gels when I haven't trained with them) and had to rein in the negative wanderings of my mind to focus on my goals for this race. Before I knew it, 40km was done, then 50km (and a huge slog back up to Arthurs Seat) and then down to the finish line. I finished 7th female in 5:40. The race itself was fantastically organised: aid stations worthy of a heartfelt thanks, well signposted trails to help heat-befuddled runners, and volunteers who knew how to coax runners during their "why am I doing this to myself" meltdown.

Bushrangers Bay at 27km:

Powerhiking the last hill at the 50km mark:

The finish (obviously still something left in the tank):

Photographs thanks to: fstop5 Sports Photography