Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Yurrabilla Trail Ultra Marathon Challenge Sunday 3 Oct

Tracy, such a star runner.

The good looking officials who greeted us with marshmallows at the top of Morialta.

Karen waited for us all to finish even though she retired ill from the race, with husband Darryl

Tracy said to raise my hands in triumph but I felt close to crying on relief at the finish.

Karen's husband Darryl, and Sue How did they look so good at the end?

Darryl, Sue's husband, Mike, and Sue.

Darryl and Cathy's husband Chris and daughter Georgia, as our faithful support crew through out the day.

Cathy, such a great partner in the run, at the end of the challenge with sweet Georgie.

I tried to post the map Saturday night but it wouldn't upload, something to do with being a pfd document.
We were up early and caught the bus in time for the 6.30 start in the hills. Everyone started running from the beginning and I felt that the pace was a little too fast for me . My torch was great through the tunnel but I wished I had ditched my light fibre pile jumper before the start, as I was hot after the first kilometre of running, so I took it off and tied it round my waist, so it was always in the way when I reached round for my water bottle. We reached the first 5km checkpoint at a steady pace of 9 minute kms and kept it up for the first few checkpoints, but as we began to climb up through the Mt lofty track I really felt it was going to be a very hard day.
Cathy and I kept together and as we started running towards Cleland checkpoint, I tripped on a rock and went sprawling in the dirt. I ended up with skin off both hands and a chin which also hit the dirt. Cathy was great and had water from her bottle to clean away dirt and blood and supplied some band aids for my hands. I felt a little nauseous for a few minutes so we took it easy for a little while. There were course photographers at different locations and they took photos so I should eventually get some off the net.
Karen from our training group was very unwell and was nauseous with back pain decided to pull out at the Cleland checkpoint and Sue although felt bad kept going to the end.
We had a toilet break at Cleland and at every checkpoint there was cut up fruit and water and at some checkpoints there were sports drinks which were very welcome. There was also fruitcake Lollies and jelly beans and runners could refill their water bottles and friendly faces cheering us on.Cathy's husband Chris, was our support person for the day so he picked up Karen at Cleland.
Sue,her husband and Darryl,Karen's husband and Tracy were all ahead of us and going well.
Cathy and I were dreading the next leg after Cleland as Cathy was having a hard time descending the steep sections and I was having a hard time on the climbing sections so I went ahead downhill and Cathy would power up the steep inclines and catch me up so we ended up working that way and at Morialta, Cathy saw the sweeper who is the last person on the track to sweep up any runners who would not make the time limit of 11 hours. She assured Cathy that we were on time to finish so we were very relieved at this.
By this time I was feeling rather grim and very tired. We met some funny dressed up officials in Fishnet stockings and dinner jackets handing out Marshmallows lollies and drinks as we turned out of Morialta and crossed the hot cliff stony goat track during the afternoon. The temperature was supposed to be 25 c and was one of the first hot days we have had so we hadn't been training in warm weather at all.
I found my knee ached and also my glutes and calves and felt awful in my tummy, I felt revolted by the sweet things but took a few jelly beans but mostly watermelon as my stomach did not want anything in it. Even at the lunch point at Morialta cottage I had half a cup of warm tea and a small square of pizza and sat for a few minutes before we had to get back on the track.
I left Cathy again to run down the second last hill and was two thirds up the steep quarry track and Cathy had powered up to catch me up and reminded me to drink several times. I really was feeling quite shattered and felt I had to end as soon as possible so left Cathy to go down the hill as fast as I could. My feet were very sore and i knew I had some small stones in my shoes but knew I wouldn't stop to take them out.
As I came close to the end I wondered should I stop for Cathy and come in with her, but the crowd just started cheering me on over the line and I was so close to tears of relief to finish the grueling day.
Cathy came in a few minutes later also to the cheers of everyone.
It had become a horrendous day but we were still pleased and relieved that we has actually finished the event.We both felt and looked shattered at the end of it all. My heart monitor had rubbed my skin raw, I have a black toe nail and another suspect toenail, bruises on both knees and thigh and some skin off knees, hands and chin from the fall.
So glad to finish and so tired after taking 11 hours 15 minutes for the 56km Ultra Marathon Challenge.
We had arranged to shower at Cathy's and then go back for a meal with everyone and for the awards but we opted for home, a foot bath, a slice of toast and vegemite for me, a spa and bed after such a long long day.

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