An inadvertent Six Foot PB
It was the fifth time I'd completed this race. Something keeps drawing me back. I can't help myself. This year I didn't do any specific preparation. I was so keen to run well around the 400 metre track, that I didn't want the long, slow, hilly runs diverting attention from my speedy track goal. I restricted my long runs to around 16k, usually out and back to Rose Cottage Inn.
On Saturday I felt good; relaxed. Before the Cox's River, I ran easily, having a ball on the single-track until I came upon a very long Woolies-style queue of runners, impossible to overtake. Luckily the coasting only lasted for 2km or so. The river was cool and refreshing, as were the stream crossings of Alum creek. On the hike up to the Pluviometer, a multitude of delightful bellbirds were in full tinkly voice. The distant sounds of Kookaburras added to the Aussie bush atmosphere.
It wasn't until after the Pluviometer that I contemplated a PB, and possibly going under six hours. One never knows how one will go until the Black Range. It was good! I was able to run – albeit with a shuffling stride. Walks were confined to the uphill sections. I waited for the cramps, which never came. I repeatedly thanked Blair for the cool day. By the Binda Cabins, I knew a wheel would have to seriously fall off, to keep me from running well under six hours. The landscape finally tilted down and I picked my way, with 'talking quads' gingerly to Caves House. 5 hours 41 minutes and 7 seconds! This was a 37-minute PB and placed me 469th. Very happy with the run, and very happy to be amongst friends.
Splits: Nellies (1.7k) 19:25, Megalong Valley Rd (8.1k) 52:14, Pinnacle Hill (10k) 1:03:07, Cox's River (15.5k) 1:39:40, Mini-Mini summit (20k) 2:25:24, Pluviometer (26k) 3:22:28, Caves Rd (37.9k) 4:49:42.