Saturday, August 21, 2010

One hundred k in a day

I flew to Melbourne with Ruth last weekend to "crew" for Liz in her first 100k ultramarathon. It was quite an experience — I now have some understanding about what lures seemingly sane runners to push themselves over such incredible distances. Sunday passed surprisingly quickly (for us!) as we watched Liz and friends complete 26 laps (plus 500 metres) of The Tan — Melbourne's famous and popular running track.

The track is a 3.827k loop with most of the surface being compressed gravel. There's one hill — the not insignificant Anderson Street, an asphalt footpath. The unofficial one-lap course record is held by Craig Mottram at 10:08. At the end of the day, Liz was the first female to finish. She passed the early leader not long after 50k and pushed on to run 9:47:30. She was amazing! One hundred kilometres in not much more time than a regular working day. Also running in the 100 were two other friends from Canberra, Steve and Nick. Steve finished in 11:38, but Nick had to retire at 54k.

In conjunction with the 100k there was a 53.5k "fun run" starting at 9:00 AM, 2 hours after the 100k. We got to cheer on a couple of trail-running friends — John and Di. We also managed a little shopping, eating and coffee drinking over the weekend. It was good fun.


Blogger Scott Brown said...

Sounded good Ewen but you still didn't tell us what you think...

"lures seemingly sane runners to push themselves over such incredible distances".

Cause I can't really understand it.

10:09 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

I like the Tan, but as yet Ive only ever done a few one lappers...I think its about the challenge of pushing oneself to tougher limits of endurnce and seeing if you are up for it, I have a number of 100k running friends, actually one of my friends Kate did the 53.5k while you were there...She was also the first woman in the 100km Kep this year. In other news, a sub 6 hour 6 inch race here in West Australia now qualifies a runner for 6 foot. Kate has also tried 6 foot twice, but expect to see a whole lot more of us wild west people coming over for 6 foot in the next few years, if we can get our entries in quick enough on December 1st...well done on the crewing!

2:59 am  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Wow, she looks like she just finished a 10k, not 100 of them! Great video, you're talented with the editing.

10:55 am  
Anonymous Em said...

Under 10 hours, WOW, good on her.

You know, at one stage last week when I was sitting out a lap and having a chat with the wife of a friend doing the 100 I glimpsed a tall guy in a 6 Foot Track shirt and though, Hmmmm, he looks vaguely familiar.....

But then Carol came trundling around and I jumped in for her second last lap and I completely forgot to go see if it was you.

It is appalling how easily distracted I am.

4:03 pm  
Blogger Jog Blog said...

Hey Ewen, I couldn't have asked for better crew than you and Ruth. You guys were awesome. I LOVE the video. Thanks so much for putting it together.

p.s. I'd be happy to return the favour and crew for you if you are ever lured to run 100km.

4:36 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Scott, if you don't understand it, that means your sanity matches that of most long distance runners ;)

Jonathon, that's great that 6" is a 6' qualifier. John K who ran the 53.5 was saying the times of he and Di were similar to their 6' times. I wonder how Kate compares?

Thanks Flo. Wish I'd had more video, but was rather busy most of the day. Good runners make their races look easy, even if it's a 100k race!

Em, it was easy to be distracted that day - watching runners, timing, getting the next pit-stop ready. I really didn't think you'd be there, so wasn't looking out for you. Carol had a great race - sub 5 hours is a brilliant time.

Ah Jog, I think you're safe with that favour. It'll be a loooooong time before you see me lining up for a 100k race! Happy to assist - it was a great weekend.

8:49 pm  
Blogger jojo said...

and of course ignoring your melbourne friends,,even when they YELLED out... d'oh yep 100kms wont EVER EVER EVER EVER happen for this little black duck

9:13 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

Yeah Ewen, what exactly do you mean by

"lures seemingly sane runners to push themselves over such incredible distances",

cause I don't understand how you can NOT feel the lure!

4:34 am  
Blogger strewth said...

You're so right - the day just flew by in spite of all those seasons in one day. What an inspiration Liz is and what a great weekend!

12:52 pm  
Blogger rinusrunning said...

Thats a fast time and 100km is long i now!.
I hope that i can run the 100km about 3 weeks?.
Nice movie and a good run.

5:23 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Jojo, I ignored you because I thought it was your twin sister yelling out. I never EVER EVER EVER EVER thought I'd see you at an Ultra ;)

Thomas, I feel the lure, but I'm more of a black duck than Jojo!

Strewth, an overused word, but yes, she's an inspiration.

Rinus, I can't wait to see how you go in your 100k. Don't tire yourself out too much before New York!

9:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Liz, she is indeed an inspiration, but so too are the two friends who selflessly crewed for her.

6:23 am  
Anonymous zbsports said...

Wow you are tough and doing so great. Keep t up.

2:09 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Yeah sounds like fun, have to come down and give that race a go when I get old enough to handle that sort of distance :]

4:11 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

look at you! Retail therapy and making movies? Where have I been?

9:05 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Canute. It was a fun weekend, and an education into what's possible with long distance running.

Thanks ZB.

Rick, you'll be old enough one day. Let me know when you are and I'll remind you about 100k races ;)

Yes Susan, Ruth has been teaching me all about shopping. It's not as hard as I thought!

8:20 pm  
Anonymous Joe Garland said...


We Americans are funny people. I've hooked you into this pick-6-bloggers-or-an-angel-doesn't-get-her-wings thing. Good luck with it.

11:04 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks for the award Joe. I think. I'm not a huge one for memes, but that one has me thinking. I'll do Part 1 (have already done Part 3), Part 2 I'll leave open to any readers who wish to thank me.

12:19 pm  
Blogger Robert James Reese said...

That sounds like lots of fun -- glad you got to experience it.. The atmosphere at ultra events really is so much more relaxed and fun. After being in South Dakota for my 100 mile attempt last weekend and around all that great energy, my 61-year-old, non-athletic mother announced that she wanted to complete a 50K herself. Whether it happens or not remains to be seen...

9:42 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Robert, yes, it was totally different to any race I'd experienced. I hope your mum gets to take on that challenge - age doesn't seem to matter with ultra running.

6:57 pm  

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