2021 The Guzzler 50km Trail Run
Having a discounted entry to The Guzzler from volunteering from the previous year made the decision easy to do this again. Although I entered the race some time ago, I thought I could give this one a good crack at a decent time
But with all the fun going on in the lead up months, and no travelling I decided to book myself into to get a niggling gangelion removed from my ankle - something I have been meaning to do for 5 years!
The surgery factor was going make this event interesting. I was in good form back in April (12 weeks before the surgery), where I decided to the full 50 course as a recce, and felt fine at the end of this (8 hours 20 mins unassisted). Then the next week, I had the surgey on my ankle, but it also meant that I couldn't run any decent distances for the next 8 weeks to ensure the would was healed properly.
So coming in undercooked - I was just looking forward to having fun, getting a respectible time and getting some distance confidence back again.
Having learnt from previous editions of this course, I managed to get Lisa to drop me off near the familiar start line (Simpsons Falls - Mt Coot-tha), a fortunate 3km from my house. Saving the legs a little and also at the other end, where I didn't walk the 1km back to the car.
The course, I knew backwards as I have been running around this area for many years.
Starting with a few Mountain Goat Trail Runners, usual banter was thrown around at the start and leading up to the first incline - Powerful Owl trail. All good - finding a respectible pace and having a chance to catchup with Steve (one of the guys I have adhoc trained with)
Reaching the first Checkpoint at Walkabout creek - was a good chance to swap the water bottles over to 2 new fresh Infinite preloaded bottles. A quick bit of Watermelon and I was off again. Trying not to spend long at checkpoints - even though they are really accomodating!
Heading up to McAfees - was going to be a grid. All in good spirits and energy still! Quite a few chats with others on the way up made the leg go alot easier.
Finally getting to the top, the Brisbane Trail Runners were doing their thing again! As always putting on an awesome service and having a great time at the same time. Was great to see so many familiar faces and have a few laughs. Topping up 1 water bottle with water (thanks Deb) and mandatory headlight check with Karl...
Some more Watermelon at McAfees and I was heading down to Hell Hole! The long decent also started to trigger a few muscles to start to argue with me - so I took this slower.
I had the problem coming into the race of "Which Shoes to wear" , I opted for the Salomon Sense Pros, which are a tighter snug fit with good grip (as opposed to my road shoes - which would be slippery after the rain). The problem with the Salomons is that being the snug fit, my toes were starting to bruise (on top of the already bruised toes) and I was starting to curl them around. Which isn't good for the other muscles and cramping.
Speaking of cramping - at the top of Hell Hole was the Crampfix tent. I already had made up my mind - this would save the day. Not really - but it may have helped.
Heading down to Gold Creek was slower than anticipated, giving my body a chance to get happy again - was good to just roll down to the bottom at the Dam, but always conscious that I'll be heading back up soon!
The loop around the Gold Creek dam is such a nice trail. I should do it more - but today was just about getting it done. My legs are starting to scream at me and cramping at the top of by calves - mainly on the downhill.
After a slowish loop, the trek back up to South Boundry Road was easier - had a few chats on the day to distract the niggles.
With one of the final longish sections along South BoundryRd - it was great to spend 10 mins with Steve Amos - who was passing by on his mountain bike. A good chance to catchup and get some extra kms in at a reasonable speed. I was so tempted to ask for a dink.
Finally making my way around to Kokoda, it was a slow slog - but knowing once this was done - it was a nice 2kms to the end! Especially with the delightful markers of encouragement along the way. Hitting the top of Kokoda - and a couple of minutes of walking to regain my composure - it was a shuffle down to the finish line. With 1km to go - I even managed to pull out a bit of speed. Coming over the finish line in sub 8 hours - I was happy to have done it, and to appreciate where my body is currently at. Not ready for 50km events.
It was awesome seeing Lisa and Rups at the finish line. After a quick chat to a few others, I decided to head home and get the shoes off and send them to the RIP pile.
The course was superbly marked - even if I did know where I was going - but it always makes it easier for others!
Finishing about half way in the field - I was happy with that! Also interesting that I was going well, and started to lose places after McAfees (which is about the 25km mark) - and where the body was starting to tell me it had enough :)
Thanks to some amazing specialists who helped me actually finish, better than I would have alone:
Molly @ Inspire Health Services - Physio - Rehabilitation of the Tibial Posterior Tendon from the last really long run. Also providing some sensible advice around training load and recovery plans.
Angus @ Inspire Health Services - Strengthing all the weaker bits of my body.
Alyce Bell - Podiatrist - I have been seeing Alyce for many years, to cater for my "unique" feet. Always pulling me back to where I should be running without injury and making my war torn feet ready for events.