The day after my 15-km road race in Ballarat I woke early for the drive to the top of Mt Macedon for a 30-km trail race. It would be my first back-to-back race weekend since 2013. My legs felt strong after the first race so I decided that I would still run a firm (but not fast) race at Macedon.
Wet weather and a low single-digit temperature (Celsius) greeted me for the race start, which is at almost the highest point on the course. Obviously that meant that the race would finish with an uphill.
My watch refused to start and after playing around with it for a few hundred metres of running on technical trail I decided to give up on it before my lack of focus caused a fall, which some people consider worse than a run not showing up on Strava. After traversing around the mountain for the first few kilometres with just a slight drop in elevation we climbed to the top of Camel’s Hump, the highest point on the course. I ran the entire way up and then gazed out from the platform at the top to see nothing but mist in the miserable conditions.
So here we are. Almost. It is one day out until race day and I have finally caught up with my blogging.
I woke up this morning and quickly churned out posts for the last couple of days after breakfast. Then it was time to shower and head over to race registration to let them know I am here and to hand in my drop bags. No run is scheduled today so I will simply relax and soak up the nervous energy emanating from 400 people amping themselves up to run a 100-mile foot race.
The final weather forecast shows that it will be one of the hottest races on record in the 30-year history of the Western States Endurance Run. Everyone you speak to acknowledges that there will likely be carnage out there tomorrow. With high heat comes high drop-out rates. But of course nobody says “I don’t think I will make it.”
I am in the best shape of my life and I have managed some incredible training, not only in terms of running quality (of which there has been plenty), but also in terms of enjoyment and the stunning sights I have seen. I will set out with a firm race plan in mind, but will mold it and shape it as I go. Early on Sunday morning I intend to find myself on the grounds of Placer High School at the finish line in Auburn. All that is required between now and then is 100 miles of running.
The race starts at 5:00 AM Pacific Time and you can follow my progress at www.ultralive.net/ws100 using either my name or bib number (261).
It has been quite a while since my last post but all of that is about to change. Well, at least for the next few weeks. Well, as long as I don’t get distracted, lazy or bored.
On June 29th I will start my major race for the year, my second 100-mile race at the Western States Endurance Run. The race is the oldest 100-mile trail race and has a fantastic history and prestige, but I will allow you to check out Google if you want further details on that.
Earlier this year I was offered a redundancy from work and a cunning plan started to form and foment. On May 15th I landed in Australia, relocating back from South Africa, and headed into the office for my final day at Ericsson after more than 12 years.
On May 21st my plane touched down at San Francisco International Airport. I will remain in the South-West of the USA until early August, and until my departure I will live the life of a professional runner. I will visit the areas national parks and see them in the best way possible: running. I will run and I will rest. All that is missing from my professional career is an income.
During my time in the USA leading up to the race I plan to blog about my training, as a countdown to race day. I hope to write a post for each day, although they will possibly be posted in fits and starts based on the time I spend to capture my posts, as well as the availability of Internet access.
I am already five days in so I had better get started.