Some more runner feedback from 2001 12foot
Thanks for organising such a great run .I thoroughly enjoyed it . Hope you had a good return trip.
Lawrence, Jan and I ran together until about little river, then Laurence took off. Jan and I reached Cox River about 10 minutes after 6pm when it got really dark. We decided to cross this time via the bridge, there were even some people camping out there and 2 4WDs driving around in the darkness. After a couple of km that we ran even uphill after the Cox River I was so stuffed. I felt really bad and could only keep walking slowly. I recovered after a while and after the Megalong Valley checkpoint we managed to run almost all until the ascent started. The steps were a real killer and I had to rest 2 times. Afterall - Jan and I arrived at 5 minutes to 10pm at the explorers tree, so finished the whole thing in 14 hours 20 minutes. I felt like sleeping straight away in the car and it was hard to drive home. I hope you and the rest of the group arrived well and see you soon. Thanks for organizing this great run although it was one of toughest I have ever done. Relax today.
I finished last night in 13hrs 25 mins just before 9pm,thanks to Ross for the tea at the end. Needless to say my Quads are shot today,dont you think it was a bit like Brindabella on the way back?On the way back I ran with the teutonic twins until little river,then by myself for the remainder.I made it to the coxs river at 6pm just as it got dark,took the bridge then proceeded to trip over rocks the whole way along the path next to the coxs river,how did Dave fare without the toes covered?I then, ran fairly well & was feeling good all the way to Nellies Glen which changed things abruptly.Thanks again for organizing this one. P.S whos going to tell Everyman "it's gonna suck to be you" as now hes going to have to keep training for the next 12ft???
Although I didn't realise it at the time, I had fun yesterday. Perhaps it was delirium but as Kevin and I were crossing Pinnacle Hill in the darkness, on that most perfect of nights, I felt almost euphoric. In an age when most of our fellow humans lack to means to choose their own destiny, and the few that can are consumed by materialism, I found simple pleasure in gazing up at a galaxy of stars. Sure, I was exhausted and my feet hurt and I was a long way from my beautiful daughters, but I was exactly where I wanted to be. And I felt a connection with the other Fat Ass crazies somewhere ahead of us on that same trail, under those same luminiscent heavens. And while everyone that did it yesterday has shown they have the right stuff, I think Sean deserves a special mention. He ran some of the outward leg and ALL of the return leg on his own. He would have been in the dark for about five and a half hours. He showed determination and mental strength beyond his years. Sean, you are the inspiration-man.
Thomas and I trodded along quite nicely; on the first climb after Cox's River the duo of Martin and Peter went past, and at Little River Jonathon came flying past us. Halfway down the last hill before Jenolan, we encountered Kieron who was on his way up, looking very strong. A while later, we came past the chasing pack of Martin and Peter. We made it to Caves House in 5:40 and joined the long queue at the food counter, eventually settling down with some nice greasy comfort food and a well-earned beer. We started the back leg with Lawrence, who had arrived in the meantime and was going strongly, as usual. A couple 100 metres up from Caves House, we saw Sean, halfway up the hill Bill and Dave, and a short while later Kevin. That climb took quite some energy, and it took me a while to slightly recover; mercily, the Black Ranges stretch is mostly gently downhill. The downhill at Pluviometer was littered with menacing 4WDs, but Larence and I managed to get quite a decent pace going, with Thomas not too far behind. At Little River, I waited for Thomas while Lawrence, who had been going strongly all along, went ahead. Our twosome then struggled up the climb to Mini Mini Saddle, picking up the pace on the downhill to reach Cox's River just before it was completely dark. We took the Bridge Option (after having done the proper crossing on the way out), and ran quite well from there, with the odd low tossed in for good measure. The final climb, well, it's either you or the bloody hill. The drive home was almost as tough as that, quite some struggle not to nod off. Thanks to Ross for the breakfast, to Max for the water stop and to Gayl for handling the drop bags. And thanks to you and Sean for coming up with this one, you crazy bastards!
1) Well done to all you crazy souls. I just wished I could have been there, running with you, instead of just supporting. You all did a great job of it. 2) For those guys who seemed to have changed their mind about the Glasshouse 100 Miler, after doing the 12 Foot, let me tell you this: you do NOT make decisions on future races just after finishing a long run like the 12 foot. It's too discouraging. AND, until you attempt a 100 miler you don't know where your limit is, so don't restrict yourself by avoiding a new challenge. Remember, none of us have had any experience running a 100 Miler until we did the first one, so you're not Robinson Crusoe. It's all about pushing the envelope and finding your limit ! 3) From what I saw, most of you guys make life pretty hard for yourself by carrying everything, bar the kitchen sink, with you on these runs. Every ounce counts, so travel as light as you can. I don't want to sound like a smartarse here, I just want pass on some of my experience.
Max The Hun
I was talking to someone not long ago when I compared the ultramarathon thing in general, and Fat Ass in particular, to a bunch of Vietnam vets putting their foot forward for one more Tour of Duty. Especially Fat Ass... I love running long distance, especially in the bush, but when I get pumped up about a run it's not just the running, its also about getting back with "the Team"... or, to continue the military analogy, "my unit". Dave and Tiller and Thomas and Thomas and Lawrence and Jan and Paul and Kieron and Martin and Max and all the other guys who do this stuff- they're my unit and we're in the trenches, ready to go over the top together. It's not a camraderie where you'll get together every Friday and have some beers (though I gladly would with some guys in my unit), it's stronger and deeper than that. How that bond came round I can't quite explain. I do know that around 8.20 Saturday night I came over the top of Pinnacle Ridge, looked towards where I was going to go, and saw a torch on the move. This must have been Jan and Thomas, though I wasn't sure who it was at the time. I did know that it was someone from my unit. The first feeliong that hit me was "I'm not quite alone here, they're still with me even if they aren't next to me" and, seriously, I almost wept with joy. Not something I normally do. Last time I felt that way was at the end of Trailwalker. If you run through a day, through a night and into the next day with three other guys and you all depend on each other, well that's very strong emotional stuff. When Jan and Nick and I jogged down the steps off the firetrail in Brooklyn and past the marina, four minutes to finish, resolved to finish arm in arm, and "to do it for Kevin", well I had trouble containing myself then, as well.