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Hellgate Gorge Fat Ass 2012Blue Mountains unofficial ultra marathons


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#51 RawAussieAthlete

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 12:56 AM

Wadaye and I started BOTW at 6am on Easter Saturday after camping at the Black Range Camp Ground, getting to sleep around 9:30pm and sleeping like a baby in a cow's milk coma.
I finished Hellgate BOTW in 24:47 (an improvement on last year's 26:15).
Wadaye finally finished in 31:19 doing the full course but taking the road back from Kanangra to the Moorara Boss Fire Trail.
We did no water drops. Wadaye drank from the numerous streams on the trail to Kanangra Walls.
I carried a 3 litre bladder, filled up at Caves House lasting 42km to Kanangra Walls where I guzzled over a litre from the water tank.
I refilled my 3L bladder which had to last for the final 49km! I rationed it to make the distance.

My recovery has been great. My legs were fine afterwards. I was a little slow for a day or so but was fine to run. Track training tonight, 4 days later, was 12 repeats of 400m with 100m recovery and thankfully my legs felt great!

Here's my brief account of this charmingly unique Hellgate BOTW 101km run:
Danced with a black snake, leech plucking x 20, falling asleep up the climb from Jenolan River and Black Range Rd, sank in the swamp mud (lucky not to lose my FiveFinger TrekSport when I sank 1 foot deep into mud), rain, heavy fog blocking the full moon and diminishing visibility to about 2 metres, dropped my headlamp and it occasionally flickered for the rest of the run, wet feet for 20 hrs (only 4 hrs dry feet...the sole of my feet were hospital sheet white...no blisters but skin was starting to rub off until I applied tape in the rain before the switchback descent), my shoes kept letting in small amounts of sandy quartz crystals which were grinding away my socks and pads of feet, 24:47 final time (almost 90 mins faster than last year), I didn't get lost or make any wrong turns, I dropped a glove and had to backtrack 10 minutes to retrieve it, I covered 42km on 3 litres water, then guzzled at a water tank, then did 49km on just 3 litres of water.
Wadaye took 31:19 and did a 20km section of road instead of going through the swampy, leech-filled, foggy, snake-riddled trail in the dark.
I ate 5 oranges for the first 10km to Caves House then ate dates/celery for the rest of the race. I didn't eat anything for the last 3 hrs and didn't eat or drink on finishing...when I decided to go straight to sleep for an undisturbed 5 hours.

It was hard...very hard. I can't really think of anything that could feel harder than the final 4 hours. Getting to the finish was unimaginable while climbing up from the river, yet there was no other option before sunrise in remote bushland on Easter Sunday while everyone was sleeping.

My plan was to try to go under 24 hrs but I quite happily let that plan slip away in the early Easter bunny hours.
Next year I may aim for something silly like under 20 hrs...though of course I did have fleeting thoughts of NEVER putting myself through that run EVER again. But, I guess its similar to childbirth, as the emotional trauma subsides after the event, allowing the excitement to return at the mere thought of doing it again, for I'll be casting my blanky aside and certainly revisiting this trail next year!

Edited by RawAussieAthlete, 13 April 2012 - 11:14 AM.


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#52 EverReadyBunny

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 01:22 PM

Nice work guys !

Don't worry you will forget the pain and just recall conquering this run.

After Trailpudding and I finished I thought i would never run again and now reading this I am ready to get out there and give it another go.
I particulary like that you didn't get lost this time. That saves time immediately.
Also can relate to the wet feet criteria .

30 Hours for Wadaye. Oiks ! That is toughing it out. That climb must have been worse than when I did it falling asleep on my feet.

#53 RunnerNickelass

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 02:24 PM

Well done on finishing RawAussie & Wadaye!

I've was wondering how you went.  Great to hear that you both made it, although it sounds like a tough day in the office.  Running on empty after 20 odd hours wouldn't have been much fun.

Trail must have been much wetter than the year we did it from the sounds of things.

I'll have to tail along next year as I still have unfinished business from our trip.

#54 RawAussieAthlete

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:58 PM

That's the fatass spirit, ERB! i.e. I write a report of horrible aspects of the run and it motivates you to get out there and do it again. Long live fatass! :)
I'll see you there next year ERB!
It was amazing to see Wadaye coming down the hill to the Black Range campground after 31 hrs.
I was getting concerned and was driving out to try and find him but only got about 250m and there he was charging for the finish!

Nickelass, The trail was definitely wetter than in 2010 but generally dry enough...no snorkel required ;)
The Injinji socks with FiveFinger TrekSports just don't like to dry out very quickly...especially with a dozen or more water crossings.
See you there next year!

#55 Twopennys

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 04:17 PM

Great reports guys - congratulations to the BOTW boys - sensational effort.

Cheers, 2P

#56 otisr

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 05:34 PM

Great report Raw.  One day i too would like to do the run .  Are you serious,you survived on only water, orange, dates and celery - no way !

#57 wadaye

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 04:49 PM

Thanks RAA, Eveready, Tuppence and Nickelass
It was great fun. I was musing over how a black snake had just reversed off the path before me into the bush when I had to divert my foot on the way down to prevent snuggling up with beautiful and very healthy looking Yellow Bellied Black Snake  -  we both realised at the same time, the snake showing it's great displeasure with strong transverse waves thrashing to and fro and I with a spin and a leap sideways off the track backwards, facing the snake. Certainly increased the value of the run for me. Fortunately. I mentioned it to RAA who was about to come through the area on the way back. Fortunately the snakes seem to go off the tracks at night-time,.

Only other trouble was that I had overly stiff webbing on the huaraches and it was a little bit of a nightmare. Recovering sensation in my second toe now!

Through the night every little patch of flatish ground looked like a Queens bed, so I would sleep half an hour to an hour/ run walk hallf an hour etcetera about 4 times through the night.
Looking forward to attempting the ultimate Hellgate started by the ladies, the 12ft Bouncing off the walls Gate option next time.

#58 RawAussieAthlete

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 12:11 AM

View Postotisr, on 16 April 2012 - 05:34 PM, said:

Great report Raw.  One day i too would like to do the run .  Are you serious,you survived on only water, orange, dates and celery - no way !

You'd love the run Otisr!
It is a beautiful run posing many interesting challenges.

Haha. Regarding the food, Yeah, that's what I took, so that's what I ate.
The only other food option available was snake and wallaby which didn't exactly make my mouth water, nor did they seem to want to be eaten :)