2007 Australian Mountain Running Championships - Report by David Hosking
I missed the pleasure of running in the ACT Mountain Running Champs this year …but I ran in the ACT Champs in 2005 and really struggled to a 1:17:08 so I had more frightening memories of the course than anything else. However, now two years on and a lot more Mountain running including good results at the recent Mt Rob Roy run, Six Foot Track and Shoalhaven King of the Mountain, I thought I could do reasonably well this year. Then, selected into the ACT team gave me a bit more motivation to run well. Thanks to Scotty, Marty and Russell McGowan for quickly registering me with Weston Creek so I could run in ACT colours!
I had a shocker Friday night in preparation waking up at about 3am Sat morning with a stinker migraine (I get them now and then – normally stress relief from work). However, slept in and felt fine by about midday. Good thing the run was in the afternoon!
I watched the women’s finish – bumped into Paul Bruce (who like the other visitors to the ACT was shocked at the sight in front of him from the start line) and did a bit of a warm up and suddenly we were off – my first National Championships!
I planned to try and stick to Trev’s shoulder but that thought dropped half way up the first climb – I didn’t want to blow up too early so I backed off a bit. I passed a bunch of people quite steadily up to the top of Mt Majura and turned for the first blast down hill. About five years ago I realised I was crap at down hill running – this was really reinforced in one of the local Wellington races on Mt Victoria (site of the recent World Champs) and yes I am a kiwi! So since I have been in Australia and doing things like local ACT Mountain races, Six Foot Track etc I have really worked on my downhill running (I even read the article and tips on the Mountain Running Website!).
This improvement really came through on the day when on the first big descent I made up about 80m on Damian Green (I think he said he had trouble with his ankle) and passed him, then during the second “technical” section at the bottom I had someone blast past and thought he had caught me again – it was actually one of the top placed Juniors finishing his race – man was he flying!).
There after that the only race I had (no-one was really immediately behind me) was with Damian for the next two laps – he would pass me on the up hill and turn 50 odd metres ahead and I would catch up on the downhill. At the end of the second climb I was a bit disappointed with my effort (despite hearing I was in 8th place) and decided I would try and do my best to stick closer to Damian on the third climb – I did and managed to pass him much higher up and put more time on the final down hill to keep 7th place. And all this time Trev was tantalisingly close and getting fractionally closer – if only I had stuck to him right at the start! I crossed the line 7th in 1:09:14 so a big improvement from the last time and a pretty honest effort. My splits were 22:23, 23:09 and 23:40.
Anyway I was pretty happy with the run – congrats to all of the guys (and gals) selected in the Australian team (look out for the kiwis!) and another BIG THANK YOU to John and all of the support crew on the ground for a great event.