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Inaugural IAU Asia-Pacific 100Km Road Race
Queensland Ultra Runners Club16 August 1998
At 6.00 a.m. on Sunday, 16 August 1998, five runners (Pete Gibson, Ian Reid, Peter Gray, Angie Cottrell and Bob Burns) and two walkers (Kerrie Hall and Melanie Jonker) fronted at the starting line. What the race lacked in numbers it certainly made up in support, encouragement and camaraderie amongst the participants.
To attain the 100 km, the runners needed to complete 34.7 laps of a 2.878 km loop around the scenic Lake Lido area of the Robina Town Centre at the Gold Coast. The cut off time was 6.00 p.m. (12 hours). The race director led us approximately .73 km into the first lap where we started the race. Hence the .7 of the race was completed first.
The course was predominantly flat with a couple of small slopes. (These slopes seemed to grow into hills by the end of the race!!) We had a variety of surfaces to run/walk on - bitumen, pavers, concrete blocks (on the bridges), pebbled concrete and grass footpath.
One of the reasons I decided to walk this event was to trial my food/eating habits for my first 24 hour event in three weeks time (5 September). I packed lots of small meals/snacks and ate something every hour. Everything went well, so hopefully I'll be able to cope with the 24 hour event.
The weather was favourable in as much as it was quite cloudy and cool although a number of heavy showers fell during the day causing wet shoes and (in my case) eventually a few blisters. I had purchased a light raincoat the previous week and it certainly came in handy. Once the showers had finished I simply tied the raincoat around my waist.
I set up a small table and my eskies near the finish area where it was easy for me to reach my food and change water and sports drink bottles after each lap. I had no problems locating anything and was pleased with the preparation I had put into packing the four eskies. Can't believe I took that much with me for a 12 hour event. But as they say "better to be sure than sorry".
I also listened to a couple of "talking books" on my walkman for a few hours and this really helped to pass the time.
I enjoyed walking around a larger circuit because I didn't have to look at the clock too often. I walked roughly 2 circuits per hour as opposed to 12 laps per hour when walking on a 500 m track. Looking at that clock every 5 minutes sure does get to you at times.
Kerrie and I walked together during the second half of the race. It really helped to fill in the hours and we discussed everything from our aches and pains to the upcoming 24 hour event. Kerrie gave me lots of tips on how to prepare myself and what to expect. She will be walking the 48 hour event.
Throughout the whole race we were lapped a number of times by the runners. It was great to see them and to be able to cheer them on. I have great admiration for each of these runners. Their determination, commitment and "sheer guts" are a real inspiration.
Suddenly I realised it was getting cooler and darker. The end of the race was fast approaching. It's hard to believe we started in the dark and spent all the daylight hours walking (and running) around in circles! Kerrie and I calculated we had two more laps to go. We managed to pick up the pace slightly. It always amazes me how you manage to find that last bit of energy when you know the end is near! About halfway through our last lap, Angie Cottrell passed us. She had one more lap to go and was digging deep to finish by 6.00 p.m. We yelled out heaps of encouragement to help her on her way.
At approximately 5:48 p.m. Kerrie and I walked over the finish line hand in hand and yelling out euphorically. Pete Gibson congratulated us and placed medallions around our necks. Even though I was aching, stiff and had a few blisters I was literally floating around basking in my achievement. It's what I call my "walker's high".
A few minutes later I heard a yell and saw Angie running towards the finish line. Everyone was calling out and encouraging her as she finally finished. What a determined effort from a very fine runner. Angie runs most of her ultras in bare feet but had to resort to wearing running shoes towards the end of the race as she had cut one of her feet. To me, this made her finish even more memorable.
Soon after, Bob Burns finished by amassing an impressive 94.244 kms in 12 hours. I've "run into" Bob at a number of ultra events (and at my local shopping centre!). He is a true gentleman and is fiercely dedicated to ultra running. Bob's daughter Vanessa crewed for him on Sunday and it was obvious she was very proud of her Dad's accomplishment. Bob mentioned that he's off to Colac (Melbourne, Victoria) in November to run the six day event. Vanessa will be going along to crew for him. I wish them both all the very best.
I'd like to thank the race director, Harry Davis for all his hard work in organising this event. As well, Mary Gibson and the other supporters who cheered all of us as we completed our laps. I don't know all your names but I certainly remember and appreciate your support. Thanks also to Kerrie, her husband Charlie and the runners for making it such a great day.
The Queensland Ultra Runners Club may be a relatively small club but what it lacks in numbers it makes up in an abundance of friendship, support, encouragement - you could even say it's like an extended family.
1st Ian Reid 9:09:43 2nd Pete Gibson 9:52:10 3rd Peter Gray 11:42:35 4th Angie Cottrell (1st Female) 11:52:28 5th Bob Burns Completed 94.244 km (32.7 laps) 6th Kerrie Hall (2nd Female) (walker) Completed 74.098km (25.7 laps) 7th Melanie Jonker (3rd Female) (walker) Completed 71.220 km (24.7 laps)
by Melanie Jonker (MJJonker@qdlgp.qld.gov.au)