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1997 - Glasshouse Trail Run - Race Director's Report

1997 - Glasshouse Trail Run - Race Director's Report

by Ian Javes
The Glasshouse 100 Trail Event was conducted by the Queensland Marathon and Road Runners Club with the assistance of the Glasshouse Mountains Advancement Network on Saturday and Sunday, September 27 and 28. The race had a total of 168 starters in the five events: 100 miles (160 km); lO6km; 58km; 25 km; and 10km. The three longer races started at the Glasshouse Mountains Sportsground at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, after the runners had undergone a basic medical check.

In 1996 five runners attempted the 100-mile event, but none were able to finish. The main problem was dehydration caused by very hot conditions. True to form, at the start of this year's event there was thick fog, usually an indication of a very hot day to come at this time of the year. Once more, ultrarunners were going to have to endure not only heat, but humidity as well. Under these conditions sweat does not evaporate well and thus there is less of a cooling effect and more heat stress; dehydration then can become a problem. Fortunately Dr. June Canavan headed a medical team including members of the Sunshine Coast Division of Sports Medicine Australia; Peter Boardman, sports trainer and massage therapist from Cabooltore; and students from the Department of Human Movements, University of Queensland. This medical team examined vital signs (weight, pulse, blood pressure) at intervals during the day and into the night as the competitors had until noon on Sunday to finish their event.

There were two experienced female 100-mile runners in this event: Suzi Thibeault from Colfax, California and Janine Duplessis from Gig Harbour, Washington. Both had finished 100-mile events earlier this year in under 24 hours. Graham Medill from Toowoomba was back after failing in the hot conditions last year, as were John Stanley of Mooloolaba and Tony Collins from Norab Head, north of Sydney. They were joined in the 100-mile challenge by two of the finishers in last year's 106-km event, Darryl Watts from Brisbane and local farmer, Bill Thompson. Kevin Tiller came from Sydney to also attempt the event. The 100-mile runners started cautiously and let the rabbits in the 58-km event get a long way ahead. Graham Medill ran with his Toowoomba teammates, Wayne Walker in the 106-km and Col McLeod in the 58-km, and led the 100-milers all the way. His son Billy crewed for him, making sure he took plenty of fluids at the checkpoints. At the end of the first loop Graham was followed in order by Darryl Watts, Janine Duplessis, John Stanley, Tony Collins, Suzi Thibeault, Kevin Tiller and Bill Thompson in his newly acquired running shoes, the tortoise.

Although Graham continued to lead comfortably in the second loop, the rest of the field took on a different order. Janine Duplessis took over second place and held it to the end. Darkly Watts completed the second loop but decided that was enough. Four of the other competitors withdrew during the second loop leaving Graham, Janine and Bill Thompson as the only entrants to start the last loop. Graham finished the 100 miles in 22:46:22, followed by Janine in 23:52:21 and Bill with his tortoise approach of running downhill and walking the rest, finished in 29:32:43. The Glasshouse 100 miles had finally been conquered.

Entrants from other areas, states and countries were impressed with the scenery, race organization and friendly assistance provided by the locals who operated the checkpoints. It is expected that the event will continue next year with possible improvement and there will also be a shorter event early in the year (April, May or thereabouts). We intend to make the course into two loops instead of three for the ~00-mile; it may even be possible to organize two different loops. Relay teams may be introduced into next year's 100-mile event, ten by ten miles or four by 25 miles.

Jan Javes (R.D.)

NOTE: Photo is of Graham Medill [winner] descending Mt Beerburrum

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