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1998 - Another 50 Mile Glasshouse Trail Run Reportby Martin Fryer
There were a total of 9 entrants for this event and 10 entrants for the 100 miler. Race started 5:30 a.m with reasonable temps (probably about 18-19 degrees). Fortunately the weather remained reasonably temperate through the day (max around 23-24) due to fairly consistent cloud cover - however humidity was high. Mike and I took our time and went through 10K in 4th and 5th places in our event.
We were pretty stuffed by the first medical check at 30K, which was partly due to many kilometres of clay/mud, which stuck to our shoes and added unwanted kilos of weight. We felt pretty good in the 40 to 55K K zone where we managed to pass another 50 miler entrant putting us into 3rd and 4th - we were in a good rhythm utilising decent running pace interspersed with walks on most hills. We went through halfway at approximately 5 hours. After the 55K medical check we did a nasty loop of about 15 K around Mt Beerwah which contained some painful descents and ascents.
At around 60K we ran down the 2nd place entrant, chatted with him like the smiling assassins that we were, and then put a little surge to leave him in our tracks. At around 64K we finally passed the leader of the 50 miler - he was sitting on the side of the road in some distress - apparently with lower back problems -he asked us to send a car back for him. We were starting to do more walk cycles ourselves - the last 12 K after the 70K medical check was a grind - I think it took us about 1.5 hours.
We ran through the finish line together (joint winners) with an official time of 9:48 (time after 9 minutes subtraction for compulsory medical checks), having run a slight negative split for the 2nd half of the run. Two of the 100 milers had beaten us to 50 miles (Graham Medill - who ended up winning the 100 event in just under 24hrs, and Kelvin Marshall who finished 2nd in the 100 in about 25.5 hrs). I think there were only 4 or 5 finishers out of 10 in the 100 event - Kevin Cassidy from VIC and Bill Thompson, a local farmer were a few of the DNFs.
Overall - the terrain and general footing was much more difficult than I anticipated. In relative difficulty I would still rank a sub-3 hour road marathon as a more difficult task - this was all very low aerobic pace running. It was a great advantage running with someone else - we were able to help each other through the bad patches. Given that my aim was simply to finish and that my training was well below par it was nice to have a joint win in my first 50 miler! This likely to never happen again so it makes for a good laugh. Just have to find more obscure trail ultras before they become known.
In retrospect we took it very, very easy - we could have knocked a good 45 minutes off if we were serious about short aid station stops. I would anticipate that a really good ultra runner would do the 50 miler in around 8 hours or so.
Martin Fryer Sydney Australia
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