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Sept 2001 - Glasshouse 100mile Trail Report

Sept 2001 - Glasshouse 100mile Trail Report

by Sean Greenhill

This is not a report, but an assembly of thoughts and experiences (mostly mine) on the Glasshouse 100 Mile this year. Report will follow in a couple of days.

Most of you know the brief story, but to reiterate... Jonathan Worswick set a new course record, 11 started, 5 finished, I DNFd at 110km.

I have now started two 100s (Glasshouse 2000 and 2001) and have two DNFs.

1. TRAINING. In late May I did the Sydney Trailwalker 100K, two weeks later ran 50 miles at Wilsons Promontory. After a couple of easy weeks after that effort, I got serious... from mid June to ealy August (6 weeks or so) I was consistently 150- 170km/ week, a peak week of 176km. Most days I ran twice- at lunch, then home from work. Tuesday nights I did 10km hard with the Lane Cover River Striders. Once or twice a week I did weights (mostly legs- squats, hamstring curls, calf lifts etc, and some light upper body stuff).

Long runs... two Fat Ass events- Cotter 65K, Twelve Foot Track 93K, three or four private expeditions of 50- 65km.

Trailwalker went right through the night (late start), both Wilsons Promontory and Twelve Foot Track went late into the night, so I thought I knew a bit about night running.

I had a great run at Cotter in mid July- despite it being a training run- a few weeks after at Twelve Foot Track I went very easy and ran okay, but felt a little stale. I felt I reached my physical peak in late July after only about 5 weeks dedicated work. Interestingly, last year I started dedicated training in late May and I felt did my best running in early August.

Basically I thought the training was right but I peaked too early both years. In late August I raced the Mt Wilson- Bilpin 35K trail event and ran exactly the same time as last year. Bearing in mind that I started the event still quite ill from a stomach bug, I thought I was fitter this year.

Next year I will start dedicated training in late July/ early August and look to reach a peak in mid September, then taper for two weeks.

2. FEET. I wore road shoes (NB 1220) rather than trail shoes. I believe this was the right decidion. Glasshouse has some gnarly sections but most of the running is on hard packed dirt roads, and I thought I'd need all the cushioning I could get.

I wore Raceready Gaitors and had no problems with debris in my shoes. Last year I wore a cheap pair of gaitors and my shoes filled with crap quite quickly- there's a lot of dust, sand and gravel on this course.

Socks were a nylon/ wool brand from Mountain Designs which were very comfy and did well at other runs, and I will use them again. Still, my feet began to blister at around the 60km point (the Mt Beerwah loop), so I rubbed vaseline in my feet, which held the blisters at bay for over 40km. I'd never tried it before, but felt I needed to do something. Later I found Kieron Thompson and Martin Fryer always vaselined their feet before the start, so it's somethiong I'll do regularly in future.

Feet started to degenerate again on the rough stuff between AS4 and AS5 on the second loop, which partly contributed to the DNF. Had I vaselined my feet before the start... would my feet have ever blistered?

3. FOOD/ HYDRATION. This was the killer. I carried three 800ml bottles in my mutant hydration backpack- one had diluted coke, one So Good, the other had diluted Isosport from the aid stations. Drank a lot of coke and Isosport on the first loop, and about three bottles of So Good (from my drop bags). On the first loop I actually put on a kilo or two and urinated regularly... between aid stations I'd normally drink two bottles (temperature was high 20s Celsius on the course), matching the hydration rate I maintained last year.

Difference was last year I could drink that much and still eat, this year on the first loop I only had three packs of potato chips and a mini mars bar. Anyone who runs with me knows that normally I have no problems eating on the run, but all day I battled nausea- I fetl one mouthful of food away from vomiting, which I didn't want for fear of inducing dehydration.

It could have partly been lingering effects of the stomach bug I got in mid August, but more I think the stomach didn't like the Isosport. I didn't drink any of it after the 71km checkpoint and eventually hardly sipped anything at all. I don't think I drank too much, as this hydration rate worked last year. Seeing as Isosport is an electrolyte drink, it doesn't seem likely salt depletion was a cause of my nausea.

I spent 50 minutes at the halfway coping with the nausea, the only thing I could eat was a few slices of toast with some butter. At AS3 on the second loop I ate a slice of buttered bread and a pack of chips, at AS4 another pack of chips (still feeling pretty sick), got to AS5 (110km) and crashed completely. I was shaking uncontrollably despite not being cold, I was gripped by a black depression. For 30 minutes my head was buried in my hands, only emerging occasionally to ask the medical people if they couldn't find a medical reason to pull me. I knew I had to go on, but couldn't even get out of the chair. What the hell was I doing here in this sport? I never actually regretted running before, but now the thought of heading off towards AS6 had me nearly in tears. I lay down in the medical van (after being helped from the chair) and pulled the pin 2.5 hours after entering AS5, having never left it.

I believe this stemmed from eating far too little, and I hit the wall at 110km.

I've tried Succeed, which basically has no taste, so I can't imagine it'd upset the stomach, nor would you feel sick of it. Jonathan Worswick told me he drank mostly Succeed, with one or two cups of Isosport and coke. In future I'll purchase and try Succeed- far more stomach friendly, it seems, than sugary sportsdrinks.

4. PACE. Before this race my 50 mile PB was 11.45, a split at Twelve Foot Track.Last year at the 100 I got to the turnaround (80km) in 12.21. This year the turnaround was 84km, I figured I should get to the turnaround in 12.30- 13 hours, then finish in 27 hours.

Instead, I set a new 50 mile PB of 11.07 and reached the turnaround in around 11.50. Probably too fast. Most of the first loop was at 12.30 pace- when I was running with Mark Holley- then when heading out of AS5 to Mt Beerwah he encouraged me to go ahead, then I started running hard. When I got to checkpoint 1, I knew I was going too fast so walked the 4km from there to the turnaround, passing Lawrence en route.

Basically, it seems the fitness/ training was pretty good but could be timed better for a more appropriate peak (so that an 11 hour 50 mile split didn't take so much out of me), and better choices in food/ hydration and foot care can be made. More experience in setting a proper pace over 100 mile is needed.

Sean Greenhill
Sydney, Australia

Sean has also written the following articles that are published on CoolRunning Australia :
  1. [Dec 2004] Coast to Kosi 236km
  2. [Jun 2004] Poor Man's Comrades 96km
  3. [Sep 2003] Glasshouse 100 mile
  4. [Jun 2003] Western States 100 Miles
  5. [Jun 2003] Auburn Journal interview with Sean before WS100
  6. [Jan 2003] Bogong to Hotham 60km
  7. [Sep 2002] Glasshouse 100 mile ( + photos)
  8. [Aug 2002] Katoomba to Mittagong 137km
  9. [Aug 2002] 12 Foot Track 93km
  10. [May 2002] Sydney Trailwalker 100km
  11. [May 2002] Thin Blue Line 88km
  12. [Mar 2002] Six Foot Track 46km
  13. [Feb 2002] Cradle Mountain Run
  14. [Sep 2001] Glasshouse 100 mile (DNF at 110km)
  15. [Aug 2001] 12 Foot Track 93km
  16. [Jun 2001] Wilson's Prom 100km ( + photos)
  17. [May 2001] Sydney Trailwalker 100km
  18. [May 2001] Lost In The Dark Run
  19. [Apr 2001] Brisbane Water Bush Bash 50km
  20. [Mar 2001] Six Foot Track 46km
  21. [Feb 2001] Cradle Mountain Run
  22. [Dec 2000] The Blue Labyrinth 50km option
  23. [Oct 2000] Glasshouse 100 mile (DNF at 100km)
  24. [Sep 2000] Royal National Park 50km
  25. [Aug 2000] Lost Worlds of Kuringai 56km
  26. [Aug 2000] Mt Wilson to Bilpin 35km
  27. [Jun 2000] Started the Glasshouse Trail Email-List
  28. [Jun 2000] Shoalhaven "King of the Mountain" 46km
  29. [Mar 2000] Six Foot Track 46km
  30. [Jan 2000] The Toughest Race in Australia - Bogong to Hotham
  31. [Sep 2000] Glasshouse 50mile/80km
  32. [Apr 2000] Glasshouse 50km
  33. [Dec 1999] The Blue Labyrinth - Original Route
  34. [Aug 1999] Cities Marathon
  35. [Aug 1999] Mt Wilson to Bilpin 35km
  36. [Jun 1999] Shoalhaven "King of the Mountain" 46km
  37. [May 1999] Sydney Morning Herald Half-Marathon
  38. [Apr 1999] Canberra Marathon and 50Km
  39. [Mar 1999] Six Foot Track 46km

Feel free to E-mail him at bigmig@tig.com.au.

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