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10km Walk Reportby "Liz"
Well, a small-scale, but delightful encounter took place in Brisbane this morning...It took place pretty early, as Melanie very nobly came by to collect me at (oooh....5AM), from whence we proceeded to the Glasshouse Mountains, about an hour's drive north of the city, where she took part in an (ummm...better let her tell you about distances...) 25k plus free bonuses walk and I ran (after a fashion) 10k which (Australians are *so* generous)--they threw in an extra 2.5k at no additional charge.
Well I can safely report that 50% of the Brisbane brigade is quite delightful company. Judgement remains out on the other half...
These events were portions of a pretty darn formidable set of ultras: Glasshouse 100 miles, 106ks, and 58ks, which took place yesterday. That was kind of unfortunate 'coz it was really hot yesterday, and cooled down substantially today. The event(s) are trail runs on *rugged* terrain, some wild ups and downs (fewer on the 10k) in spectacular scenery. The Glasshouse mountains are what are called volcanic plugs (Tina will know about these; Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh is one, as is The Mountain in Montreal). The distinguishing characteristic of volcanic plugs is typically really steep sides and bizarre topography; the Glasshouses are very striking indeed. It was rather overcast and hazy today, so the the mountains emerged from mist, rather like some styles of Chinese watercolours. When I looked up from the trail (not all that often...it was sometimes important to see where the feet were going) it was magnificent. And we were serenaded by currawongs, one of my favourite birds. (Probably prefer to the music of the R&R Marathon, but YMusicalTasteMV).
Great aid stations enroute, with an assortment of nice things (water, gatorade, powerbars, powergel, jelly beans, potato chips (good idea in the heat) and ever so friendly and nice people. All in all the participants were a delightful lot. I was incredibly impressed with the man who finished third (and last) in the 100 miler (eight set out, I believe, three finished); he was a local farmer, not a trained runner at all, finished in under 30 hours and although his feet did look pretty swollen, he seemed in pretty good shape...He'd done the 106k last year, I gather, in K-mart specials shoes, and this year bought proper running shoes and did 100 miles. The word grit springs to mind.
My time was totally undistinguished (I think I finished ahead of the people who walked the 10k but that's about it), but I really enjoyed the event. And wow! Talk about goomies! Sit-down lunch, with beautiful fruit and veggies grown locally. (Pineapple is a revelation...never had anything like it in Canada, I'll tell you. I'm afraid I really tucked into it...very restorative...) And all finishers were awarded a nice pottery mug with a picture of Mount ...um...Tibrogargin (one of the Glasshouses). So I can remember today over morning coffee happily ever after.
Approaching the end of the racing season here, as it gets hotter and hotter. Ah well, next year... Something to look forward to in life. Think I'll try to build for 25k next year...I'm told it's a much tougher track, but the distance appeals...I'll leave that for Melanie to tell you about this time.
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