7 November 2013

Missing the Mark

 Carcoar Cup 60km Ultra

With Brendan who has been coaching me
throughout the year.
Sunday marked my last race for the season, my last ultra for the year and my second longest race ever.  I competed in the Carcoar Cup 60km Ultra with goal of running well and finishing the season off with a good performance.  I had goals in both time and positioning, unfortunately they were not met, maybe I had been a little over ambitious or perhaps nieve of the course in the lead up and I probably got found out a little at times.  Anyway I came in 6th overall in a time of 5:17:34, clocking up 59.12km @ 5.19 pace, it was an experience and I walked (painfully) away happy and better for the run.

Brendan and Nadine travelled over on the Saturday afternoon and we had a nice meal at Duggans.  It is always good to catch up with these guys and the night was enjoyable.  Brendan was toying with which race he was to run and was going to make a decision on the day.  It was an early rise at 4.30am and a short trip over to Carcoar from home, we arrived around 6.15am to get our bibs and get ready.  Brendan had decided to run the Ultra in what was a small but quite strong field.  Kel was now becoming nervous, as was I about running the 60km, a challenging distance that we both were not familiar or comfortable with running yet.

Start Line
During the final prep the time went very quickly and the start was upon us, I lined up with Kel and waited for the gun to go.  We were off on our 60km journey to Neville and back via the undulating dirt roads around Carcoar.  I won't go into a blow by blow wrap of the race in this one, I ran a bit with Ewan until I couldn't match it with him and for about 15k with Gary Mullins, from then on it was me then the half runners, then the marathon runners.   I ran well for 3hrs, then during hour 4 my performance fell away, but I was able to tough it out and got moving ok for the last 10km to the finish.  There was no miracle, just a hard slog to the end, I was fading and was using the mental strength I had gained from Canberra to get me through. Brendan ran home in 4:02:xx, a surreal performance, I can not fathom that pace on that course for that long, he is a super athlete achieving amazing results.
Off and running.

The best way to sum up the race was in positive and negative points;


  • I finished around the same time as at Kanangra in 2012, only this race was 10km longer and tougher.
  • I held my own and battled through tough times well.
  • My nutrition was spot on.
  • My use of mental strategies was effective and I got through the bad periods without negative thought or self doubt.
  • I ran to plan, only hiking up the bigger hills, it was at times slower running than originally planned but I followed my strategy well.
Notice the course was marked uniquely.
  • I slowly declined after 2hr45min, this ultimately lead to me not running under 5hrs.
  • My legs were sore early, I noticed pain and had to use mental strategies to get through this when I should been focusing on running fast.
  • I haven't trained as well as I could for this event, I've been injured and had been trying to minimise my load some what.
  • I am not in form, next year around this time of year I aim to be but realistically that second peak may take a year to two to achieve.
  • I got sunburnt, something I hate doing and rarely happens, I need to think harder about this factor beforehand.
Carcoar Cup
  • The course was great, very enjoyable and scenic.  It was mainly on typical country dirt roads with about 35% on tar roads, mostly we were exposed and it did get hot, windy, rainy and cloudy, all seasons in a day!
  • It was more undulating than I expected and I really found this aspect tough.  It had 2 climbs and a few good hills but only 950m of elevation gain so it was fairly flat and runable, I just missed the mark on the flatter sections during the second half of the run.
  • A great atmosphere and well organised event.  The prizes are great, good cash up for grabs but really the pottery pieces handed out are spectacular and will become iconic (Angela Bateup is well on her way to collecting a set of 6!).
Most of all I learnt a great deal from the experience, I'm a long way from where I want to be but a long way from where I was 12 months ago.  I will be using the next couple of weeks to rest up and recharge a bit then my focus will switch to preparation for 2014 and the many goals I have set out for the year.

Kellie also lined up for the Ultra. She had only made the decision to run on Friday after being sidelined with an injury which left her unable to run in the two weeks leading up to Carcoar. She battled it out until the 42km Marathon mark where she had to call it a day. She was content with this, feeling happy just to have been able to run at all on the day when it had looked doubtful in the week leading up to the race and also to get another Marathon distance under her belt.  While I know she is disappointed with the race I'm certain 2014 will be a big year for her.  We are working on a plan to get her ready to roll in her big races at 6 Foot, Buffalo Skymarathon and TNF50km, where I'm sure she'll do great.  This time last year Kel was generally running 5km runs and her longest run was the Edgell Jog, so it's safe to say that with more time and experience her results are only going to continue to grow.

So now it is break time and time to enjoy a few weekends before the hard work starts again!

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