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THE GREAT NORTH WALK 100s

 

2009 RUNNER STORIES

(edited extracts from the www.CoolRunning.com.au Message Board and from e-mails to the Race Director)

"Mick"     •     "Dave"     •     "Graham Wye"     •     "Seris"     •     "Cazzy1"     •     "Slowmaniac"     •     "Gingerfox"     •     "TooKeen"     •     "Beaver"     •     "Blue Dog"     •     "Trailpuddin"     •     "Thomas"     •     "Enduro"     •     "Horrie"     •     "MQ"     •     "Hermie"     •     "Spud"     •     "Ourimbah"     •     "Bluebel"     •     "TallGeoff"     •     "EXE"     •     "Whippet Man"     •     "Cliffold"     •     "Pipi"     •     "Brick"

 

"Mick"

Had a great weekend competing and observing on the GNW100s.

Finished the 100km in 14:15 (?) which resulted in 4th this year. I think was 1st in M40-49.

I think the weather has been very kind to competitors in the last few years and we were due for this. I'm sure it caused difficulties for all of us, but in a way I'm glad to say I finished in a good time on a tough day.

Looks like I might have (by the whole margin of 1 minute) got the M40-49 course record from Maggot.

I was in top 10 (both races) all day. I was told 4th when we crossed the road at Heaton Gap, but this was only because I started with 4.2L and didn't fill at the servo. The top three (TimC + 2 x 100k ?) were flying, no sign of them on the climb.

I had a great viewpoint to see the 100m race unfold, I think I was more interested in this than my own race. On the course I got to see TimC, Pipi, Spud, BlueDog, Peggy, Robin, Terry, Ourimbah and Beaver.

Had the pleasure of Beaver's company right from the start until about 5km from the Basin (where he dropped me). There was no agreement to stay together, we kept saying "have a good race" as one or other would go ahead. Our plan was to make use of the cooler weather and I think we did this by doing CP1 3:35 and CP2 2:35 approx. We said we would take is easy when a few km from CP2 and stuck to this plan. Saw TimC leave as coming in, and as leaving saw Maggot, BlueDog, Spud, and Peggy coming in.

Beaver and I got to the top together, but I was then ahead on my own and still taking it easy walking anything uphill. On the way to the creek I could hear someone coming quick and thought it was BlueDog, but TimC _flew_ past. How he got behind me when he was in front at CP2 I don't know.

There was a bit of a group meeting at the unmanned water with about 5 of us in close proximity. Peggy and a guy who's name I have forgot, who I think got 3rd in the 100km went ahead, then BlueDog and Spud got ahead as I took a breather on a nice shady rock and Beaver and I were together again. Still hot, still in conservative mode.

A bit later we heard some excited voices. We then saw a HUGE coiled snake by the base of a tree, very impressive.

We then saw three blokes, Peggy must have dropped the 100km guy, and BlueDog slowed as he had a feed. I think Beaver saw this as his chance to make a move, he was off, past all three of them with the 100km guy in tow.

Beaver got out of the Basin first, with Peggy and someone else just little behind. Spud and 100km guy were at the CP. They left just before me, and I saw BlueDog coming in as I was heading back to T intersection. Also saw Terry and Ourimbah heading into the Basin. I caught someone, said he was a miler, but not moving very well.

I didn't see anyone from here to my finish. I was worried about Maggot as he is a handy runner, but I had at least 5km on him. I had no idea of my position in the 100k, thought there was a chance I was 3rd and didn't want to give this up and looked behind occasionally. At campers rest I calculated I had to run 15km in 90min to go under 14 hours. Something I had wanted to do, but this was before the hot weather forecast. I didn't give up, but the 4km forest section didn't help. I was then left with 11km in 64 minutes. Yeah, on any other day a piece of cake, but with 90km in the legs on a tough day I would have to want it REAL bad, and I didn't. I knew Maggot's M40-49 course record time was low 14s, and decided to give myself a break and walk any grades. I'd look behind before turning a corner and walk when out of sight just in case. I put my vest on about half way along the road, but didn't need my torch. This unfortunately meant I missed the fire flies this year :-(

If I'd know the margin was only going to be 1 minutes I wouldn't have been so lazy.

I finished feeling pretty good, but the chair was welcome. The soup was a great pick up.

I then became a check point groupy hanging around Yarramalong until around 11pm and enjoyed the chats with keen pacers ready to greet their tired runners, 100k finishers, and 100m legends.

A quick shower, and off to Somersby. I just missed Beaver by 5 minutes due to his quick time. They said he was only 10 minutes slower than course record time. WOW! Observed Peggy, TimC, Spud, Ourimbah, Terry, and Robin come through.

I skipped CP5 as Beaver had already gone through by this time and took DNF Dan to Patonga where we tried to get a bit of sleep.

Great to see Beaver come in for the win looking strong. Well deserved mate, you earned that and I'm sure the GNW trophy will be something you enjoy for the rest of your life.

Had a great time chatting to finishers and fellow runners.

Keep the reports coming, I am sure there will be lots of war stories from the weekend.

Thanks to Dave and all the Trotters and volunteers for putting on a great race. A race by runners for runners.

 

"Dave"

A few quick notes from my race and perspective - ran most of leg 1 close to Thomas, Robin and Marie D (and Hermie at times) - managed to avoid my navigation error in 2006 on leg 2, which I suspect is where Martin D went amiss - ERB sailed past looking very comfortable on the furnace of Congewai Rd - was pleased to get into CP2 in good shape, headed back out with Nick (Nickelass?) with I understand Dan just behind us - started to struggle near the top of the big climb, but sat down for a rest/feed/drink and felt better, although was having trouble with cramps - Horrie and BB came through here looking very strong - as we got to Watagan Creek got caught by Whippet/Seris/Tallgeoff/Brick/Dan - took a long time to climb the steep climb (Warrawong?) as the others left me, with numerous rests and some outstanding projectile vomitting at the top which actually made me feel a lot better! - felt good along the flat/downhill but any significant uphill caused major issues - at the end of the climb from the creek to Sow & Pigs crossing another massive spewing session after Tim & company (LPB?) went past just in time as a group caught me - seemed that a number of people had taken a wrong turn as it was Whippet, Brick, Seris, Tallgeoff (I think), Graham Wye, and Thrax I think - donned the lights etc and as group made pretty good pace downhill towards the basin, catching Tim etc - as soon as any climbing started I dropped off the back and then it was a massive struggle to make it into The Basin - saw Horrie and BB on their way out looking strong still and gave me some encouragement - tried to recuperate at the Basin, but another massive PV session was the final straw and I pulled the pin, if it had been flat from the Basin to the finish I would have gone out but knowing the climbs out of the Basin and how I was struggling on anything vertical it would have not been a smart move to depart and then have to get into difficulty.

So 2 attempts at the GNW in what are seemingly the 2 hottest years, 2006 and 2009. Some introspection before I commit to anything longer than a flatish 42.2, I think my hydration strategy vs sweat output are not matched, despite drinking around 9 litres on the course, vomitting aside I lost about 4kg, I want to be an Ultra runner but maybe its just not my strength

Very sorry to hear that Horrie and BlueBel missed the cut, they looked so strong in the heat, would be great to know how Brick and Seris ended up.

 

"Graham Wye"

Congratulations to all those who finished. It is a tough course and it was a warm weekend so It's a terrific achievement to finish within the cut-off.

This year's run started well for me, getting to CP1 at the same time as last year, a quick refill and on to CP2. Congewoi was a bit hotter than last year so I took it easy and got there about 10 mins later than I did last year, which I was quite happy with. Left there with Slowmaniac before he went on ahead. The big climb to the communications tower was a tough as usual but still felt OK, ran with Steve and Taras for a while. Arrived at the Watagan Creek crossing and refilled the water containers before heading up the next hill where I passed about 5 runners who were sitting down, most sick with nausea.

All was going to plan so far and then I carelessly missed a crucial turn off to the Bar Trail off Warrawalong Road and proceeded up the wrong road. What made it worse was a group of 5 people who were coming just behind me were misdirected by my mistake and we all lost 45 minutes doing the extra 6kms before we arrived at CP3. I felt so badly about this and am so happy to see that Seris, TallGeoff, Whippet and Brick made it to the finish. Left the Basin with Grant, and we were passed by Tim on the way to the road. We briefly stopped, Grant had a 10 min sleep and I attended to 2 large blisters on my heels. The long road into Yarramalong took a while as I walked most of it as the blisters were still causing me a lot of discomfort. By the time I arrived at CP4 (103.7kms), although inside the cut-off I realised that I was in too late to have a realistic chance of finishing so I stopped there for my first DNF. After waiting at CP4 until it was time to pack up I went with Dave Byrnes to CP5, then CP6 and then to Patonga and was there in time to see the first 4 runners arriving at the finish.

I'm very much looking forward to next year to make amends.

 

"Seris"

A tough day at the office... Well the plan was to run with Eagle and Tall Geoff. That lasted until Bill Thompson went past us in the first section and Ray told Geoff and I to go on without him. There is nothing worse than having to go on without a mate but we knew Bill gets to the finish with 10 minutes to spare and the plan was to not ever see Bill.... Geoff and I ran well until the heat on the road into Congewai sapped us and we did a bit of walking. At the checkpoint we cooled down a bit with the help of our great support Josie and John. (SMC 42) I was surprised to see people get in and out of this checkpoint without taking the time to cool down. We were fortunate to find Whippet wanting to leave the checkpoint and ran with him. We picked up Brick and then found Grant lying in the dirt. I found it quite strange running with guys with hair... After 6ks that we didn’t need to do we found ourselves 45 mins behind schedule and began picking up people we had left behind a while back.. a great conga line getting into the Basin with Tim, Bethany and Graham. Dave was suffering and was incredibly pale.... good choice to pull out Dave. I think it was around 10pm? that I left the Basin with Brick, Geoff, Whippet, Tim and Bethany. By the time we got to Yarramalong I’d paired up with Brick and Geoff was with Whippet. Being 2am, Brick and I were concerned that we were dodging a bullet with the 6pm finish and wanted to get moving. We had the Slam in mind and didn’t want to DNF the third race! Whippet felt like a rest and I told Geoff (who had Miss Z pacing him from here) that he had to leave before or with Bill Thompson if he was going to get to Patonga before 6pm. Bill was already at Yarramalong when we left..... not a good sign. Brick and I made up great time in the run to Somersby and left there at 8am with a bacon and egg roll (thanks John!) feeling a bit happier. We knew we could make up time to Mooney Mooney and keep money in the bank for the very hot and gruelling last section. I can’t believe it is only 11kms to the unmanned water station????? Can anyone wearing a garmin confirm that? I think we did those 11kms in 2.45! We’d picked up Slow maniac by then and the three of us ran (well, walked!) to the finish together. I really enjoyed running with so many people this weekend. Brick, we are still in the Slam mate and Gareth.....I just loved hearing you laughing along the Patonga sand to the post.... Time 35:26..... that is a PB!! Last year was 35:27!!! How the hell can you get within 60 seconds of last year’s time in a run like that??? I don’t think there was anyone out there that wasn’t affected by the heat, nausea and how difficult it was to keep hydrated. To not pee from the unmanned water station at 70kms at around 5pm Saturday till I got home last night just shows I didn’t drink enough.... and I reckon I drank around 20/25 litres. Commiserations to the DNFers. Dutchie, you did all that training to get such a hot day, Dan, you didn’t do anything stupid out there...... sorry to see you so sapped. Oh, and Tim... funniest statement as I was getting out of Mooney Mooney... “I have a blister” Thanks also to Solace who just seemed to pop up everywhere to give us a hand. Can’t wait to read Bluebel’s race report.... stoic .

 

"Cazzy1"

Was up early sat morning after a restless night sleep and was on the road at 4.00 am with Horrie, Bluebel, Lynda and Lotsahare as we were all at the same motel. Arrived at the start to find the air filled with a mix of excitement and nervous energy. We all knew that it was going to be a hot day but I think none of us an idea of how hot it was going to be during the course of the day. 5.30am race briefing and 6.00 am we were off. Lotsahare, Lynda and myself ran close together. Shared some chats with a few runners on the road before we entered the Wakefield track. Met and chatted with Slowmaniac and glad to hear that he finished. Chatted with Dutchie and Karl along the way as well.Were passed long the way by Horrie and BB. When we arrived at the Service station we met our crew Zac and Bert for some photo's before we proceeding up the hill to the tower. When we got into the jungle section I seemed to have got ahead of Lotsahare and Lynda. Made it to CP1 11.30am. Left CP 1 in 5 mins. As I left CP1 Lotsahare had just arrived. Called out to her that I would see them along the way. Did not see anyone from CP1 till just before I exited the track onto the road. Met 3 young fella's who told me they were pulling out at the school as they were out of their depth. When I got onto the road it was unbelievably hot. Looking at the temp's listed in the post above I was on the road at the hottest time of the day which was 3.00pm. Thought to myself 'hmm I sure hell feels like this'!! Made my way slowly along the road where I met Eagle. He was'nt feeling the best. Very happy to get to the school. On the way into the school saw 3 runners who had left the school on the way to CP3. I was in and out of the school in 6 mins and back into the unforgiving heat. Met Lotsahare on the road out who was very upset as she had lost 15 mns on the road due to an error in judgement.Saw Mr Hauranche man sitting on the side of the road under a tree tending to his feet. It was mostly walking for me after the school as I could feel the heat sapping the energy out of me. When I started the climb back up to the tower I felt the worst I did during the race. It was a slow climb. A thought flashed through my mind of how I was going to ring my husband and tell him I was was pulling out?? Once I got to the top and onto the road I continued walking and then would do a slow run on the downhills. It felt really lonely as well so got out the mobile and rang Lotsahare to find out how she was feeling and how far behind me they were? She mentioned she was feeling better after getting a hose down at the school and that they were slowly climbing to the tower and Lynda was'nt feeling very well. Did'nt see anyone until I got to the river. Saw a guy cooling off in the river. Got to the unmanned water stop and saw Firefly, Rob and 'Nick' who was doing the miler. Nick was pulling out and they were organising to have him picked up. Proceeded up the hill which was a slow. Realised in my haste to leave the school I forgot to take any food. All I had was one bar. So I had to ration it out. Soon darkness ascended and stopped to put my vest and light on. It was'nt long after that and I met Dave. He had just put his night gear on and mentioned how ill he felt since leaving the school. I was just glad that I saw someone as this was a big deal for me been out at night on my own. I had not done anything like this ever on my own. And had planned to be with Lotsahare and Lynda during the night section. Here was I on my own having to deal with this situation. Even though Dave was ill I was happy just to walk in silence with him knowing he was in agony. He mentioned that I should push on because he is going to have a break. Twice I left him and then waited for him because I was unsure of the track. Got onto a firetrail section and then pushed on my own. As I was making my way along I heard some voices coming up. I thought it may have been Lotsahare and Lynda finally catching up as I was moving slow. Firefly and Rob (QLD) had finally caught up. I was just happy to have so company again. I fell into a trot with them and asked them if they minded if I stayed with them to the basin. Firefly willing obliged and said 'no problem I know how daunting it can be when you are out here in the dark on your own'. So we pushed on to the basin and a nice reasonable pace. I believe I made some contribution to the trio as I had been out on that section at night just 2 weeks prior and with them being interstaters they were quiet happy with that knowledge. On the way after the T section we crossed paths with a few of the milers making their way to Yarra. And was happy to see Trailpuddin on her way to Yarra and the finish. When we arrived at the Basin Firefly said that if I was ready when they left I could come along with them. Arrived at the Basin having taken 7hrs to do that section. I had used up 1 hr from my 1.5 hr time advantage. After a quick toilet stop, some soup,a peanut butter and honey wrap and change of socks I was ready and waiting for them. Left the basin with 30 mins before the CP closed. Was happy with the knowledge that I had 22 kms to do in 5.5 hrs On our way to Yarra Rob said that we would take it easy on the track and then pick up the pace on the trail section. On the way up to the T section I was concerned about Lotsahare and Lynda making it to the Basin within cutoff so was eager to come across them. On our way out saw Dave and was happy that he managed to make it to the Basin. Then we met Lotsahare, Lynda and Eagle they were 40 mins from the Basin and would arrive at the Basin 1hr after cutoff by my calculation. I was very disappointed for them knowing what they had gone thru to get to this point. We pushed on. Had a few discussions about directions. Went up the 4wd track and when we got to the top of the track the GNW sign said right but Firefly and Rob thought that this was the point where we had to follow left. So we went left and fortunately only went down for about 500mts before we realised it was the wrong way so backtracked . On our way back up there was this 'grey coloured snake' in the middle of the track. I was glad that it was them and not me who had come across it. It took 3 attempts of stick throwing to get him to clear the track. That was my only little error throughout the whole race which I was very happy about. Once we got back on track Firefly and Rob really picked up the pace. They would be gone and then after a while I would see them waiting for me. I was really grateful to them. I mentioned to them once we get on the road you guys must just go because I will be fine from the road to the finish. Once we arrived on the road we had 3.45 mins before cutoff to do 12km. Firefly was concerned that we would'nt make it. I thanked them for the company and said 'see you at the finish' and they were off!! I just managed a run/walk. In the distance I saw some reflective vests which I thought was them but it was 2 guys who I overtook. Then I got into a nice rhythm even though at this stage my feet were terribly blistered. There was no point in stopping now to tend to them. I caught up to Firefly and Rob again and then we walked /jogged together. Passed another 2 guys. Then Rob fell back and Firefly and I continued. We passed by this house on the road where the music was pumping that time of the morning and the guests were calling out 'run forrest run'... which they found really amusing!! Firefly passed this one guy then I caught her with about 4 kms to go. She had knocked the top of her foot on a rock early in the race and at this point it had flared up and reduced her to at walking limp. She told me to go and I said no we will finish together. You just don't realise how quiet and eerie it is walking into Yarramalong at 3.00 am?? Firefly and I walked into the finish at 21.03. It was great to see my friends Lotsahare and Bert waiting at the finish gate to congratulate me. Fantastic feeling. The hubby was fast asleep in the car ....it was a huge day for the crew. Rob came in 5 mins after us. It was so awful to see him. I have never seen someone as ill as this guy. Looks like as soon as he stopped everything went wrong. He was throwing up and in lots of pain chaffing/blisters , nausea etc I hope he is ok. Well done Traipuddin I told you you would smash it. Awesome effort. We sat around the checkpoint umtil it closed and then drove back to Sydney. Got into bed at 6.30am . Over 24hrs since the race had started. Although you are getting into our comfortable bed my thoughts we with everyone still on the trail making their way to Patonga. Congratulations to everyone that was part of this run whether you finished it or not . Just competing in those conditions are an achievement on its own. Awesome effort. Thanks so much to Terrigal Trotters and Dave for putting on this event your efforts were much appreciated by all. There is no way in hell that I would ever attempt a 100 miler so hats off to each and every one of you guys 'you rock'!! There is always another event for the people who did not realise their race goal you did your best. Well done to Sailaway (debut at 100m), Brick, Seris, Slowmaniac and all the others who finished. Commiserations to Dutchie, Karl, Horrie and BB (you guys were soooo close).

 

"Slowmaniac"

Warning: Long, indulgent and emotional post follows.

Wowzers! That was quite hard work. I entered my first 100 mile not really knowing what to expect. I kinda thought it would be like running 100km but longer. But it turned out to be completely different. I was battling very diffent demons, mostly deep fatigue, crushing sleepiness a night, the knowledge that at the pathetic pace I was going even 10km was going to take 2-3 hours.

Up to CP 2 I was fine, even the dreaded Congewai rd seemed bearable. I was taking my time at the CPs, no need to rush. The hill after Congewai was where the trouble started, I thought it was even hotter than the road. I passed 3 people on that hill who looked finished, sat down and in trouble. Managed to run OK to Watagan Creek but the next climb really took its toll and essentially from then on I could run very little for the rest of the race. Gentle downhills were about all I could manage a barely passable shuffle on.

I was also plagued by nausea, any effort apart from the slowest walk along a flat piece of trail made eating impossible and drinking difficult. Did everyone see the great big python curled up 2 feet off the track just before Walkers Ridge Rd? He was a beauty.

One strange thing happened before the Basin, I passed someone in an even worse state than me after Watagan Creek hill (I think). Then I passed him again just before the descent into the Basin. We could both not work out how he got ahead of me, he said I must have got lost but I am almost 100% sure I did not. Very odd.

The coolness of night was welcome but to be honest did not improve my pace any. And in the small hours I was soo sleepy that I was praying for sunrise to wake me up. And I did feel briefly better. The next 12 hours were pretty much a blur of feeling pretty low and plodding along incredibly slowly. I would get into a CP and manage to eat, then I would have about 2hrs (maybe 8km) of feeling semi-reasonable. Then it was back to being a zombie. Having run pretty much alone since CP 2 was also taking its toll, I was finding it hard on not to dwell on how miserable I was feeling and as I did I just walked slower and slower.

Coming into Yarramallong I passed the party house and two very drunk blokes were leaving. Their mood was a bit ugly so I was little worried but they seemed pre-occupied with just shouting.

Leaving Mooney Mooney I was very worried about the cut , I had about 6hrs but I knew it was going to be scorching plus if I took one wrong turn I was gone. Tim made us laugh, we are all sitting there completely buggered with 5hrs to go, Tim has showered and looking fresh and he pipes up 'I have a blister'.

I was extremely lucky to manage to catch up with Brick and Seris, I knew if I could keep up I should be OK. It was great walking along with these guys, we still had lows but at least I could occasionally tease Brick. He was not receptive but it kept me going!

Stepping on to the beach at Patonga was awesome beyond words. I needed to sit down a second because I felt so nauseous and I wanted to be able to really enjoy the moment. We saw all the people clapping and cheering and I was just so happy. What a moment, to run into the finish hand in hand with Brick and Seris. They said I should run in the middle because it was my first 100, I said it was because it was the good (Seris), the bad (me), and the ugly (Brick). Thanks guys!

I would like to thank Dave and the Trotters. The volunteers at the CPs were great, so helpful and friendly and they all seemed just really nice people. Dave said 'well I'm glad you enjoyed the race'. Well I wouldn't put it like that! But it was an awesome experience.

 

"Gingerfox"

Well it was definitely a tough day out there. I woke up (late! how do you sleep in on a race morning!?) and jumped out of bed and my left knee yelled at me. I walked around on it whilst getting ready and the pain faded away so I forgot about it and carried on.

I started off slowly - I think I was 2nd or 3rd last in the first 5miles or so and then picked up the pace a little. I was "only" in the 100km but seeing whippet around gave me confidence that whilst going out slow it probably was a smart move.

I was feeling pretty good running along a little behind who a couple of runners (I think Seris and somebody else) until we hit Congewai road where I decided to walk. The heat was bad but I was feeling ok and knew I could cool down at the aid station and wasn't too worried about it all. I caught up with runclimb just before the checkpoint and headed in there with him.

Leaving the checkpoint I started out walking back along the road and kept the pace slow until I found some shade, when I thought I would pick up the pace. This pretty much coincided with the start of the climb up the communications tower - so, I won't be picking up the pace then! Near the start of that climb my left knee came back to haunt me. There wasn't a "pop" moment or anything but it gradually got stiffer and more painful with each step. Putting any weight on it was terrible. I popped a couple of panedeine and carried on hoping for the best. On the flatter trails it wasn't too bad as I could run without bending my knee too much but on any steep hills, up or down, the pain was back in full throttle.

I ran for a fair while with Kolya and we were oddly overtaken by the train of 100milers who had taken a wrong turn. We carried on to the basin and the descent into the basin (very happy to follow people who knew where they were going there!) confirmed that I had to pull out. I got into the basin checkpoint and decided to sit and wait half an hour to see if it got any better, but it seized up more and that was it - game over for me. A dissapointing result, but I'm being philosophical about it. I learned a lot in that race and I know I made the right decision there as today I'm moving at best at around 2km/hr. Hopefully it's nothing too serious though and I'll be back in action before too long.

After the race was the next endurance event of getting into the B&B. Why would they leave keys out without any room numbers!?

A massive congratulations to all of the finishers in either event. It was a tough course on a very tough day. I'm hoping to be back with some unfinished business next year. Also, huge thanks to all of the volunteers who did a fantastic job of looking after us all out there.

 

"TooKeen"

Well what a day!! My preperation was thrown into chaos 6 weeks ago when I very successfully rolled my ankle, so with only 8 short and painfull runs from then it was with some trepedation that I towed the start line. My goal was to give it a go and see what happens, and hopefully get in uner 20hrs. I chose to wear road shoes as my trail shoes are not as cushioned and tended to make my ankle very cranky after as short while. I had to give myself the best possible chance of finishing this thing. Started at a nice comfortable pace to Wakefield Trackhead, where I met Otis for the first of many times. Travelled quite comfortably with Gareth, ERB and couple of others to CP1. So far so good. Left CP1 hoping to be able to meet someone for a while, was lucky enough to meet Nick(Runclimb) and chat about many topics which made the miles tick over. Got to the road and after the down hill into Congewoi thinking he was still behind me, but no sign of him. (Sorry to hear you had to pull the pin). Walked along the stretch of road with ipod in hoping to make the time go faster. Great to see Trailpudding on the roadin as well. Due to my injury I hadn't run past this point, I knew it would be tough metally a swell as physically - I was right! I followed a group, I think Whippet, Tall Geoff & Seris to the Comms Tower, I was glad to have them in front of me. Had a rest at the top and then headed off. Cought up to Otis for the second time and ran all the way to CP 3 with him and another bloke whose name I didn't get or did but can't remember! From about 60k was finding it hard to eat, so I made sure I kept drinking. Finally got to CP3 feeling terrible and took more time there than I had intended but I needed to. I came good with some food after about 30 mins and left Cp3 by myself but eventually coufgt up to Dutchie and Carl. I had done a training run with them and it was great to have their company again. We climbed out without any problems, onto the road where Dutchie set a cracking pace. Stuggled to keep up to be honest. The trail to the road seemed to go one forever with my quads screaming at me. Once on the road Otis and a couple of others passed us. Good to see them again. The road to Yarramolong was long and draining. Great to see Trailpudding agan, looking fresh as she trotted past, great run Kirrily! Passed the "Party House" not far to go now. Was happy to see the town and knew that I had done it! Finished in 19:17. Very happy with that, and boy the beer that I promised myself at the end didn't fail to hit the spot!

Thanks to Dave and all the Trotters and all checkpoints, thanks to the TooKeen crew - Unbelievable - Above and beyond. Well done to all that completed under such tough conditions.

 

"Beaver"

Wow - that was fun. I do like that track.

Dave Byrnes and every single volunteer are to be congratulated and thanked for organising and hosting such a terrific event. I said to Dave Byrnes last year that he had a bloody tough event, this year I said the same thing, but I may have used a sharper expletive.

My sister Rebecca crewed for me the whole event and she was joined at Yarramalong by my fiance Laura to help out through the night. They did an impeccable job and really got me in and out of those checkpoints quickly so thanks.

Ponkey joined me at Yarramalong as my pacer he led me flawlessly all the way through the night and into Patonga. I had promised him bacon and eggs months ago and I knew the pub stopped serving breakfast at 10am. I don't think he needed the bacon and eggs though, because he was busy eating 800 odd spider webs between Yarramalong and Patonga. Some webs were so thick that they would cover your eyes. I hope he goes on now and lights it up at Kepler. Thanks mate, hope I can return the favour sometime.

I'll write a race report over the next week or so.

Congratulations to Spud and Ourimbah (not bad for a grandad!) in the 100 mile race. Peggy, Robin and MQ all going sub 30 and running great races.

Blue Dog - your advice is always spot on and very much appreciated. I was worried someone may have spiked the water at Watagan Creek Rd based on your reaction to drinking it.

See you all in a few weeks - looking forward to actually getting a 5km, 10km, half marathon, marathon and 100km road PB all for the one race fee.

 

"Blue Dog"

The GNW course struck back this year with the most brutal conditions yet.

Beaver's winning time in that heat is a seriously top-shelf effort. Spud wasn't too far behind either, and big applause for the other top seven finishers who all went under 30 hours.

There are many people I'm very happy for; Luis on debut, Exe, Gareth, and my three fellow Slammers Seris, Brick and Hermie to name just a few.

To the others who fell prey to the GNW monster; pick yourselves up and come back again. You will have learned much and seen the beast at its worst.

Like most others, my race became simply about survival. After nasty dehydration, dizziness and hallucinations just 75 kms into the run, I focused on reaching The Basin (83km) and spent time there rehydrating (2.2 litres!) & getting back in shape. Race report later.

Thanks heaps Dave and the Trotters,

 

"Trailpuddin"

I've done it! I've completed my first 100km!! Reality is only just starting to sink in.

The journey toward the finish line started a bit over 12 months ago when I met someone who has been a very bad influence on my life since; Martin Dugdale. He put a very silly idea into my head that I could possibly, with a heap of training, run the 6ft track marathon 2009. How ridiculous! At the time I was thinking I had a big day out in the bush if I clocked up 15km. I had been looking lustfully at 6ft for about 5 years and never thought I could do something like that. But with a bit more encouragement from said bad influence and other CR's, and running up and down lots of hills, I managed to complete 6ft. So what's the link between 6ft and GNW100? Don't ask me it just happened. It feels like one minute I was completely freaking out about how I'm going to do a 45km run and the next minute I'm crossing the finish line of a 100km epic. I guess all things are relative. You push a boundary and the world gets redefined.

I had a great run on Saturday and enjoyed every minute of it...well ok the climb out of Congewai completely sucked but the rest of it was outstanding. I did most of my panicking about a lack of preparation a week or so before the race so by Friday I was feeling relaxed and ready to go. While I was out there for 19+ hrs the day seemed to go really quickly. I think it’s because the terrain varies so much, every corner brings new scenery and challenges. I was also tracking the progress of fellow GNW Sprint Princesses cazzy1, lotsahare and Lynda throughout the day and was excited to hear how they were progressing at each checkpoint which gave me a good boost too.

Highlights from the day:

- I LOVED the night running, particularly through the rainforest sections. That was my favourite bit. - Catching the Dutchie train on a couple of occasions, but also promptly disembarking because I couldn't keep up - Running along with CR's at different stages. I'm not much of a chatter out on track but the rhythm of runners moving together is always an enjoyable experience. - Hearing (my eyes were diverted!) the sheer pleasure one runner got from skinny dipping in Watagan creek. - Cazzy1's smiling face as she came into CP3 - Dave & the Volunteers were just superb; encouraging, supportive, thoughtful - Being able to see our 100 miler legends in action close up; completely and utterly awe-inspiring - Discovering that not sweating much has its advantages (who knew!) - I only needed 9 litres of water for the whole race - Staving off a chase-down by TooKeen in the last 2kms - cheeky critter - Finishing as we had trained, with Enduro a few hundred metres in front of me

Low lights:

- Trail carnage. - Seeing way too much vomiting. There was one runner at the Basin who really could have entered the Guinness Book of Records. I've never seen anything like it in my life. - Accidentally mixing Endura with whatever the electrolyte was at the checkpoints. What it tasted like defies description and that's all I had to drink between CP2 - Watagan creek. Newbie error. Won't happen again.

The thank you list is enormous. There's no chance that I could have completed this run without all the support and sheer generosity of CR's who happily let me learn from their experience. Thanks to all the supercoaches who have offered advice throughout the year. ERB has been incredibly patient with all of my questions and helping me understand ultra running from the 'chicks' perspective. A special thanks to Koala1 & Chelbub for all their encouragement. And finally thanks to my training buddy Enduro who gave me someone to chase on our training runs and put up with my bossiness! (it was handy in the end, right?).

Well done to all the finishers. Way to go SlowManiac!

TP

p.s. Before anyone else asks I have zip, flatline, completely and utterly no interest in doing any race measured in miles rather than km's. Not going to happen...ever.

 

"Thomas"

WOW. That was totally insane every minute and every step of the way. Every person on that course whether a runner, official, volunteer or crew should be congratulated for taking on that beast in those conditions.

Great running by so many even for those that DNF'd.

I had some great running with Robyn Cameron and Marie Doke for the first 2 legs. Also Milov off and on. Milov can you keep your jokes to yourself. Also Dave - sorry about your DNF mate, I know that you were really keyed for this. Also RawAussieAthlete - I hope it happens for you next year. Good to meet the Riddler who was looking strong until I saw that he was out at CP3. PommieJo I hope I wasn't being too rude when I said "why the hell do you guys hold this race in November, it's crazy".

The heat in the Congewai Valley was incredible.

I was gone for all money at CP3. I was meant to leave CP3 with Nikolay but instead lay in the car for one and half hours saying things like - stuff ultra running, what am I trying to prove anyway, what's it all mean, who cares if I DNF at 83k or 104k it's still a DNF. My crew were reasoning with me to pull and i had made up my mind that I was going to pull in 15 minutes if I didn't feel any better. My legs felt good but the pain in my back and the nausea were the problem. Josie aka Mrs Tallgeoff thanks so much for your support as well. I had a Milanta antacid tablet and within 5 minutes I was putting my pack on, checked out and went.

Seriously the rest of it was a blur, running and power walking with Nikolay who I caught up again at CP4 and Steve who we met on route. I remember the dawn breaking, going through CP5 still feeling good, ITB pain that stopped me running steep down hills, blisters the full width on both my feet, calculating the cut, snakes, heat, total exposure, cursing Dave Byrnes, thinking that saturday seemed like a milennium ago, worrying about whether the guys behind us would make the cut, I even prayed to God to let us make the cut - it's just wouldn't be fair to come all this way with no result, but mostly I wanted to run down that beach and just soak up the finish, kiss that pole and sit down.

When we hit the beach we knew we had made it. I've never felt so good in any race to finish like that with people yelling our names and cheering. That was awesome. Finished 35.48.

Dave Byrnes and the Terrigal Trotters, and that lovely lady at CP2 who looked after me last year (sorry I'm hopeless with names) thank you for giving us the beast from hell.

I was really estatic to see Tallgeoff coming down that hill and on to the beach right behind us, actually I couldn't believe it. Horrie and Bluebel I'm really feeling for you guys.

Nikolay what can I say - you're a legend mate and I'm glad we knocked that one off together.

 

"Enduro"

Found it tough with the heat but still enjoyed my first 100km ultra. Must be a record for the amount of water I've drunk in one day. Great to meet so many CR's especially in the early stages when I still had enough energy to chat. After the sweaty climb out from Heaton Gap I enjoyed the mixture of single forest trail and 4wd tracks to CP1. Cruised along Georges Road and Cursed the hot dusty Congewai Road before reaching Cp2 were I downed a bottle of Powerade. Tackled the climb up to the communications tower then ran with Seris and Tall Geoff for most of the way to Watagan creek were I backed off for the next big hill. Meet a lot of people along the way to CP3 (sorry not to good with names). Found it hard to leave CP3 but eventually did with Otis and Lee. Finally arrived at the Cedar Bush track head and watched Otis sprint down the road before forcing myself along the final 11km. Really struggled along that final stretch and barely able to walk when Trailpuddin came flying by. Got a big HTFU and somehow managed to run/jog those last few kilometers into Yarramalong.

Thanks Otis for that motivation to keep moving from CP3, Trailpuddin for all that training - your a very strong runner and can do anything including 100miles, Martin Dougdale and Brick for that advice on starting slow and pacing myself to finish and of course a huge thanks to all the Volunteers and organizers who gave up there time. Well done Cliffold you flew home think i only got to see you once at CP1.

 

"Horrie"

Thanks for all for sharing their stories. It was an amazing event and probably my favourite of all time. Being out on the trail for a day and a half and witnessing first hand what people had to endure in those conditions was something that I will never forget.

Too many individuals to mention but those of us out there know what I mean.

To my champion wife who never lost sight of her goal until we simply ran out of time, you have proven you have what it takes to tackle races that test you to your absolute limits.

Thanks to Dave and the Terrigal Trotters for putting on another amazing event. The fact that the race reached its limit of 100 competitors prove that you have something pretty special here.

To Marg and Gary, thanks for being the most amazing crew and pacer anybody could ever hope for. You always made sure that our every need was catered for. You ensured our checkpoint stops were minimal and that we had more than enough food to choose from.

We now have a year to find that elusive 37 minutes. Cya all next year.

 

"MQ"

Wow, what a tough two days at the office. I think its a great lesson that no matter how hard you train or how much experience you have, its luck of the draw if you get through such a race in those conditions. I feel really lucky to have escaped the worst of the side effects.

A big thanks needs to go to my crew, the ever forbearing Mr MQ, who puts up with my training habits and constant tiredness (I like to call it focus) and then staying up for me at the event to make the vegemite sandwiches and remind me that he didn't come all this way to watch me walk:)

To Brad, whom I now term my "Silver medal pacer" who got me through the bad bits after Yarramalong and completed his first Ultra at what must have seemed a snails pace. Well done.

To Dave and the Trotters for organising another awesome event, we really appreciate the time and effort you invest into it each year....

It was lovely to meet all the people along the way, Trail Pudding, I was very pleased to see you made it, well done girl! Rob the fireman – WELL DONE! So glad to see you made it too, another 100km first timer. ERB, we didn't get to run as much together this time which was a shame but had there been one more section I would have been in your dust – thankyou for all your advice and encouragement. Stephan the Frenchman from WA - the fireflies at Cedar Brush head were awesome weren't they, it was a pleasure to be your tour guide for that section, I look forward to see how you go on your return assault. Those kookaburras wont be laughing next time.....Dutchie and Karl, I was much luckier than you last year with the weather for my first 100m, don't let it deter you. Andrew V – gosh what a PB and an awesome race, as a fellow 2008 100m debutant, I am very proud of you. Ourimbah, a podium for you, well done, you deserve it after all that MM has put you through in training. Dan, you had the right idea this time, just the wrong calf muscle, it could happen to anyone – you have what it takes. Gareth, amazing effort, two days of blistering heat to suffer through for your first, well done. I am not sure what that blister powder was meant to do BTW, I had then from 30km onwards........Well done Mick for 4th place on a tough day and you did an excellent time. Team DOKE – Marie it was a tough day out for a fresh off the plane English lady, next time....and Graham, thankyou for your cheers and help along the way, always much appreciated. Robin – I knew you would be a force to be reckoned with – well done on 2nd place on a tough day for your debut. Bluebell and Horrie - well done on sticking it out!!

Are you all bored yet? One more thing – the people who designed the GNW are absolute SADISTS –WE HAVE BEEN DOWN TO ENOUGH CREEKS THANKS ALL THE SAME – they really know how to take you around the most difficult way don't they – so cruel. All in the name of Views .......

 

"Hermie"

It's not about making it easy for a bunch of softies.

I want to add my thanks to Dave and the Terrigal Trotters again for this year. The organisation gets bigger and better each year. I'm sure everybody has a small gripe but all in all, for the competitors it seemed to go like clockwork. As usual we see the same folk each year and hopefully again next year.

I was amazed by the stories of the heat at Congewai. I arrived at the school just after 1.30 and didn't think it too bad. It was much hotter I thought, 30 minutes later but whilst I suffered in it, it didn't seem in the forties. Of course I had to walk most of the section from the comms tower to Pig and Sow Road but was thankful to reach Basin in daylight.

Something the later people might not realise is how dangerous a fall could be on the trek in and out of Basin. The drop offs are quite severe and there are some large drops onto rocks. Must remind Dave to include a warning next year.

As usual for me ,I found a running partner, albeit not as attractive as I usually like, so thanks to Neil for the long night and day. It's hard to believe that somebody can walk that fast. Since you're probably in divorce court after the weekend there's always C2K.Disappointing for me was the fact I spent far too much time walking when I should have been running. Oh well.

Also thanks to Jane Thompson for looking after all my needs at CPs 2 & 3.Hopefully at basin they were able to spare the milk I drank after emptying my stomach trying to eat the spag bol that's been yummy in previous years.

My times at CPs 1 & 2 are almost identical for three years. Gotta go slower.

I'm a lot interested in what happened to Marie Doke. She was going strong.

Very surprised not to see Tim and Whippet after leaving basin.

Was amazed when told at Yarramalong that over 50% had dropped.

Leaving Mooney Mooney with Brick 55 mins behind from previous checkpoint, I felt the target on my back for the last kms.Not that I'm competitive.

Sorry Neil for making you run on Patonga beach, but no way was I gonna walk it in.

Wish I could have finished wearing that hat.

Edit

With the popularity of this race, entries could go quickly next year.

And commiserations especially to the raw aussie athlete, Grant. Awaiting what went wrong

 

"Spud"

Wow that was a hot one, kudos to all who tackled the elements. Outstanding performance and well deserved win by Beaver, focus and determination paying off. Big runs by Peggy and Ourimbah too. Well done guys.

Some highlights.

• Sharing some trail with Dog during the hotter part of the day, good times and indeed tough times.
• The sun going down and the heat finally relenting.
• The volunteers who make running this thing crewless quite easy really.
• Running down into the Basin, one of my favourite sections of the course.
• The huge python on the climb out of the Basin
• Not taking a wrong turn off Walkers Ridge Road this year
• The beautiful long downhill along Kingtree Rd.
• Seeing a couple of 100kers finish at Yarramalong.
• Finding a “new” gear whilst night running in the bush, just magic.
• The smell of dawn and the impending finish line.
• A 50 min PB for the final section.
• Touching the sand and then the pole at Patonga Beach.
• A swim in the ocean and followed by a cool beer.
• Watching the emotion of the field finish their epic journeys on Sunday. .

Lowlights:

• A smashed pair of Tevas, completely destroyed.
• Few blisters and bruised feet.
• No Hiroki.

I’m still on a bit of a high after another very satisfying run. Special mention to coach Martin “Phibes” Fryer who has given me the kick I needed and helped me pick it up a notch or three. Cheers mate. Thanks to Dave and the TTs once again, wave starts next year? Report to come.

 

"Ourimbah"

Firstly before I ramble on I wanted to say congrats to Andrew, amazing run and well deserved. You have every detail covered there is not another runner that is better organised than you. To Peggy, Spud and MQ fantastic effort on what was an eventful day. To everyone that even started congrats.

3.00am the alarm screams out and echoes right through the house. The family is up doing their thing getting ready to travel to Teralba.We arrive at Teralba and I leave my crew there while I pick up Meredith and Dan who are doing the 100 miles also. I find myself walking around in my usual nervous state wondering how the heat was going to affect the run. 6.00am and finally we set off. A nice easy pace for the first hour as I tagged along w ith Milov and Rod just having general chit chat it was good to catch up with both as I haven’t run with Milov since he was scared of a random cow in a paddock. I reminded him of what laid ahead not the run but the cattle in the paddocks that we had to run through. I made it to CP1 by myself feeling ok.3 minutes later I was off doing the 2nd leg I ran most of this leg by myself until Congewai road where I meet up with Levi and Craig, Craig was gone and was keen to pull out, I felt like running a bit but didn’t take much talking into for a walk. Craig and I ran / walked the remaining part of congewai road I swear it was at least 40 degrees. We arrived at CP2 and Craig decided to pull the pin. CP2.. 52 km’s 7 hours and over 8.5 liters of fluid already.

Managed to get out of CP2 without much hassle and teamed up with Terry “The calf Man” Coleman. I told him to go ahead but I think he was feeling as bad as I was by then. It had taken us around 1 hour 20 minutes to reach the top. We were both had it, but keep pushing through. We would lead each other at various parts but were always within 500 mts of each other. By the time we had managed to reach the unmanned water stop I had drank another 2.5 liters and needed to fill up. Terry and I met again with this poor runner just completely had it.I think he was wondering how to get out of there. We chat for a couple minutes, passed on some succeed tablets and climbed the hill. Terry and I left together but by the time I was half way he was 150 mts in front. I finally made it to the top by this time by myself again “Beavers” words came back to haunt me “anything more than a walk Darrel”. I set off again and managed to pick up Terry coming into CP3.Had a bit longer stop but not to bad for me and we are off on the 100km finishers leg. Terry left a little before but that was ok as I started to play around with my Garmin charger and managed to fall over and down the side of the embankment. Lucky for dead trees, which stopped me falling to far, I managed to climb up to the trail and set off walking. Finally got to Kingtree and started to run a little, at one stage I thought I was on a treadmill I could feel and see my legs moving but I wasn’t going anywhere. I looked down at the garmin and I was running around 6.5 km per hour. I decided to walk and pop 2 Gu’s, which made me feel better. Went over the new bridge and hit Cedar Brush road in daylight, which was good. I ran into another 100km runner half way through, we had a chat for a while and managed to run and walk my way to CP4.I arrived around 9.00pm and worked out I had drank around 16 liters by then not counting a couple of cokes and some water ice blocks. By this time food was hard to handle but managed some creamed rice and a Gu.After about 7 minutes I left with Joel who would pace me through to Mooney Mooney. Less than a minute out of the CP Terry goes past with Keith pacing him. They seemed to moving ok, so I decided to keep going along at our own speed and see how things went. We managed to catch Terry and Keith around the halfway distance to CP5, we had a small chat and I felt like running I could see Terry needed to spell so we left them and headed towards CP5.Even though I live just near this part of the course and have ran it plenty of times I fell into Ourimbah Creek I think Joel didn’t know if he should laugh or help pull me out. This is the second time since the start I have to run in wet shoes and as I found out was the making of my first blisters in 6 months of running. When we arrived at CP5 I changed my shoes had a coffee and set off to do the so-called easy leg. I was fine until around the 10 km mark. We had the old run / walk thing going. I felt crap for the last 3-4km’s into CP6 and ended up stopping and having a break, the problem is having a break it is harder to get going. Finally made it to CP6 where Joel left me to run the last leg on my own. I knew Spud was around 20 minutes in front of me but didn’t know how far the next runner was which I thought would have been Terry but it ended up being Robin Cameron behind me. By this time I was depending on coke and water ice blocks to get me through. I set off with a target of 4.5 half hours to do the leg. I kept thinking what was Dave Brynes thinking no more than 5 on the bridge at one time. Joking isn’t he that kept me amused for the next 3-4 km’s as I climbed the first major hill. Felt a bit better so I decided to run. I arrived at the unmanned water stop wondering how far spud was and how far the next runner was behind. Moved along for the 6-7 kms but after that found it difficult to run and just to walk was a pain .I started to think that 100m miles is only 161 odd km’s surely the TT know this. By the last hill I was moving slower than a turtle with no legs. I just get to the top of the last hill and I see 2 runners coming the other way. After a small chat I just happen to ask if there was any runners in front…waiting, waiting.. Yeh there is a lady 500 mts in front no to be exact she is 800mts in front. Ok see ya I want to run now. I thought why couldn’t I do this before. Anyway 2-3 km I caught up with Peggy. I new she was injured so I had a small chat and said I don’t think anyone is behind let’s get in there together. Peggy was keen for me to go ahead but I felt a bit low as she is / was clearly a better runner anyway we walked for awhile when someone Peggy new was seeing how she was. When they started to chat I left saying I will wait on the bottom, Peggy told me it’s no worry keep going. I get to the bottom and run along 100 meters and waited for what I think was an hour but really only 7-8 minutes. I ended up convincing myself to keep going you have waited long enough. Anyway crossed the line in 27.13, which is by far under what my goal was. I was always aiming for 29 hours but with the heat I thought under 30 would be great. I feel privileged to finish, as this is by far my favorite trail. Because this is where I ran my first Ultra and there are a few hills to slow the real runners down it’s the only way to get close to some of these amazing athletes.

To my crew which happens to be my wife and in-laws I can’t thank them enough. Dave and all the TT the support is amazing, It picks you up when you come into a CP to see people that are that enthusiastic. Also Sharon for the support along the run and Mark for feeding us at the finish. Only 362 days before I can do it again

Some stats.

175km.27 hrs 13 minutes, Over 25 liters of fluid, 4 small cokes, 10 Water ice blocks, 14 Gu’s,8 bags of Chomps, chips, fruit cake, creamed rice, vegemite sandwiches and peanut butter sandwiches, power bars

 

"Bluebel"

I want to quote Seris when she said "How the hell can you get within 60 sec of last years time in a run like that?" In 2008 Rachel Waugh clocked a time of 27.47 missing out on the female course record set in 2007 by Carol L by 60 sec. Her time was 27.46.

Next year i have to find 60 sec each hour and 61 sec in the last to make the cut.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU WHO DID MAKE IT.Especially those we were with close to the unmanned water station and beyond.

Nick Barkley finally a finisher so happy for you, Tall Geoff CONGRATULATIONS,( maybe talking about my 1st 100 miler with you may have helped me ), Bill so consistent , Tom and Nickolay you guys were moving so well in end. I would have liked to be able to keep following you both and run "like the wind" as whippet commented to Horrie that he had to to make the cut. And run 5 min k's as Seris did at GOW to make the cut. I hope with more training, positive self talk, planning and determination i will be able to do it.

Congratulations to everyone involved in this great weekend. As i looked at the faces in the photos taken by CEG-Craig at the start of the run, every single person made up the colourful tapestry of GNW 2009, and each has their own story.

Mine began pretty well , although my right side was not moving through as well as i would have liked which caused me to fall 3 times- on the flat.After CP2 i was moving well. Horrie and i were slightly ahead of our splits and i worked very hard not to get distracted at crucial CP's Congewai and The Basin.

I loved the run into Congewai as we passed a lot of people there and i overcame the heat. We even saw Kolya with the little umbrella hat- it was cute. What we ate then kept Horrie and i going until 6.30 pm, but obviously we drank a lot. Got into The Basin at 8.34 pm, quick stop and out again. Thanks to our wonderful crew Gary and Marg these stops were as quick as possible.

The whole run went well i overcame my stomach issues this time by diluting the staminade even further than usual and having less, simple CHO's and more complex CHO's. Power foods were sweet potato, avocado and blueberries, watermelon and rockmelon.

Running up to Yarramalong the female winner of the 100k's tore past us like there was no tomorrow amazing. Here we picked up our pacer Gary and headed off.

This was one of my slowest legs as i began to get tired, but really didn't feel the drop dead exhaustion i felt at Glasshouse 100 miler when i went past the 100k point. The course is so different and GNW rolls along.... i had to go with it. Got to Somersby at 7.40 am 10 min over our planned time.

From Somersby to Mooney Mooney SHOULD HAVE been easier but it wasn't. Good running if you can, I COULDN'T. We saw some beautiful calves on the Robinson rd i think, and this got us talking and laughing about all our previous hallucinations. BUT THESE WERE REAL. It was a long 17.8 k's and by the time we got to Mooney Mooney my mood was declining. A lot of emphasis had been placed on getting to this C.P at 11.am to have time in the bank. Horrie wanted 7 hrs to do the last section. Sounds a lot but i needed it. When we left just before 1130am this gave us 6.30 to get to Patonga.

Because I got heat stress and dehydration on the exposed area Cape Ottway at GOW , i was very apprehensive about entering the plateaus on this section of the course,i considered dropping here," What was the point if i wasn't going to make it anyway" the demons were telling me. I disclosed to Gary how i was feeling and he as very supportive explaining i needed to block all this out and take one step at a time.

As we reached the plateaus i got nervy Gary reminded me of the breeze, Horrie reiterated how the weather was cooling down, this reorientated me to that reality. And great i was still alive.We began to move faster up and down, i relaxed but i also slowed.

Somewhere between Scopas Peak and the unmanned water stop Tom Silk and Nikolay caught us. I fed off their energy for a couple of k's and darted down the technical i couldn't keep up and burnt heaps of sugar trying but got the lift i needed. Next Whippet, Tall Geoff and Zoey (pacer), Nick and Bill caught us Whippet said we had 20 min to get to the UMWS ran then. We got there with 10 min to spare.15 k's to go- 3 hrs to get there. We left them and ran again. I think this is where the wheels really started to fall off. I needed to know the course better from here. It seemed to go on forever and i was looking for signs to Patonga too early and when they didn't come i was left confused. By this stage all my motivational information was gone, and this is when i REALLY needed it. I had long forgotten about the paralympian KURT FEARNLEY crawling The Kokoda Track( btw he finished today) .We struggled to know how far to go. I think we reached Warrah Trig road with 20 min to go. When i realised time was running out i got slower- not good. As we navigated the last down hill technical i struggled to make sense of what missing the cut meant.

I knew the end wasn't going to be like it was for those before the cut, i knew the end wasn't going to be nail biting like it was for those sooooo close as id seen in previous years. Was this a finish at all? Do i kiss, touch or ignore the finishing post,would anyone even be left on the wharf. We came out of the bush i scanned the wharf, numb, a bell rang i thought it was for the ferry. We ran along the beach, numb the bell rang again, oh it was for us - hurry up hurry up we want to go home it said.... but no- all i could see were the beautiful smiling faces of the people still left all I could hear was the loud applause of their clapping hands, acknowledging us finishing the effort was still appreciated. Thankyou all for such a wonderful aknowledgement, thanks for waiting.

 

"TallGeoff"

If you wanted to get the most from a weekend I couldn’t think of anything more engrossing than the 100 miles at GNW. I believe that we are meant to run long distances surrounded by nature. It’s one of life’s ultimate pleasures, to be outside. I don't think we were intended to be swinging iron sticks at little round projectiles on manicured lawns, or sitting on our backsides watching mindless 'unreal' trash on the TV.
There is something wonderfully base about running through the bush, battling the elements, with a bunch of like-minded crazies. To me it’s the ultimate celebration of being alive.

I lived a world of emotions in that 36 hours - from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. The worst low : just before Somersby Checkpoint. As I trudged in to Somersby at 9am on Sunday, my legs that were shot, my blistered feet hurt with every step and the sun was already beating down. I had made up my mind - there was no way I was going on. (It's amazing what a bowl of porridge and a bit of tough love can do!). The highest high : Hitting the beach at Patonga. It made me teary thinking about it during the run, it makes me teary now and it certainly made me an emotional mess when I finally touched that sand!

I am not going to write a full race report - there are so many brilliantly written accounts echoing what I went through, that I'm not sure my offering would add anything! But I would like to recognise and thank a few people.

To Dave and the volunteers - thank you all for giving up your weekend (and more) for us and going out of your way to help. You have created a wonderful race.

To my wife, Jocie - I am sure that washing my filthy feet and nursing me like a baby on the Sunday night was not in our wedding vows - but you still did it! Thank you for your brilliant crewing and support.

To the best pacer there ever was, Zoe - I could not have done it without you. Thank you for you everything, and for getting us there with loads of time to spare. Your turn next...!

To my running companions at various times along the way, Ray (Eagle), Jane (Seris), Kevin (Brick), Andy (Whippet), Nick and Bill - Thank you all for sharing the Journey.

 

"EXE"

I’ve climbed my Trail Running Everest and I still have all my fingers and my toes and feet will recover. This event is the pinnacle of two years training, racing and learning from my peers. I am most grateful to all those people who have given me the inspiration to push the boundaries and like me still enjoy the simple pleasure of bush running.

Thanks to all my running buddies that kept me company along the way – Nikolay, Robin, Milov, ERB and happy chatty Cliffold. A huge thank you to Hermie for steering me through the shortest course from Yarramalong to the “100 mile” finish. I was just getting the hang of walking when Hermie insisted on running along Patonga Beach.

A bit untidy of me at the end – it must have been the combination of blisters, bruises, cold, hunger, dehydration and tiredness I suppose. Was I so different? I really would have liked to be an active part of the rousing reception committee. Bummer!

Finally thanks to Dave and generous Terrigal Trotters for hosting and staffing this wonderful event.

 

"Whippet Man"

I am too tired to write a report so this is what I sent to some friends OS who inquired about my race:

It was way ugly. Never again will I attempt a 100m off 25km per week training! My feet are trashed. I got tendonitis in the ankle near the start. All the soles of my feet are bruised horribly. The nerves keep jamming between my toes and stopping me dead. I have huge blisters. All my toenails are bruised, inflamed and raw. I will lose most of the ones that are left. It reached over 40*C on the saturday on the road. More than 50% drop-out rate. Total carnage. I finished with 10 minutes to spare in 35:50 for equal second last. I was last for much of the race on the second day. I played tag with Bill. He finished 5 minutes behind me. I thought about dropping several times just so that I would end the streak. Still only 2 of us have run every year and finished: me and Dog. Unfortunately my first year was only the 100km. I rate it as one of my best all time finishes.

Thanks to Dave and the Trotters for putting me through hell and allowing me to survive. Thanks to those that shared the journey: runners, crew and vols that helped me along the way. You all know who you are, I am still too trashed to name you all. However, it was a special treat to share their first finish with Geoff and Nick and be shepherded in by Bill. Like Geoff said, it was rather emotional.

 

"Cliffold"

Thanks to Dave and the Trotters for putting on a truly great event The checkpoint volunteers were so helpful & friendly - thanks to all for giving up your day

Grateful to Enduro (& his Mum) for the ride up there & Solace for getting us to the start & popping up everywhere

During the day ran with so many different people the distance just flew by. I‘d done training runs with probably half the field so it was a great feeling to know everyone.

I do love running within earshot (that can be quite a few km ) of the Bunny, her laughter keeps everyone's spirits high - was great to see her lift and finish so strongly Ran a leg with Sailaway and another with Exe. Both first time 100 milers, both incredibly focussed and there was never any doubt that they would finish Saw a few goannas, that large black python coiled up waiting for it to get dark before pouncing on unsuspecting runners and the hundreds of fireflies as we went up the hill just after the basin. Was still feeling strong at Yarramalong & finally caught Mick here (so maybe he arrived a few hours before me) It did feel wrong to be stopping while the milers carried on

Highlight was being at Patonga next day, beer in hand, watching the finishing runs across the sand. No-one even considered leaving until team HorrieBel had been cheered to the post Commiserations to those who didn’t make it this year See you all in 2010

 

"Pipi"

I totally luv this run - a great combination of terrain, history and sillyness.

A big congratulations to Beaver and Spud who outclassed the rest.

I had a very enjoyable day out. There were moments of pain (okay probably hours) but they were still fun.

Not sure what happened to me - probably just blew up by being a reckless goose. Really struggled after the water drop on the 3rd leg (Watagan Creek?). Had a very volumess spew a few km's after the climb out of the waterdrop, followed by another fire hydrant type spew about 4 hours later at the Basin. It seemed my body stopped absorbing water until after it had rid itself of anything originating from the water drop. Then the energy krept back, and after having a very strange leg 4 to Yarramalong with Nikolay felt like a switch got turned back on from the magic soup.

I was very lucky to have a relaxing and sociable final three legs with my Pacer Joel - thanks so much.

What excites me the most about this run is that it runs through unknown hills in unknown villages and it is all just an eye opening adventure.

I am hoping big time that next years will not be on the weekend of 20-21st November, or a weekend eithor side of it because I am keen to have another crack.

 

"Brick"

This year I was very apprehensive at the start of the race, worried would be a better word for it.

I hate really hot weather when running.

Why ? You might ask.

Well I suffer really badly when I get excessively hot, my core temperature goes up and then I have problems with my guts and generally suffer a lot with vomiting. This has happened at every 6’ Track I have raced over the last 3 years and also happened at Trailwalker this year as well.

The weather forecast was for high 30s and humid. Worst possible conditions for me.

I started the race with a very conservative plan just run easy and see how I go.

Luis (sailaway) was going to run with me and luckily he had his lovely wife Sarah crewing for him and she offered to crew for me too which helped a lot. Thanks Luis and Sarah.

So nice easy running to CP1 (28.6km). Completed in 4:29 no problems at all but it was already starting to get warm. At the CP, I filled up my water containers, picked up some more food and also added Ice into the water bladder to keep my water cool.

About halfway to CP2, I started to feel very hot so I let the group I was running with go ahead including Luis. Decided to walk for a bit and felt better, so as a couple of people caught me up I slotted in behind them. Passed a couple of people and then suddenly I fell ass-over-tit land landed very heavily. The guys around me asked if I was OK. Dignity aside, I was fine, just a little skin off both of my knees but that was OK.

Started running again and bam, I vomit all the liquid I had drunk for the last hour or so. I tell you it was a big yawn the only good thing was no food came up. This was at about halfway to CP2 but all I could do was walk slowly. My guts hurt and I was really hot. Got to the road, it is was like hell, so hot if you did not feel it you will not have a clue how hot it really was. The problem I had at this point was I was getting hotter but could not drink or eat anything so no energy and dehydration could be a problem. I pass the turn off to go up the hill and Luis passes me going out from CP2 (this is about 1.5km out from CP2 so he is a good 30 minutes ahead) I suddenly have another vomit of water and just keep on walking. I get into CP2 (52.5/23.9kms)3:45 checkout quickly and go to the car on the road. All I do is fill up my bladder with ice and fill my two water bottles with coke/water mix have a quick drink of coke/water and leave.

Horrie and Belinda passed me along the road and go off into the distance as I continue to walk easy because it is really hot. Eventually I get into some tree cover and cool down a bit so my walking speeds up, this is as we are starting to go up the hill. After a while I see Horrie and Belinda. I am catching them and eventually I pass them maybe 10 minutes from the top. At the communications tower lots of people were having a rest after the climb but I just kept walking down the road. I feel good again so start to jog for about 10 minutes and again my guts feel like they are in a knot so I start walking. Horrie and Belinda pass me just as I vomit again. (Sorry about that nothing much I could do about it) Belinda offers me some drugs for Nausea but I decline and just soldier on. Then a group of about 5 people pass me Whippet, Seris, Tall Geoff, Thrax and for the life of me I can’t remember the other person. They runpassed checking that I am OK.

Whippet as normal tells me that it will cool down and then I'll catch them up. I try hard not to lose this group but I find it hard running. At one point before the downhill I vomit again and lose the group – no sign of them. So I just do my own thing and get to the downhill. I start running down the hill feeling better and see the back of the group, I think, “cool people to run with.” I catch them up going down the hill and do the river crossing. At this point we also caught up with Horrie and Belinda.

We fill up at the unmanned water stop and off again in front of Horrie and Belinda. Graham Wye is in front of us and we just go up the hill. I am just following everybody because I know Whippet knows this course like the back of his hand (though I now think the back of his hands must have changed recently).

So happily running and walking along with the group we slog up a hill and get to a junction with no GNW signs. I get my map out and try to workout if we have gone wrong, Graham Wye just starts walking up the hill not knowing if it is correct or not. (not a good idea Graham) We decide we have missed a turn off so we call back Graham and go back down the hill everybody running at a good pace as normally happens when you have gone wrong. We get back to the track and Whippet tells us his Garmin said it was 3km back so a good 6km detour and about 50 minutes wasted.

At this point Whippet is feeling a bit down but we all stay together. We pass more people that we had passed before even Dave sitting down vomiting - poor bugger, he did not look well.

We get our lights out and continue along to CP3(81.7/29.1)The Basin 6:49. As we are coming into the basin we talk about staying together, so after about 10 minutes I ask Whippet if he is ready. No is the reply, go without me. I let Seris know what he said and we decide to wait for Whippet and about another 10 minutes later he is ready so off we go. Dave decided to call it day at CP3 and Thrax was feeling sick so was going to take a bit longer.

We did pick up one more person and that was LBP and Tim was sleeping at CP3. So up the hill we go just walking at nice easy pace. I am out front with my map and finding the trail, I was feeling good but had decided to finish with the group seems how I would not be getting a PB even if I tried so may as well make it lots of fun and run/walk with lots of friends and save something for C2K.

I forgot to say we were getting close to the cutoffs at the basin. Bill was in and he is the unofficial back marker for the cutoffs. Seris was close behind me as we walked but it seemed like the two of us were walking a lot faster than the others as we kept waiting a lot for them. At one stage part way up a hill we waited and only Tall Geoff and Whippet caught up but we were starting to get worried about the cutoffs so carried on. Seris and I got to the road and could see Tall Geoff and whippet just behind us so carried on to CP4. We walked up the road passed a party with lots of screaming and yelling as we went passed.

We got into CP4(103.7/22.1kms)4:11. John was Seris crew and because Luis was so far ahead Sarah had passed my stuff on to John which was great. Filled up and off we go again bottles full of hot milo are a god send and off to CP5, with no sign of Whippet and Tall Geoff. This was quite a long leg and you feel it because the 100km people have finished so less people to catch up to and see around, I was happy to just stay with Seris until the end and I think she was happy to have the company. We mostly walked with a little bit of running to the next CP CP5(132.1/28.2kms)5:41.

We had a great bacon and egg roll- it was so good and I had more hot milo to drink. Filled my bottles and picked up some food and off we went down the road again. We had seen Horrie and Belinda leaving CP5 as we came in and in what seemed like not much time we could see them in the distance. I think it was a bit deceiving being a long straight road because it took us ages to catch them up. They had a pacer so we had a little chat and carried on, Belinda seemed to be rocking from her hips a lot as we caught them up so Seris asked her if she was OK, she said she was fine. We continued on with some short running sections. When you get close to the river you can nearly smell the next CP CP6(149.4/17.8kms) (well it seems like you can but again it seems to take a long time) but it was dawn by then feeling so much better.

I do like this section near the water - nice and cool and some good running bits except Seris was not feeling as good as me so we needed to walk most of it. We get into CP6(149.4/17.8kms)3:17 and fill up my bladder again with ice - the next section is long and very hot. I then pick up some food and away we go. We actually passed Slowmaniac very close to the CP and asked him to come with us but he was not ready when we left so he told us to go on. Before we got to the bridge Gareth had caught us up so then there were three.

The three of us just went walking away, we caught another guy Stephen Lowndes and he stayed just behind us until just before the unmanned water stop. We all filled up and carried on. It was again really hot being on the top of the ridge-line, very little shade so you just do what you have to and keep walking. Every now and again you pass a little stream so I would put my cap and bandana in to cool it down and it was great for cooling the body. I actually like the next section you just feel you are so close and you just get a good adrenalin boost (at least I do).

I need to say sorry Seris and Gareth because I kept walking away from them and then waiting impatiently around the next corner. We get to the beach and I wait for Seris and Gareth and we run in together Gareth in the middle of myself and Seris. Gareth congratulations on your first 100 mile finish.

Seris 3 down 1 to go for the Grand slam. Luis whom I was supposed to run with congratulations on your first 100 mile finish

Finish time 35:26

Finish Position 16

To everybody who started - it is one hell of a hard race so whether you DNFd or not, you did better than most to even get to the start line.

To my crew Sarah/John thanks for all the help you are such good friends it makes a lot of difference to know somebody is looking out for you at the next CP.

To Dave and Terrigal Trotters Thanks for putting on the race it has smashed me twice now but I will still be back God willing next year.

To everybody who crewed or helped at the aid stations, thanks I dips my lid to you all.