Salomon Trail Running Series Race #2 – Plenty Gorge – The Mayor of Mudtown

What a great run.

This weekend I took part in Race 2 of the Salomon Trail Running Series races at Plenty Gorge in Northern Melbourne. I had never seen Plenty Gorge so was quite looking forward to getting out and having a look around. So much so that Meaghan and I decided that we would make the race part of our long run this week. We’ve been training up for the Surf Coast Century in September and have been looking for new and interesting longer runs as part of our preparations.

Pre race runners not yet whingeing about the mud

With a 13 km course already marked out and plenty of trails in the area we had planned to go out early and run a lap of the course in slow time. Well, that was until Saturday afternoon, when it started raining.

By Saturday night we had successfully talked ourselves out of a super early start and decided to try our luck with keeping the motivation to run after the race. Perilous at the best of times, let alone after an hour and a half of cold, wet, muddy short sharp hills.

Having already done one of these runs last month I knew that somewhere towards the middle of the “medium” paced group would be a good place for me to start. So lining up at the start we found out that there had been so much rain that event organisers, Rapid Ascent, had changed the route. Cutting out the need to make two river crossings. This turned the course into two laps of a 6.5km route through some undulating terrain and along the most picturesque section of the Plenty Gorge.

Within about 5 minutes of the start we hit the first muddy hill. Cries of “What is this? Tough Mudder?!” and “This is really slippery!” and “Damn I hate the mud” pretty much divided the field into two camps. Those that really didn’t like the course conditions  – and the rest of us, stifling giggles at the whingeing and whining and really enjoying the spectacle.

Back in the pack around me, everyone was grinning from ear to ear (Except the girl who may have broken her leg… She was on a pain whistle wrapped in an emergency blanket. But don’t let that put you off.)

Those hoping for some reprieve from the mud soon realised it would be short-lived as the course meandered up and down along a series of ridgelines, seemingly picking a way through some of the soggiest sections of Yellow Gum Park. Like a lot of people, I ended up coming a cropper on one of the creek crossings, landing in a pile of prickles and sliding about a metre or so before flopping into the creek. Picking myself to a mixture of giggles, concerned onlookers and roaring laughter.. I quickly checked I hadn’t broken anything and returned to the fray.

The two laps finished where we had started and all too soon Meaghan and I were faced with the thought of heading off for another hour. That dilemma lasted about 30 seconds until a rain shower rolled through. Uncharacteristically heading off before the presentations we fled, tail between the legs, home to coffee and some much-needed stretching.

Our new found obsession of completing as many events as we can has lead us to meet some great people.

There were a host of winners at the sharp end of the field. They can be found on the Event Results page.

As for the rest of us, everyone back in the pack either side of me had a ball. Mud and all.

This image downloaded from Rapid Ascent’s cool automatic picture upload system through Pic2Go

Now my focus shifts to some last-minute technique training ahead of the first of my Anaconda Adventure Races this year. Anaconda Noosa… Which is very much JUST around the corner.

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9 Responses to Salomon Trail Running Series Race #2 – Plenty Gorge – The Mayor of Mudtown

  1. AndrewGills says:

    Looks like it was a really great run. I am one of the people who LOVE mud! I don’t see why people complain about it … it’s like being a kid all over again every time we get a muddy course 🙂

  2. thepuglover says:

    Great post! You’ve inspired me to do the series next year. Look forward to following the rest of your blog! Fellow runner/blogger, Beck

    • Wow thanks Beck! I’m really glad you think it’s this post that’s inspired you. I think you maybe didn’t take a lot of convincing. There are still 2 trail runs left this year…

  3. Annie says:

    Did talking yourselves out of an early start have anything to do with your cocktail and club appearances on sat night??! Impressive effort all the same!!

    • Annie, It seems you might have a bit of inside information here – is this Annie from Australia’s other – other least known adventure racing team. The Girls who took out Second at ARA Vic, The Trouble Twins, The Bazzanators…. Up There Bazzaley?…

  4. Pingback: Immuvit Fearless Challenge | Trail Run 2012 Leg 1 08/26/2012 | Kalongkong Hiker

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