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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- A Rather Rad Day Out – Salomon Trail Run and Melburn Roobaix (banzaiadventurer.wordpress.com)
- Fast, Medium or Leisurely? (patriciaabowmer.wordpress.com)