Wednesday, 29 October 2014


When the storm of the Mont Blanc 80 had passed, I was back onto home soil and took a much needed, calm rest from training and racing. It was about 5-6 weeks until  some structured work commenced, and the training involved was a big contrast to that prior to France.

With my goal being the GOW100s, the mountains were no longer my training ground, as being fast at this race is the key to success. Although it harbours 3000m of elevation gain - none of the climbs are long, sustained efforts, so mountain legs aren't conducive to a good time. Throughout the duration of my build I spent plenty of time on flat surfaces, and getting my arse handed to me by the cross country folk here in Geelong. It was a lot of fun to change things up from my regular regime, but I was still training with the mountains in the back of my mind!

I had a couple of little bumps in the road along the way. An angry Soleus niggled at me for a couple of months, but thankfully it never caused me to cease training entirely and I was able to get on top of it before race day came around. I'd also had a little setback finding out that my 'training fatigue' was actually being caused by low iron levels. Upon having my bloods done the results showed that I had iron deficient Anaemia. So I got that sorted too, and was back feeling some vitality again after a few weeks!

I worked my training around these little things and GOW was already here. Definitely a little unsure due to my interrupted training - but I was confident I could have a good run now that I had another year of experience under my belt.

Race day..... Keeping it simple with the plan that pretty much permeates all my Ultra races. Run my own race.

Last year I went a little too hard before the 55km aid station at Johanna - this had me feeling like a bit of a mess and worried I wouldn't even make the finish! Not ideal when you're about to delve into the toughest, but also the most picturesque, section of the breathtaking 100km trail that is the Great Ocean Walk.

About the only section of bitumen for 100km....The morning - as pristine as we could have hoped for. 
Learning from 2013, I tried to keep it in cruise control until 55km. I ran with another local guy, Sam Maffet for the opening km's of the race. However by the time we had reached Blanket Bay at 21km, we'd drifted apart by a minute or two. For the next 30km or so - there's nothing much to comment on! So I won't bore everybody. Just some absolutely mind-boggling trail and lots of wind on the beach to Johanna Campground, a staple in that corner of the world.

I'd kept myself under control and felt great as I rolled into the hills, a hugely positive contrast to last year. It was time to give it some real gusto and make an attempt to gap myself from everybody else. Regarding time gaps, I had no idea where anybody was - but I was in front and I wanted it to stay that way until the finish. I ran hard all the way to Melanesia beach, then backed it off for a few minutes to regain a little composure, before settling back into what felt like a good, solid rhythm.

Upon reaching Moonlight heads I was greeted by some Japanese tourists who'd driven a little too far into quite a large, muddy puddle. They were bogged and asked me if I could help.... I felt kind of bad, but I won't lie. I was exceptionally quick to fill my bottles, decline their request and keep running!

Five more km's in the bank and I was at the Gables. This is the last Aid Station on the course and marks 20km left to run. On a set of fresh legs the winding, undulating single-track awesomeness that follows would be incredibly enjoyable. However on tired legs, it's deceptively tough. The constant short sharp ups and downs coupled with almost non-existent flats make you work for every meter of gain. Even with the ridiculous views of the not-quite 12 Apostles, it's still hard to avert your mind from the hurting in your legs. The thing that was helping me most was that at the Gables, I realized I was in with a good shot of Brendan's time of 2012. Which definitely came as the core of some motivation to push.

Getting to the Visitors Center that marks the finish is like chasing the Magic Dragon, you try and try and try, but you never seem to get any closer. In the dying moments it seems to come from nowhere, a very welcomed and wonderful sight indeed. As I approached with some ginger legs, ducking and weaving through tourists, I could see the finish Gantry reading 9:08, definitely on the right side of the time I'd hoped for. 

20minutes off last year's time and I was a happy little jogger. 
A more relaxed finish this year after I almost got pipped on the line by a bus in 2013. 
Elated and pretty well cooked, my second 100km race was now behind me. Onto Port Campbell I went and what ensued was possibly as gratifying as the run itself. A whoooolllleeee heap of Pizza and sadly, just the one beer. I'd planned for several but my post-ultra appetite wasn't as keen as my post-ultra mind...

A cold water soak with Dan Beard the next morning was golden, as I limped around like a wounded gimp... Followed by 3 breakfasts and presentations, the GOW100s were a wrap for another year! 
A very welcoming place for a leg soak with 100km in the legs!

Thanks to my parents for being endlessly supportive and a flawless crew, Andy Hewat, Brett Saxon and all of the selfless volunteers that make it possible year after year at events like this. And of course, all my fellow runners that are a huge amount of fun to hang out with at every event I attend! 

On a side note, as I finish writing this I realized that it's been nearly bang-on 2 years since I began my ventures into trail running..... How time flies and what a fulfilling journey it's been so far! I'm immensely looking forward to the next 2 (and the rest)!

My race kit;

Watch - Suunto Ambit 3 Peak
Top - Salomon Exo Tank
Shorts - Salomon S-lab 
Socks - Salomon S-lab
Shoes - Salomon Sense Ultra Softground 3's
Pack - Salomon Advanced Skin Hydro 12 with Salomon Soft Flasks. 
Sunglasses - Swisseye Novena. 
Nutrition - Shotz Sports Nutrition Gels and Electrolyte Tablets. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Fresh Baguettes, Tasty Cheese and a Green and Gold Surprise.

It's currently 6:01am as I'm writing this in my hometown of Geelong and I've been awake since a lovely 2:30am. This is my first proper encounter with dreaded Desynchronosis, though it's a necessary evil and a microscopic price to pay given the utterly life-changing, eye-opening adventure I've just endured. Losing my European virginity I finally got my chance to traverse numerous time zones all the way to a land I'd most thoroughly examined mainly through watching the Tour de France in the wee hours of the morning. Rather than cycling around the French mountains though, I was there to run and to explore the vast wilderness that is right on Chamonix's doorstep. As well as the spectacular little town itself. Nestled at the foot of  Mont Blanc, it is arguably the world's mecha for trail running and numerous other mountain sports. The trails, views and sheer beauty is absolutely endless and hours of playing on the trails seemingly whips by in seconds.
Techy terrain and cracking views

Bursting with enthusiasm it was no easy task to stay off the mountains leading into the Mont Blanc 80km. Even after a couple of 4hr runs, one of which was with some of the most celebrated trail runners in the world, I still didn't feel my mountain hunger was satiated.... Good thing i'd soon be going for a cheeky 86km jaunt taking in 4 unique and beautiful climbs, totaling a hefty 6000m of vertical ascent, and in turn, descent, too! This race was set to be a true quad tester! 

Too much race preparation information and detail I find gets a bit old, so i'll do my best to keep it prompt. What i'd really like to unleash on my keyboard about is just how much more the whole experience has helped me grow, and just how much it's opened my eyes to a completely new culture, and a whole new level of running in the mountains. But for everyone else, that will probably also get a bit old, so I won't delve too far into that, either.

My expectations for this run? I didn't know what to expect! I'd seen the course and knew it was a beast. I knew that it was likely to be at least an hour longer than any race i'd done and in completing the course i'd be covering 2000m+/- more ascent/descent than any race i'd done prior. I knew that it was going to be a hell of a lot of fun and that I couldn't wait to depart Chamonix at 4am on the 27th of June! What I didn't know was how fast, or slow I could cover the course, how my legs would feel and if my race plan would fall into place as i'd hoped. It's in these few unknowns, plus many more, which is where the beauty of these races truly lies.

Solitaire had become my good companion as race day drew nearer, having no internet connection at our accommodation coupled with wanting to save my legs by not travelling to town, I forced myself to sit back and relax without the distractions social media provides. I played pretty flat out for the few days leading in - yet my skills remained pretty darn shit if i'm being honest! I was certainly hoping I'd run better than I matched cards!

After some days filled with tourist-like activities, followed by some good rest, the 2:30AM alarm for race day was ringing in my ears. I felt pretty bad waking Jo and Lucy whom were racing the marathon, they had no need to be awake at the stupid-o'clock time necessary for Jacinta and I. Being the great, selfless friends they are though, they'd go on to crew for me throughout the day and did a truly awesome job!

As the thousand headlights buzzed around the Chamonix town-center like fireflies in the night, I was surprisingly relaxed and was still struggling to fully grasp the situation i'd been graced with. The aim was to take it out conservatively, and to remain that way until I was in the latter parts of the race and see how my body was shaping up. Afterall, I didn't want a repeat of Buffalo, where Ben ended up face down in a muddy wall and I was sitting cooked in a creek bed, both unable to finish!

Checking out the Col du Terrace (2640m) with Anna and Matt

I was lined up nice and close to the front hoping to avoid any congestion once we began our ascent on some beautiful winding singetrack. I felt a little out of place standing alongside the likes of Francois D'haene and Luis Alberto Hernando, but hey, I knew for certain that those guys wouldn't be getting caught out down the back. The gun sounded and for me, pretty much the whole first hour was an ascent fueled by adrenaline. Easily the biggest event i'd run in, my senses were tingling and we seemingly floated to the top of the first climb to La Brevent, topping out at 2500m. Greeted by an amazing sunrise shining on Mont Blanc at the summit, Caine Warburton and I traversed some undulating rocky trail heaven together having a great old yarn, as the race made its way up the valley towards the gnarly loop lying on the back of the course. This loop also contains the highest point on the course, reaching over 2600m.... a lil bit bigger than Bogong!

My body and mind were feeling great. 26km had passed with everything going exactly how i'd hoped! A bit of a stock up from my meticulously organised crew (Lucy) and the second climb of the day was looming. In training i'd covered this climb with the likes of (prep for the epic name drop) Francois, Frosty, Coops and Tom Owens, they all made it look super easy whilst I really suffered that day... My taper had done its job perfectly though, and the climb that I had been a little worried about seemed to breeze by flawlessly. This was truly an exhilarating feeling. As I neared the back of the loop, I still felt fresh. A quick glance at my watch showed that I'd covered the loop much quicker than I did in training, also with a heck of a lot more ease. This was nice. This was really, really nice!

Descending to Valorcine, the French fellow I was running with informed me that we were in 7th and 8th place... I had absolutely no idea at the time but shit, what a nice surprise that was! Probably about on par with the surprise I got when I heard a voice hurling down the descent behind me. Upon turning around it just so happened to be Kilian with his backpack and Camera yelling encouragement. This day could not get any better at this point!

A scenic loop in the quaint little town of Valorcine, some further refuelling and things were shaping up well. Legs still great, energy and morale still high, I was keen to begin the 3rd climb of the day to Col des Possettes at 1997m. My legs just kept ticking away and I was feeling like I always had more to give. By the summit i'd moved myself from 8th to 6th, this was where I saw Ben coming up behind, prior to this I actually thought Ben was up ahead! He was looking as fresh as a daisy and came cruising on through.

A few trail companions

I was intent to still remain a little conservative at this point and not push too hard to the base of the last climb. I'd also covered it in training, and knew very well that a slow ascent there could mean a catastrophic time loss heading to the finish. Ben, Philip Reiter and I all ended up within about a minute or so heading to the last fully catered checkpoint of the day. I was becoming a bit tired here, though that's to be expected with almost 5000m+ and 60+ km in my legs, and even so, I still felt my legs had plenty more to give for the last ascent of the day and I was ready to really have a crack. 

Having moved to 5th, Philip was just behind and Ben just ahead, excitement was coarsing through me for the last 15-20km! There was something else less-welcome to also be coarsing through me though. I'd been managing a tummy bug for the week leading into the race. As a just-in-case-measure i'd stuffed in my hydration vest a pack of wet wipes, hoping to not see them again until after the finish. Well, I did see them before the finish as the bug came back to bite me only a kilometre or so prior to the last checkpoint. Having pitted momentarily off the side of the trail, Philip came back past me and my stomach certainly wasn't very happy at this point. I was grateful for how long it had been nice to me, now it was just time for it to hold on to the finish! 
An above average place to run - Col des Possettes above the town of Le Tour

My body no longer receptive to food at this point, so Coke it would be for the last stretch back to Chamonix! Never a great sustained energy drink, my energy was up and down like a yo-yo as i'd skull a cup or two at each check from there to the finish... Less than ideal, yes, BUT, it would eventually get me to the finish, and that was the most important thing! It was a tough and slow slog over the last climb and I lost a lot of time to those around me. It was quite frustrating as my legs still felt strong, but the energy just wasn't there to turn them fast enough! Forward movement remained though so my positivity held strong!

Amidst this suffering it was all still a ridiculous amount of fun. All I needed to do was look around and remember how lucky I was to be running in the mountains over what was easily the most breathtaking terrain i'd ever witnessed. The sun was shining and I was doing what I love... Things were still pretty damn good! 

Plan d'Aiguille hut (2200m) would see the beginning of the last descent to the finish in Chamonix. I was elated, euphoric and having minor spine tingles to be in the position that I was. At 4am I never once had a thought of being in 6th place, nor did I think I would likely be on track for a definite sub 12hr time, barring disaster in the last 6km. But it was happening. It was definitely happening. The monumental amounts of happiness within me made the descent fly by, following this with a smooth paved run into town, tunneling through streets packed with crazed french fans all cheering merrily as they sipped their espressos and engulfed their baguettes. It was by far the most effortless km i'd run in the past few hours. Maybe even for the entire day. 

Man, what a sick day. 

In 11:14:xx, crossing the line it was a feeling of relief combined with too many other things to list. Put simply, it was fricking awesome. I worked hard towards this race and it had paid off. Almost all going to plan it was a day that I will certainly never forget. Nor will I ever forget all of the generosity sent my way from too many amazing individuals to name, along with all of my incredible sponsors. Especially my biggest sponsors of all, my parents, for it's their complete and utter selflessness, supporting me in every single way they possibly can, not only in my running but in all of my past and current life endeavours, that allows me to live the incredibly fortunate life I do. They're awesome. 

So it's rest time now. It's been a big 12 months for me trying to find my feet in the Ultra trail scene and it will certainly be nice to give my body some time to recuperate fully without any hard workouts and to reflect a bit on the adventures I've had.  It's been a damn nice ride so far and I can't wait to see what lies ahead as I progress further on my journey....And yep I lied, there was definitely a bit too much of your regular "race report" happening here!

Thanks again to every last person for the countless ways in which you've all helped. 


Merci beaucoup pour la lecture! Et au revoir!

My Gear List; 
Watch: Suunto Ambit 2
Top: Salomon S-lab Tank & Salomon Cap
Bottom: Salomon Exo Compression Shorts & Salomon Exo Calf Sleeves
Shoes & Socks: Salomon Sense Ultra Softground 3 & S-Lab Sock
Hydration vest: Salomon Hydro Skin 12 with 2 x 500ml soft flasks.
Eyewear: Swisseye Novena
Nutrition: Shotz Sports Nutrition. Effervescent Electrolyte tablets, gels and bars.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Small mountains to help climb bigger ones

The first half of the year is pretty close to its conclusion already, but for me the best of it is still to come. I've been fortunate enough to have an incredibly cool start to my year, involving several wicked races and just some simply mind blowing trails here home in Australia and across the ditch in New Zealand.

With the Bogong to Hotham, Shotover Moonlight Mountain marathon, Baw Baw trail Festival, and the Buffalo Stampede all behind me, I'm looking forward to my most exciting and undoubtedly toughest race yet. My plan for the middle of this year had been to lay low and rest a little from the longer races before building again for the latter part of the year. That was, until I was given the opportunity to race the Mont Blanc 80km with the rest of the Aus/NZ contingent! Talk about excited! 

I had a good rest after a big learning curve at Buffalo, and then it was pretty quickly back to the mountains. I've been doing some bigger training than I ever have previously, which is only fitting giving the monster of a course i'll be playing on around Mont Blanc/Chamonix in a few short weeks... 

A little spill in training a fortnight ago saw me with 8 sutures in my knee, but fortunately enough this only meant 3 days away from running. The location of the wound meant I got the best of a bad bargain, so I am very grateful for that! 

My adventuring on the trails around the Vic Alps has since resumed, with less than 3 weeks left until I'm on that start line in Chamonix... It's coming around exceptionally fast, so i'll continue to put some more vertical in the bag out training, as my excited nervousness grows with every day that passes! 

My 'run' this morning actually saw me scrambling around a trail-less hillside, after I took a wrong spur and bush bashed for 3hrs. Whilst not a huge amount of fun at the time, I'm sitting down happily to a coffee now and can laugh at what was yet another experience I can learn from on the trail to the true mountains...

I'm more excited than I can even begin to express in a blog post.... My departure on the 15th is drawing nearer and everyday my thoughts become more obsessive about the amazing mountain trails that lie in front of me! 

I've also been doing a little Uni work here and there, but the pages seem to be getting filled with pictures of mountains more than revision notes..... 

My next post will likely be from Chamonix if I can pull myself off the mountains, but there are no guarantees of that! 

jusqu'à la prochaine fois!!!

Monday, 14 April 2014

When you mess with the Buffalo, you get the horns….

Before the racing had begun this weekend was already going great guns and the vibe surrounding the race was electric. The Athlete’s forum, gear checks and start line were all a hive of excited, nervous energy, people were smiling and ready to run, whilst quietly I think a little s*#t scared of what was ahead, too. As I would discover late in the race, this fear was valid. Being Australia and New Zealand’s first fully sanctioned SkyRunning event, the field was stacked with names that were possible contenders to stand on the podium after traversing the brutal 75km course that Mr Greenhill of Mountain Sports had put in front of us. The simple point to point marathon is tough in itself, letalone wrapping your head around the sufferfest that awaits when you begin the journey back to Bright for the ultra…

I came into this race feeling pretty good, although I hadn’t simply smashed hill after hill for the months leading in, I was really happy with the foundations I’d laid down and the balanced approach my coach Matt Cooper had set out, starting with the training I did prior to the Bogong to Hotham. A Couple of Mountain Marathons in the form of New Zealand’s Shotover Moonlight Marathon and the  Mt Baw Baw Trail Festival, I felt had put me in a good place and my legs and head were ready to go.

Race morning rolled around and so did the nerves, as I knew they would. Gladly though, I had some great people alongside me and they helped calm the jitters! Not having had experience on a course like this, I’d taken some advice on board from a few more experienced folk in my coach Coops, Frosty and Wighty on how to approach the race, all three of them had pretty much said the exact same thing, “be patient”. (I'm not that good at being patient)

As we took off in the dark, I never had any intention of trying to race with Dakota, just so that’s clear. I was under no grandeur of thought that I would be running alongside him, I was just out there to race myself and the other Oceanic lads. My objective was to have a tonne of fun whilst running off my own energy and ultimately wait to begin 'racing' on the return leg home. I was happy with how proceedings went, Mystic was a cruisy climb for the front of the field and some friendly banter was exchanged all the way to the summit. At this point I was tapping away with Mick Donges having a great old time as the Kokoda Spirit boys in Moritz, Caine and Ben moved on ahead by a minute or two.

Ascending on the wall that is Clearspot, I kept it pretty calm as Dakota came hiking past me like I was barely moving, he then went on to round up all of the Kokoda boys before the top of the climb… it was pretty damn impressive to watch! At the summit I still felt great and tried to momentarily enjoy the amazing view through the cloud shrouded valleys all around me before descending the other side. It wasn’t long before I was alongside Moritz and we continued to run together until the Buckland Aid station - This was the first time i'd seen 'Warner's Wall'.... Yeeeeaahhh it's a bit steep, coming home? ouch. 

Nearing Keating's Ridge, I could see Caine Warburton, the eventual highest placed Aussie/New Zealander and knew that I was slowly gaining back time. Just ahead of him I could also see Ben and Dakota motoring along at a pretty damn swift rate together! I knew it wouldn't be an easy task to catch any of those fellas.

Having passed Caine on Keatings, I’d reached the Eurobin aid station in 2:20 and 3rd place, this was also the first chance to get a bit of assistance from my Super crew the Coopers… They did an absolutely incredible job all day (especially Harlow) and I can’t thank them enough for the awesome help they gave me. Especially when I was buckled and sitting in a creek bed in Bakers Gully, but we’ll get to that later.

                                                  My Super Crew Harlow And Matt

Beginning the ascent on the Big Walk I felt good, I settled into a rhythm early and pretty much held it the whole way to the Chalet.  I ran with Ben for a short period heading up before he again gapped me nearer to the top, but I remained happy to be so close and the views from Buffalo were breathtaking. It was happy days!  

The top loop through the galleries was pretty wicked, it mixed things up nicely and was great fun to see all the other runners as you came back past. It was a bit scary too when I saw who was chasing me! I'd managed to make contact with Ben on the Big walk Eurobin-bound, right before I got caught out taking in the amazing views and slipped on one of the Granite Slabs, hitting the deck like an absolute muppet who’d never run in their lives! A few brief moments of pain and embarrassment passed though and my lovely friend adrenaline kicked my ass back into gear, let's try that again. Ben can attest to the countless time checks to Dakota we got on our way down, all of which were different, but we were assured they were all correct, ha.  As nice as it was, I had no intentions of trying to run down Mr Jones out front, who was showing me a thing or two about how to run mountains.

Coming through Eurobin for the second time, this time with Ben, and the quads were starting to feel it a bit. With 50km+ and some serious ascending and descending already in the legs it was time to tough it out and begin the race home. All of this talk and advice about being  patient? Well, I felt that I’d been patient and paced myself well up until this point, and it was about time I really “put my balls in the vice” as Mr Matt Bixley might put it. I began to make more of a push here and really committed to running my Softground’s off the whole way back to Bright, I knew the course was punishing, but I was stupidly eager enough to try anyway. Ben wasn’t far behind me on Keating’s not to mention the likes of Guise, Tuckey, Warburton, Davies and McClymont all chasing a little further back. My motivation was a combination of running scared from those guys, and that I really, really wanted to be the first Aussie/New Zealander home!

The Buckland Aid station was in sight once again - I could no longer see anyone behind me and I tried to put my speed work to good use on the flatter road section. It’s fair to say that Flat roads hurt a lot when they’re in-between mountains… And Warner’s wall was looking ominous as the final two climbs were about to stamp their authority. I knew these ones would sting like a bitch – but it wasn’t far home once I’d gotten over Clearspot for the second time, right?

That climb was tough, It was hot, my quads, calves, back, arms and lungs all burnt as I really started to dig into my reserves. Rather than my hands being on my quads I found myself digging them in the mud to haul myself to the top, this wasn't what i'd anticipated! In moments like these you can often doubt things, and often it's nutrition, but for me on the day that had all gone well and i'd consistently eaten and drank enough. I was backing myself to be able to maintain my effort until I was back in Bright, I was incorrect. I kept marching to the summit, not always in a straight line, and my quads were feeling pretty darn trashed, but my motivation was still as high as ever. Everything was hurting by this point, and the course was hard as hell, but I could smell the barbecue and see the smiling faces at the finish! 

After briefly enjoying the Clearspot view again, the descent was gnarly, my muscles had gone into unchartered territory covering this much ascent/descent, and they were letting me know about it. I ran down this hill like a rag doll, it was far from impressive but at least I didn't fall... Nope, I was saving that. Getting back into Baker’s Gully was a huge relief, knowing I had just one more ascent towards town had me excited amongst all the agony. This is where it got ugly. Approaching the aid station I was feeling rough, and I knew I’d really turned the screws on myself to move quickly, but I was convinced I had just enough in me and I was ready to tackle Mystic. My body on the other hand, had other ideas not remotely close to the ones in my head. 

Just like that, shit hit the fan, really, really fast. I was out if it, from nowhere I’d been reduced to a heap sitting in a deckchair unable to stand. From there I was moved to a creek to keep cool, and from there to lying flat on my back under some trees, eventually with a blood pressure gauge wrapped around my arm, a blood glucose monitor at my fingertip and a temperature gauge in my ear.

                                                  Not quite going to make it over Mystic....

My Day was done. Just like that, over. 68.2km and that was all I had. I’d taken my body to the edge and it was telling me in no uncertain manner it'd had enough punishment for the day. I'd been my own worst enemy really and the Buffalo course made me pay and beat me into submission... It was obviously a bit disappointing, to come so close to my goal and to literally fall at the last hurdle. But it’s also what is so beautiful about this sport. You can plan what you deem is perfectly for an ultra, but something nearly always goes wrong. Nutrition, hydration, or pacing, take your pick. It's a very hard art to master. 

I'd wanted to run really well at this race, to have some cracking fun and hoped to get a good result. And, well, that didn't quite work out. I still feel that I ran well, I just didn't give the absolute beast of a course enough respect on the day,  a bit of youthful exuberance and inexperience came back to bite me in the end, but it’s an experience that I’m glad to have had. Of course I wish it had gone differently and I’d ran with a bit more brains (maybe even exercised some more patience?) but it was a hell of a fun day on the trails, and I’m still extremely happy with the way everything turned out, I sure as hell won't die wondering what could have been. 

I got to enjoy some absolutely awesome mountain running against some world class athletes, and once some vitality had been regained I downed several Pizzas, beers and coffees with some incredible new and old friends over the course of the weekend, so what more could I ask for!? It's not all about where you finish in these races, results are nice, but the people you get to be around will ensure the smile never leaves your face. Mine certainly didn't. 

I’ll be back in 2015 to give it another shot, and I fully intend on going 7km further!

A Special thanks to Matt, Leeah and Harlow Cooper for being my awesome crew all day, and for looking after me when I was utterly trashed, I’m extremely grateful! Also to Mick Donges and Steve for my wicked Accommodation. Sorry I couldn't bring it home for "Team Smoko".

Gear List;
-          Top and shorts: Salomon S-lab Sense Tank & S-lab Sense short
-          Shoes & Socks: Salomon Sense Ultra Softground 3’s & Salomon Sense S-lab socks
-          Pack: Salomon Advanced Skin Hydro 12 set w/ Salomon Soft Flasks
-          Watch: Suunto Ambit 2
   Nutrition: Shotz Gels (15) and Electrolyte Tablets (8-10)