(..well 52km) My first marathon and ultra all in one! There were multiple course changes over the final weeks due to concerns on how runners would handle the snow and conditions. Finally, the day before the race they announced a removal of the two major climbs which were up to the Eagles Nest (~600m gain) due to snow and freezing temperatures. I was looking forward to these climbs as I’d spent hours every weekend doing hill reps, using poles and power hiking to train accordingly. The new course meant only a 300m climb the beginning with a long descent and slightly undulating terrain for the last 20kms. The downhill took its toll on my legs a lot earlier than I expected and given that the course was now entirely runnable, it made for a mentally and physically challenging race in order to keep my tired legs ticking over. The last 12kms were complete agony but I had some nice high points despite the pain. I had to remind myself many times that I only had a baby 10 months ago so I should be stoked to be out there having done such great training and prep overseen by my friend and colleague @megcoffey_ from @valetudofitnessandphysio
Some real highlights of the day were seeing @rhettoconnor on course twice also completing his first 50km, and the camaraderie and support from the other athletes in the event. I found a few runners who were keen to jump on my pain train for the last 3km and we all made it to the finish together, chatting and encouraging one another along the way. Thanks to @claireobriensmith for getting me some food post race so I didn’t have to worry about it and Kara and Patrick for assisting with other basic tasks that I was too cooked to accomplish on my own 🤣. Thanks to Shane @run_robot_run for keeping the kids alive and also responding to me when I sent texts with requests such as: “Say something nice” when I was deep in the hurt locker. And thanks to all my athletes who trained with me and supported this journey which has added another layer of experience to my coaching :) Will I do another one? I haven’t decided yet…but I’ll put my name in the lottery for OCC by UTMB and see what the universe decides for me 😉.
UPDATE: Yes, I got into OCC so you'll see me in Chamonix in August racing 55km with 3500m elevation!