Collette and Kris had traveled over and Brenda also came along with us for a strong Irish contingent. Philip and Elma traveled separately for Philips first Winnie. He later admitted it was the toughest marathon that he had ever done.
On Day 1 at 9:30 we were off. I was in full fancy dress with Eeyore headdress and new Ultra Marathon Grey T. Kris headed off into the distance and similar to last year managed 7 laps for her 3rd out 3 wins on this course. She also was 2nd overall from over 150 starters. On day 2 she also did Ultra but was beaten by a lovely woman into 2nd place. She will have to content herself with 3 wins and a second.
It was a brutal course with the first mile being steep steep steep downhill. For me with my dodgy knees it wasn't runnable, and I am a crap downhill runner anyway. Mile 2 was back to the picnic aid station and was steep steep steep uphill. These first 2 miles took approx 25-30 mins on average. This was pretty much the same as the second 3.25 miles which though not as steep seemed to be endlessly uphill. The second half was a larger loop with drags more than climbs and it was always a welcome site to come back to finish the loop at the picnic aid station.
The Eeyore headdress lasted one lap before I was melting and had to dis-guard it. There was sweat coming out everywhere.
I wasn't feeling great today and knowing I had tomorrow to run as well I took it relatively easy making sure however that I was well within the cut-off for the marathon and always had an intention to go out for a 6th Ultra lap. I finished marathon in 5:40 with 20 mins to spare and headed out for the final lap and coasted in for Ultra #54. It was a tough tough marathon.
Philip, Brenda and Collette stayed together all day and did a solid run to finish. Brenda in particular is on her count down to 300 and needed today and tomorrows runs to make her goal of pre-Christmas.
This is one of the toughest courses you will come across and there were lots of brave efforts out there particularly with about half the field running day 2 as well. Philip Rand had hit 299th and 300th over the weekend which was great to witness.
As Day 2 for me was only a half marathon it doesn't deserve a report.
Stats for today: