Race recap- Hares and Hounds, QLD by Katherine Stark

Quite a few runners decided to camp at Woodford the night before the race as the solo 55km started at 3:30am. We shared food, some had a few beers and, we just laughed the night away. Early night, in bed by 8:30pm. Alarms went off in all the tents at 2-2:30am (let’s face it, most people were awake anyway).  Quick wash of the face and brush of the teeth, running gear on and, off to get checked in and weighed.

I Saw all my friends who sometimes I only see at running events these days as we lead such busy lives. Headlamps shining in the dark, me getting selfies with everyone before the race then, “please move over to the start line”. A quick pee stop first then, off to the road we went. It was pitch black however, all the Ayups were shining bright.

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“Go”. And off we went. I was adamant not to go out too fast as, I knew I would need my energy when the sun came up. I just plodded along as to how I felt. A few up hills then, a few downhills. A few runners said to me “gee, you really know how to smash those downhills”. Haha, yep, no brakes when I’m doing the downhills. I’m not scared of falling.

Before I knew it, were reached the first checkpoint (about 12km). I didn’t need anything so I kept on running. I caught up with a few people along the way having a good ol’ chat. That’s what I love about trail running – EVERYONE is sooo friendly.

I started seeing the leaders coming back. Shona first female and some guy I didn’t know first male. They were flying. It was nice to see my top running mates pass me as, they all gave me a burst of encouragement – especially Jodie’s little call out.

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Turn-around checkpoint was just ahead. I started taking my pack off so I didn’t have to waste too much time fiddling around. Water filled up, water thrown over my head (they could have told me it was ICE water!!!). It was sooo refreshing though as it was getting hot. I grabbed 2 small bits of watermelon and a few snakes and off I went. 27km and still feeling good.

I then past another friend and she said “you’re in 7th position (female)”. I’m like, “OMG, that’s friggen awesome”. I walked fast up the big hills and, continued to smash the downhills. The course had been shortened so we were only doing 53km. I got to 52km and no one was behind me! YES, I held onto my 7th position (not that I really cared but, sounded good!!!) At 1km to go I came around this corner and there were some white flags on a tree so I turned down there thinking that was the trail to the pool. I came out at the end of that trail and my watch had gone over 53km and there was no pool to be seen. Tears began to flow, realising I had taken the wrong turn. I rang my friend who I knew would be finished and asked where I was.

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Anyway, I decided to run back the same way and BING, then I realised where I was. I was soooo angry and upset with myself as I would have completed the 53km course in 5.40hrs which is a huge PB for me.

I ran that last little bit and up the bitumen road to the pool. There was a photographer at the end but all I had on my face were tears. I don’t think I could even crack a smile. I was so disappointed with myself.

My friends congratulated me and tried to calm me down. I soon got over it and well, I can say I ran the longest out of everyone right? 55.33km in 6hrs which I’m damn happy about. I had a voucher for the BBQ but I can’t stomach much straight after a run. I did however stomach an iced cold cider my friend had given me!!! (Should have drunk water – oops).

A few of us stopped at the pub on the way home for a drink and some hot chips. I love hot chips post race. All in all it was a great day out. Very hot and humid but I really enjoyed myself out there. So peaceful and beautiful in the Glasshouse Mountains. There are many distance options so, if you are new to trail running, I highly recommend giving it a go. You can find more info about the race here.

 

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