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Jonathon's Marathon Assault!

Amazing racing and training adventures on roads and mountainous/hilly TRAILS, freewaybikehike and triathlons. Dreams of a SIX FOOT 45km finish,(DONE 2011,2013,2014,2015!),then ULTRA-TRAIL AUSTRALIA (50km DONE 2016!), memorable Melbourne Marathon and Gold Coast racing. Over a decade dreaming of a SUB 3HR MARATHON, sub 18min 5k, sub 38min 10k, sub 90min Half marathon etc...(shattered? or still realistic?)

My Photo
Location: Perth, Western Australia, Australia

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42.2km SB; 2004; 3.55 2005; 4.02 2006; 4.18 2007; 4.10 2008; 3.55
2009; 4.11 2010; 4.05 2011; 4.02 2012;3.49 2013; 4.12 ... 2014; ; 4.08 ...2015; 4.00
2016; 4.11?
More ongoing GOALS;
***PB's pursuit; 5k 21.49, 10k 41.01 21.1k 1.41, ...42.2k 3.49

MM and the G!...

In recent years I have been enjoying races like;
December; 6-INCH(46km offroad)2005;--6 hrs 25 min...
2006; 7hrs 04 min 2008; 7hrs 00min...2009; 6hrs 16min
...2010:--5hrs 49min..2011:---5hrs 30min..2013---7 hrs 24min... 2014--- 7 hrs 06min 2015--6hours 43min
October; Melbourne Marathon 2007; 4hr 10 . 2008 DNF at 23km..
2009 4hrs 11. 2010 4hrs 05min...2011;4hrs 02min...photos
2012; 3hrs 49min 52secs PB!... ..2013; 4.12 2014; 4.08 2015; 4.05
Rottnest Marathon 2004; 4hr 32min ... 2013; 4hr 16min
August; City to Surf most years since 1997 see HERE for details,photos.
PERTH C2S PB's; 4K;17min 25 (2002) 12K;52min 52 (1997)
21.1K;1.54.20 (2007) 42.2K; 4.00.20 (2015) (2010 video)
GOLD COAST; 2012 HALF; 1.44 2013 HALF; 1.47 2014 HALF 1.49
2015 4.11 ..., 2016 4.11
PERTH Marathon(42.2km)
2004; 3hrs55min
2005;--4 hrs 02 min. 2006; 4hrs 18min 2007;4hrs 33
2008; 3hrs 55 2009; 4hrs 41min 2010; 4hrs 30min
2011; 4hrs 12min 2012; 4hrs 6min 2013; 4hrs 19min 2014 4hrs 48min
2016 50km 9 hours 50min
April;Bridges 10km; 1997; 43min 43 1998; 41min 01 1999; 47min 29
2000; 46min 47 2001; (5km) 30min 01 2002; (5km) 22min 48
2003; 42min 40 2004; 48min 50 2005; 44min 40
2006; 48min 07 2007; 49min 16 2008; 50min 42 2009; 49min 54 2010; 48min 39 2011; 52min 55 2012; 47min 02 2013; 54min 45 2014; 48min 47 2015; 49min 53
March;6 Foot Track 45km;
2011; 6.53 2013; 6.54 2014; 6.47
2015; 6.14!!! 2016 DNF

Most races since October 2009; >
3/07/2016 Gold Coast Marathon 4.11
14/05/2016 Ultra Trail Australia 50km 9 hours 50min
3/4/2016 My 20th consecutive Bridges fun run 10km 52.20 (hammy strain)
12/3/2016 Six Foot Track DNF at 30km 5 hours.
---------------------- 20/12/2015 6 inch 47km 6 hours 43min
15/11/15 Bloated Goat 31km Trails race (1600m Vert) 5hrs 43min
18/10/15 Melbourne Marathon 4.05
13/09/15 Fremantle 10km 47min 22
30/08/15 Perth City to Surf Marathon 4 hours 00min 20 secs.
05/07/15 GCM 4.11
24/05/15 R4R Half Marathon 1hr 46min 13secs
12/04/15 Bridges 10km 49min 53secs.
04/04/15 Perth Trail Series Truth & Consequences 50km ULTRA 8hours 49min
14/03/15 Six Foot Track 45km 6hrs 14min 11secs Smashing PB!!! (32min)
21/12/14 6 inch Trail 47km 7hrs 06min 30secs
12/10/14 Melbourne Marathon 4hrs 8min (8th fastest marathon in 25 finished)
14/09/14 Fremantle 10km 49min 26 (first K 3.47 5k split 23.02)
31/08/14 Perth City to Surf 42.2k 4hrs 34min
06/07/14 Gold Coast Half Marathon 1.49
15/06/14 Perth Marathon 4.48
01/06/14 Elleker Half Marathon 1.59.
21/04/14 40 miler DNF (28miles)
06/04/14 18th Bridges 10km 48min 47secs...since 1997
08/03/14 6 Foot Track 45km 6hrs 47min 02. (824th) A PB!!! :-)
09/02/14 Snakes and Ladders 15km 2.05
15/12/13 6 inch Trail Ultra 7.24
27/10/13 Rottnest Marathon 4.16.41
13/10/13 Melbourne Marathon 4.12.55
25/08/13 Perth City to Surf Marathon 4.13.28
11/08/13 Perth Half Marathon 1.54.05
28/07/13 Fremantle 10km 50.06 (very sick but first 1k in 3.55)
07/07/13 Gold Coast Half Marathon 1.47.29

16/06/13 Perth Marathon 4hrs 19min 55secs
My 10th consecutive Perth Marathon...Click to see -> how I became a SPARTAN...

19/05/13 Joondalup Half Marathon 1hr 58min 26secs 310th of 495.
07/04/13 Bridges 10km 54min 45seconds.
09/03/13 6 Foot Track 45km 6 hours 54 minutes 20 seconds. 740th of 804...blog post or ...photos! page.

24/02/13 Perth Trail Series Qi Gong 14km 1hr 37min 04 Placed 79th of 117 finishers.
09/02/13 Busselton Half Marathon 1hr 51min 58 secs 219th. full Busso results here
02/11/12 John Gilmour 10k track 47.17 ..see here
14/10/12 Melbourne Marathon 3hrs 49min 52secs ..(777.)
16/09/12 Fremantle 10km 47min 16
26/08/12 City to Surf Marathon 4hrs 42min 41 secs
15/07/12 Lake Joondalup 10km 47min 30.
01/07/12 Gold Coast Half Marathon 1hr 44min 49 secs. 1668th of 9035 finishers

17/06/12 Perth Marathon 4hrs 6min .. (post and photos here)
20/05/12 Joondalup Half Marathon 1hr 47min 01secs. (151st of 313 finishers)
15/05/12 Masters 5000m 21min 58secs
13/05/12 Bunbury Half Marathon 1hr 46min 45 secs. (76th of 240 finishers)
22/04/12 PTS Ellis Brook 21.8km trails race 3hrs 12min 28secs. 39th.
01/04/12 Bridges 10km 47min 02
25/03/12 17.3km (690m ascent) Swissmurdie trails race 2hrs 19min 17secs 54th of 60.
20/03/12 MastersWA 1500m in 5.56, 100m in 14.3, 400m in 76.4, 5000m in 23.33.
26/02/12 WAMC Swan Twilight 5km 24.32
26/02/12 Perth Trail Series Qi Gong 14km 1hr 44min 08 secs 70th of 102.
04/02/12 Busselton Half Marathon in 1hr 49min 31 secs.
18/12/11 6 inch 46km 5hrs 30min PB!
09/10/11 Melbourne Marathon in 4hours 02minutes 49secs...photos...

12/09/11 Fremantle 10km in 45minutes 50 secs.
7/8/11 Perth Half Marathon in 1hr 47min 46 secs.
17/7/11 Lake Joondalup 10km in 46min 33secs.
19/6/11 Perth Marathon in 4 hours 12min 54secs (351st of 547.)
12/6/11 Lake Monger 10km in 48min 09secs
22/5/11 Bunbury Half Marathon 1hr 51min 44secs 109th of 261 finishers
10/4/11 Bridges 10km 52min 55
12/3/11 6 foot 45km in 6hrs 53min 07 secs...819th...of 877...33 DNF's...4 outside 7hr cutoffRace Report and race photosPre & post race photos,initial ELATION
Note; Completing 6 foot is a major goal achieved which I have had in mind since 2005!!!!!!!

4/3/11 3000m in 12min 40 (19th of 19 finishers)Momentum building a little,sub 13 done! :-)
18/2/11 5000m in 23min 31 (20th of 20 finishers...4 DNF's)..results
5/2/2011 21.1km Busselton Half in 1hr 51min 41 secs for 124th of 218 finishers.
19/12/10 46km 6 inch trails race in 5hr 49min (63rd of 79 finishers)
10/12/10 5000m in 22.43 18th of 18!
5/11/10 John Gilmour 10,000m in 47min 36. (23rd of 31)
10/10/10 Melbourne Marathon 4hrs 5min...2895th of 5027 finishers...
12/9/10 Fremantle 10km in 46min 53...a big SB and my best time since 2005!
29/8/10; 42.2km in 4hrs 15min for 537th of 830 finishers...my 6th best of 12 M. finishes.
19/8/10; 5000m in 22min 06.0 secs (SB by 0.6 of a second, & Stan did a SB also that night)
22/7/10; 5000m in 22min 06.6 secs. (SB and 17secs off my track PB)
20/6/10 Perth Marathon in 4.30.
13/5/10; Masters 2000m 7.55 (first sub 8min run since 2005) & 5,000m 22.42
22/4/10; Masters 800m 2.46 & 5,000m 22.29!~(2nd best ever track 5,000m, track PB is 21.49,)
3/4/10; Australian Masters 35-39yrs; 4th in 1500m 5min 34secs. see here...
28/3/10; Bridges 10km in 48min 39secs. 388th of 1646
25/3/10; 300m in 47.6, 600m in 1.57.0 100m in 14.6
18/3/10; Masters 1500m in 6.03 & 10,000m in 49min 35
28/2/10; 4th place in 6 hour Track Race at Coker Park; 45.003km
6/2/10; Busselton 21.1km in 1hr 52min 50 secs
20/12/09;6 inch 46km 6hrs 16min
15/11/09; Peninsula 5km 22min 5225th of 73.
6/11/09; John Gilmour 10km 48min 39
11/10/09; Melbourne Marathon 4hrs 11 min 33 secs
4/10/09; Freo funrun 5km in 22min 53 secs
... ...
2011; 5hrs 30min 6 inchPB!! 2012; 3hrs 49min PB(Melbourne Marathon)!!2014; 6hrs 47min PB! @ 6 foot!

The next big things racing wise maybe;

6 inch 46km
on 16th December @ 0430hrs, countdown (activated a few days before?) is;

Kathryn and I welcomed our daughter Jordan into the world June 2010 A.D.!
Kathryn and I welcomed our son Jacob into the world in late July 2007 A.D.!
Our challenge is to be good parents with the Creator Gods help!

... 2004 ...2005 ...2006 ...2007... >...2008...2009...2010 ...2011... 2012.

but for the most important thing in life;
there is only 2 ways to live!...Bible Gateway...

Sunday, July 03, 2016

A study of two 4.11 GC marathons. The 2016 one of 4.11.27 first is 4 seconds slower than the 2015 one which is second...

Split PointSplit TimeS/RankRace TimeR/RankActivityDist.PaceSpeed
Half Way146101:52:232028RUN21.10-09.10

2015 GC Marathon below in 4.11.23 is 4 seconds faster than the 2016 one...;
Split PointSplit TimeS/RankRace TimeR/RankActivityDist.PaceSpeed
Half Way264201:48:051706RUN21.10-08.83

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

ULTRA TRAIL AUSTRALIA 50KM Triumph 9 hours 50min 09secs

Massive mission to get myself, my wife, and 3 children over to Katoomba/Leura during my first attempt at ULTRA TRAIL AUSTRALIA... Been planning for and training with heaps of VERT and singletrack type trail running for this one for about 7 months in places like Kalamunda, Byford/Wungong Gorge, and Walyunga. It was always going to be a big challenge for various reasons, and required me to explore some new territory, but after PR's on the Crazytown, Utopia and Oblivion segments, Six Foot in March, and an epic 8 hour effort from Kalamunda to Mundaring Weir and back (in which I got thoroughly lost)... I knew I was ready to take on the Blue Mountains challenge. While I finished 2 hours off my original goal time (sub 7 hours 50 minutes.), I am immensely happy and have a strong sense of satisfaction to finish this one, and race some of it very well, and basically take my trail running to a higher echelon.
Its hard to really explain why finishing this race means a lot to me, but I know it does.
About 25km into UTA50k looking towards Tablelands and Jamieson Valley on the right.
Jamieson Valley about 35km into it. Garmin out of battery life 6 hours into
it, so stopped for 2 more photos.

Looking back at the finish line. Mission accomplished.
Also accomplished a longstanding goal of showing my wife and children the Blue Mountains, which I have been trying to do since 2011, but have failed on every attempt due to costs, until now.

 This time I was determined to try and make it happen even if it was on a very tight budget. In December/January, I gradually bought $100 flights, until I had the trip done over several weeks. Even got one free flight. Put a lot of effort into trying to make it work with limited money, and every day was a big challenge, but a few big blessings came our way, including two accomodation bookings a few days before the event, and a loan the day before we left. This trip began by us all walking to a bus stop at night with all luggage in tow, and its not easy dragging 2 young children, and a wife and baby around Perth, Sydney, Leura and Katoomba on buses and trains with several bags of luggage in tow!!! Only just managed to check in for the race briefing in time, and went into the race with the mandatory gear, but with insufficient drinks in my opinion which combined with all the walking around the streets, hurt my final race time.... to the tune of at least 1 hour I reckon, but it was worth it to give my wife and kids, something amazing.... Couldn't afford to use taxis, or a car, although my loan coming good on the Saturday (raceday) allowed us to get to the race in time by indulging in a few $15 taxi rides on the Saturday and Sunday. If the loan had not come through (utter miracle it did) I may have been late to the start of the race, (and finishing it would have been unlikely), and my kids may have missed their race, because in both cases we needed a taxi to get there in time. Whole trip was pretty rushed (we had to change where we were staying each day in order to cope with the cost of night 1, as both the pay of my wife (my fortnightly pay was not available until the following week) and my loan money were not available until the Saturday, and my plans of saving up for the first 2 nights went out the window in the weeks leading up to this partly due to my daughter being in hospital a few weeks before)   and flat out, short on money, but we made it work by the grace of the Creator Triune God, and experienced some amazing amazing!! memorable moments. On the Tuesday when we got lost trying to walk to the airport from a bus stop, but got  a lift from a van driver and made checkin, but then with trying to make the luggage limits we lost track of time, so missed the flight after they closed the gate 7minutes before flight time, and 3 minutes before we got there, and did not call us or anything, but denied us access to the flight, which i thought was most unfair but then again I think the rule is 10min for the gate departure..,) but I got a loan from my sister to pay the extra $250 ($50 per person) change fee to get on the next flight to Melbourne so we made our connecting flight to Perth which we did make, although after a mad scramble in Melbourne with wife and kids struggling to keep up, and me running or fastpacking around the terminal trying to get from one terminal to the other terminal. Not a fun experience, but we just made it and I guess its "character-building" "teamwork" etc etc...Getting upgraded to a better flight on the way home was nice too although the charges we paid for missing our first flight was a source of angst and expense.

Took the family to visit the Lady Darley lookout (and got this photo of the edge of Mt Solitary and the Ruined Castle) on our Monday slog walk to a bus stop with luggage.
Took my 8 year old and 5 year old on Sunday to Echo Point, where we went down the Giant Stairway to the bridge to the 3 Sisters in 100km/h winds, which my son said was one of his favourite parts of the trip. 
We also went to Kedumba View. I was a bit stiff and sore from the race the previous day, but had my new finishers buff to shield me from the cold chilling winds, and feeling relaxed and extremely happy!
UTA kids 1km race.

If I get around to finding a spare $89 I will share my official race photos....

The Months training and preparing for this race;
I set a goal of finishing the Ultra Trail Australia 50km in October 2015. It was a brave move to even enter. I knew it would be a major challenge to try and race this one, which would take me to a slightly higher level of trails racing.  Its a crucial choice though if I am ever to race at the UTMB penultimate race on the Ultra Trail World Tour, although I think I would settle for the CCC support race, but then again....
After surviving the Bloated Goat 31km in very hot conditions in the Wungong Gorge in November 2015, I knew I was heading in the correct direction to make my UTA dream a real possibility. My VERT (vertical ascent) count was as high as it had ever been in training, and I was starting to head into "unchartered waters" exploring a new level of training, while attempting to avoid acquiring an achilles or calf strain injury. Had a hint of a calf strain a few times, but rested it, did some calf raises, and rested it a bit more, to and each time I got through it. In December I needed a rest, after a long hard year of training and racing, and lots of family adjustments including new job, new baby, and daughter sick in hospital (all 3 in the same week in May 2015).  However to keep my endurance ticking over I took on the six inch 47km for the 9th time (see previous post on this blog) and banked a valuable 6 hours 43minutes.
 In January I ramped things up and started averaging around 1000m of VERT each week clocking up 4191m of VERT. Continued this in February with another 3619m, mostly working the Byford/Wungong Gorge Ascension to Karrakup and Bloated Goat course type of areas, with Roger and Nathan coming also. Some of those mornings involved starts in howling easterlys with a headlamp, where I occasionally questioned why I was doing this mostly on my own. Managed to see off the ankle issues that had plagued me since the Truth 50km in April, with a cautious approach to descents, singletrack, and avoiding nocturnal running. At the same time I had to leave the PHAT group, as where they were going and where I was at were no longer compatible. Emotionally that was not easy to adjust to, as they were an amazing group to run with, and some fantastic people there who I enjoyed running with. On one of the Byford/Wungong runs with Roger I went after 8x100-150m ascents in similiar fashion to the bloated goat. That was a tough 5-6 hours and clocked up 1283m of VERT in that one run. Managed to get over for six foot in March, but mucked up my pre-race routine a bit, and wasn't fresh enough going into it I suspect. Had an excellent first 15km, but after the River Crossing my race blew up as I succumbed to rapidly fatigueing legs.made it to 30km, but when a doctor on course asked me to pull out, I found it hard to muster up an arguement, as getting to the finish in under 7 hours was going to be unlikely after taking 5 hours to get to 30km, and slowing up considerably in the last 15km. In hindsight, maybe I should have argued and stuck with it, but I know I would have been well off my 2015 effort of 6.14. Some days you have it, some days you don't. I didn't that day. Made the most of the trip though by getting down the Giant Stairway and back up the 951 Furber Steps  the day after Six Foot, which wasn't easy, but gave me an excellent mental preparation for the finish of UTA 50km, and also the Giant Stairway bit early on in the race. It also reminded me I needed to do a lot more ascent and descent training, and a lot more steps. The 3rd benefit was that I clocked up about 2000m of VERT for that weekend, which was excellent UTA training. In February March we were forced to leave our rental house, so was living with the daily angst of looking for a new rental for about 2 months, which had some blessings (closer to Byford/Wungong, and a small reduction in costs) while couchsurfing our entire family with relatives....so I am proud of myself for maintaining some training with everything that was going on....
After a week to recover I took my kids to visit Mt Trio in the Stirling Ranges for the first time ever for them on a Sunday night. After a scary gravel 42km drive, we managed to get about 2/3 of the way up Mt Trio before descending with headlamp. It was a tricky trip to make happen, but we got the 5 hour drive done, got a room at Kendenup, after the Mt Trio half climb,  the following day we got up  Bluff Knoll the second highest mountain in Western Australia and the highest in the Stirling Ranges. 
While it was easy steps training for me, it was a massive achievement for my kids to summit Bluff Knoll at the age of 8 and 5 years. Very, very , very proud of them. From a UTA training point of view it was a very slow but solid 4 hours on mostly steep steps, bricked with the previous night on Mt Trio,so very valuable.  I finished March with a record VERT count of 5097m!!!
Picked up a hammy/gluteal strain a few days later chasing my daughter on one of her energetic sprints, but managed to nurse my way through the Bridges fun run 10km for the 20th consecutive year! in 52min 20secs. This was my second race for 2016 after Six Foot.
In April I clocked up 4655m of VERT. After our move to a new rental house (thanks God, and thanks friends!), Kalamunda became more accessible, and I was bored with Byford/Wungong, and needed some new singletrack, Was cautious with my injury prone ankles, and used my slower Exodus shoes, with a 7 ascents Kalamunda run which involved a flock of black cockatoos one of the better ones, and eventually managed PR's on Crazytown, Utopia, Oblivion and bam-ba-lam. An epic long run out to Mundaring Weir where I got lost, and ended up being out there for 8 hours was also a standout session. See here!!! for the first 5 hours or 28km of this 47km effort.
My final big sessions included a 10 hour drive one evening to and from Mt Trio (31min to summit it) in the Stirling Ranges for a serious attack on this summit, and a run in JFNP/Jane Brook...

On race morning I struggled to get organised in time, and was concerned that my 2 powerades would not be enough. Called a taxi to the Fairmont, and made it to the race start with about 20minutes to spare... Had time to do bodyglide, and watch wave 2 take off, and then its was time for my race. Noone wanted to go to the start line, so I did, then everyone else followed me when the announcer told them to. Massive adrenaline rush at the start and running pretty fast in the first 300m.
Started the race leading wave 3 in 391st spot... Incredible views of Megalong Valley. After 300m as the road climbed I backed off the pace a bit, and tried to keep things strong but sustainable. Feeling good, and enjoying the moment. Runners paradise, arguably one of the biggest races of my life so far.... A bit of trail on one of the loops, a bit of ascent, and good views of wave 2 ahead of us, and wave 4 coming up the road behind us... first few km strong but cruisy.... mostly bitumen road with a bit of trail... steep downhill back to scenic world had my 80kg powering me past a few people again, and tried to keep the pace strong as we headed for the cliffs, and the first of more than an hour of lots of steps.....Amazing views, but focused strongly on staying upright, and maintaining position on the group I was in. On the climbs I would sometimes get passed, and on the flatter sections I would run strong, and so the walk/run familiar routine began. Was keen to get to Giant Stairway in a good position as I knew going down behind the 3 sisters, I didn't want to be stuck behind slow runners on 1000+ steps of  descent, and I knew it was coming after Echo Point, after my recon in March, and checking the course notes/map pre-race. Two English ladies from Yorkshire and Shropshire I heard them say, were behind me all the way down the Giant Stairway, and i traded places with them for about an hour on the narrow singletracks and neverending stairs through the lush tropical rainforest type areas to the first aid station at Gordon Falls, Was letting some faster runners past me, as I wasn't ascending as strongly as others. My 80kg handicap a problem, but my singletrack and stairs training was standing me in good stead. Staying upright a major part of the game, and fatigue becoming significant. High pressure racing similiar feel to 6 inch or Six foot (just before coxs crossing), but inan amazing almost "underground" forest wonderland. Waterfalls, creeks, massive plants, logs... and a lot of steps... Falling over a constant danger. Also saw one wave 2 runner which we had caught,  headbutt the side of a cliff face at speed, coming around a narrow singletrack. She fell to the ground in pain for a bit, but eventually she got going again, reckon she might have a big bruise on the head from that. Also got passed by 3 ladies with pink hats who said something about having done a 24 hour race together (they were chatting a lot just in front of me)...Some tricky climbs up steps, and after several "false summits" eventually we ascended into Leura streets and back into suburbia briefly, awesome crowd support coming into the Fairmont Resort which was a major aid station. 17km done and in  556th position (of 1322 starters) after 2 hours 22minutes I was pretty happy with my start.... Recognised one bloke with the same 2015 six foot visor as me, and someone in the crowd recognised my six foot hat as well and yelled out "i see you six foot track",,,hahahaha...

Had drunk about 2 litres of water, so filled up at the aid station and as it was now almost 10am I decided to go for my long sleeve shirt to fight any sunburn in the next 4 hours... Stopped at this aid station for about 20minutes just organising myself. Disappointed that my wife and kids were too busy moving to the next place they had to stay at to come and see me here (especially as we had slept at the Fairmont the night before), but nice to see a familiar place...
Phase one a good start was done, now with depleted carbohydrates levels, and the worst of the steps completed, it was time to settle in for the long haul for a few hours... Was hard to get running again but eventually did and got some much needed extra drinks. Ran past the Conservation Hut soon after, and while stopping for a few moments to adjust pack, accidentally stopped my Garmin, Realised a few seconds later though so didn't lose any important data. Running past some hikers after the Conservation Hut, and started to get some good pace happening again on the asy flat trails of the tableland... Stopped to take a photo here as we headed out into the tablelands about 22km-25km into it... More crowd support as we ran past several very remote houses... and towards the phone tower? (see left corner of this photo below on horizon)

Then it was CP501 28km mark in 4 hours 49min? and I was about 850th place by this time...where there was cool music playing, I made a quick use of the portaloo there, then grabbed a few hammer gels which proved to be very useful in the next few hours and got out of there quickly started trying to step up the pace on the firetrail.... 
Then we hit this incredibly steep 638m descent into the Jamieson Valley, which really worked my quadriceps over. Couldn't go fast on this bit, but copied a side to side technique i saw another runner using so I could run a bit and avoid walking it... Also came across a Perth Runner Moz during this bit. He ended up running about 8 hours....Strava analysis of the first 35km here

Then my race turned into a slow grind up neverending ascents and descents, as some of the top 10 100km runners passed me. About this time is when I wished I had done more training on Bluff Knoll, and the Stirling Ranges in general, and had lost 10kg in weight, (oh for a 70kg body!!!) as I was struggling to get up the hills about 7 hours into the race... after wasting at least 30minutes between Fairmont and CP501.... I knew sub 8 hours was gone, and about 9 hours was going to take some effort. Seemed to take forever to get to 41km mark, and got passed by heaps of people, including some of the top 5 100km runners.... Also knew I was running out of daylight, and I was keen to avoid running nocturnally... 41km aid station not much use for me, but the hammer gels i got at CP501 were handy, and went for my last powerade the mountain blast one, as we headed through the last of the firetrail rolling hills in the valley, and hit grassy forest, deep mud, and very wet areas, near the base of the cliffs not far from the 3 sisters. 45km marker, trying to run every flat section or good terrain bit even (though every instinct wanted to just lie down and go to sleep for more than 2 hours now), no garmin data since 35km mark so a bit unsure of pace, but starting to pass a few people now, so i knew i was finishing strongly... 4km to go finally showed up...two race officials asked me if I was ok... base of cliffs, single track, getting very tricky in fading light... want to get this finished in under 10 hours... past the 9 hour mark.... about 10 runners with me we were spread out over about 100m but trading places... 3 ladies running together stopped for a photo with one of the Aurora cameras... 3km to go.... 2km to go... sat down on a seat and ate a hammer gel...Getting really hard to see my footing in the fading light, but resisting turning on the headlamp...Eventually had to turn it on.Race to get to Furber steps before running out of civil twilight.....1km to go and  up the 951 steps I go, passed a few people on the steps, and then an amazing memorable few moments crossing the finish line!!!! Crowd cheering, sunset, I'm going to get under 10 hours, its done, HURRAY!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks God!!!!!!

2016 Anno Domini; 
ULTRA TRAIL AUSTRALIA 50km 9 hours 50minutes 09 seconds 956th of about 1240 finishers, 1322 Starters....211th in age group...2378m of ascent http://www.uta.livetrail.net/coureur.php
952mScenic World- km/h-Sat. 07:3000:00:00
921mSublime Point Rd6,52 km/h557Sat. 09:5202:22:31
836mQueen Victoria Hospital5,00 km/h859Sat. 12:1504:45:50
609mSewage Treatment Works4,56 km/h946Sat. 15:4508:15:39
802mBase of Furber Steps4,02 km/h920Sat. 16:5509:25:19
952mScenic World2,59 km/h955Sat. 17:2009:50:09

Saturday, December 26, 2015


Started in the traditional manner charging towards Goldmine Hill before sunrise, with Tom getting into some low level flying hitchkick long jump action also, as Josh, Matty (from NSW), Phil, Nathan, Jon Pe, Kevin and others struggled to keep up. After 25 seconds (strava says its 3.05 per K pace) we hit the base of the main ascent (168m of VERT to the King of the Mountain summit at 1.4km steepness 12%), where mentally as usual I came crashing down to the reality that I needed to walk up this hill like all the other years, and  so on, but still very pleased with my 12min 25seconds time for King of Mountain which is a PR... Saw Barb, Andrew and Martyn about this time, and knew I was going well... a few Km later we reached Scarp Rd (100% gravel) and the beginnings of the entry to Whittakers... Was trying to take it easy as my Saucony Peregrines have done more than 1000km and the tread on them is extremely worn off, so I knew it was broken ankle time if I attacked the tricky descents too hard... but hit the old Whittakers Campsite at speed still, and reached the exit trail at 5km in 35min 57secs... Running with Megan, Simon and then Tim during this time, and from the photo Harmony not far behind.  Soon after Chris HP and some other blokes caught me, and we traded spots quite a bit all the way to Del Park Rd crossing at 18km, went through that in 2 hours 00min despite taking it easy on the descents... so at this stage under PB pace of 2 hours 06min... Feeling pretty fatigued, and Chris HP and a few others pulled away going up towards Scarp Rd again, and I tried to respond, but fatigue blunted my alertness and with the dodgy tread of my shoes, it only took one small rock to have me on my face in the sharp rocks and gravel at 19km, with one hand bleeding like a river and the other hand, a knee, and a thigh also spurting out a bit. My left hand was a deep gash and I did antispetic on both hands, slapped on some bandaids, and tried to pull myself together and reload... A lot of people passed me there, and I lost some time, and confidence... The 5.30 PB was gone for today, and now I was shooting for maybe around 5.50-6.10... Belle came past me here, but after passing a pine plantation we hit the wide easy gravel scarp rd again, and with aid station 1 looming up at 23km mark I tried to get going again... Aid station 1 at 23km in 2hrs 39min, was still an excellent first half split, and If I was one of those runners that finishes strongly a 5.15 might be on offer, but I knew I would fade... However running with Harmony, Rachel, Cassie,  Alex (with the headphones), and others I have trained with a few times was good, nice to catch up with training buddies during a race...  One of the original 2005 runners did a good job at the aid station of helping me get to the water for a top up of my pack and hit North Spur Rd crossing moving well... The hill climb from there seemed sooo much easier this year, and when Harmony started powering up the main nursery of trees hill parallel to the conveyer belt after an initial burst from Terry and Phil (training buddies from my C-team days in JFNP many years ago, and fellow Spartans), I felt the urge to go with her pace.  Found a good groove, and PRed that hill, and then attacked after the phone tower on the downhill back to Scarp Rd hitting 27km in about 3.15.... 20km to go as I crossed the incredible scenery looking down the neverending humming of the conveyer belt.... no worries a couple of hours and a 5.50 looking maybe possible... tried to ignore my doomy thoughts of a fade coming up and the pain of my quadriceps reacting to the attack going down from the phone tower with my 84kg overweight body... turn off onto the trail after a steep descent, and my quads were pretty sore... pusHhed through the pain barrier for a couple of K's and got to 30km by Garmin 15 in 3 hrs 32min still on target for a sub 6 hour effort, but then I had to walk... Harmony disappeared into the bush, and I had not much left,It was walking, and jogging time, and sub 6 hours was out the window... out of the question and any chance of a good time was done and dusted.
However there was still a little matter of nailing the 9th finish to deal with... weather not very hot this year so that wasn't a factor much, but still needed to go faster than walking pace (10-12min per K) to the end to stay under 7 hours, although barring a major setback sub 8 hours and a finish was in the bag. Quads were pretty sore, and I was getting passed by people like J, K, and K. Good trails ultra runners, but not people I expected to be under 6 hours although to the credit of J she kicked on strongly all the way to the end to go several minutes under 6 hours!!! I knew the Rutted Hill aka Elevator aka Hells Gate was not far ahead, and aid station 2 at the top of it... Found it pretty easy to get up this year compared to the last 2 years, although it is a long steep tricky one no matter who you are or how you were feeling.... At the top I made the mistake of indulging in sugar cubes and lots of car lollies at aid station 2 about 36km... (almost 37km on my Garmin).... 4 hours 41min on the watch... They tasted delicious and my body wanted to eat a bucket of them, but I knew as much as the carbs were nice tyo have, they are not easy to digest, and therefore not conducive to sustained running IMO. Anyhow I walked a lot and jogged a bit here and there, jogged with K for a bit, as people like Mandy surged past... Saw a lot of people I know through this section which was nice... and it wasn't congested for me, although I bet it was for some others in the race.... By the time I hit the Marrinup Maze with 5km to go I had dropped a few more spots, and all I cared about now was trying to stay under 7 hours and beat last years 7 hours 06min... The Gurkha bloke that was in the Goat race last month came past me, and it was surreal watching him running past me in his Camouflage pants and Gurkha shirt, felt like I was watching a war movie and seeing enemy forces surging through the bush ahead of me... Then Rob (ambulance man insider joke from city to surf many years back) came past me walking very fast in his 7th ? finish.... When I spotted Jo and A getting visual on me with about 2km to go I decided it was time to jog to the finish, and got there in 6 hours 43min, pretty disappointing time in the end, but long run for December done, and 3 hours of high intensity racing banked as well, and an amazing overall awesome day on the Munda Biddi ... #9 done...The 3am hitchhike from Dwellingup to North Dandalup after I missed the bus to the startline by about 3min had all been worth it, plus the big risk driving my very worn out car up there... Nice rewards with race t-shirt and a nice medal, seeing the new entrants to the red spike club, and so many other reasons to be thankful for a fantastic morning on the trails.... The 50min of sleep made it slightly easier for me to stay awake on the hours drive home, in my tired old car with the CD player that has gone on the blink, and the radio that no longer picks up a signal anywhere near Dwellingup... I might be very poor, tired and worn out, but I had fun at 6 inch 2015 Anno Domini... Thanks God, thanks all!!!!!!!! Hopefully 2016 might, just might get a bit easier than 2015 and 2014 have been... Looks like I failed on my 2015 goals...
GOAL 1; sub 6 hour Six foot... Actual 6.14 (so 15min short)....
GOAL 2;  sub 3 hour marathon, (4.00, 4.05 and 4.11 was all I was able to manage)...
GOAL 3;  and getting my weight down to 74kg..  (made it as far as 78kg)...
Even nowhere near my revised goal of sub 3.30 marathon, but I did land a 32min PB six foot in 6.14 (about 15min short of my goal), got my weight down 7kg to 78kg ran a course best in the city to surf marathon of 4.00 (13min faster than before and my 4th best marathon time), and also ran my 8th best marathon (in 28 finishes) and a few minutes faster than last year in the Melbourne Marathon, and showed signs in the GC and Melbourne Marathons of finally cracking the 3.30 barrier, although at GC it unravelled from 15km onwards and at Melbourne from 30km onwards... Much better effort at 6 inch this year, and achieved my goal of finishing the Bloated Goat 1600m VERT in 31km race.  Also covered the full 50km in the Truth and Consequences 50km although it took me 8 hours 49min after injuring my ankle 14km in...on a very tough course....

Did 37km of VERTICAL Ascent this year, and 286 hours of training AND RACING  (Training and RACING are two different things IMO or should be otherwise you are not peaking for races which means you are training your races and not achieving a race peak performance so underperforming in races)...Covered 2363km (not that km is an important measure IMO, especially for a trail runner, although I am still a hybrid road runner who does short trail ultras).... So to my mind thats a pretty big year for me... Certainly more ascent than ever before, and 286 hours has to be up there in terms of being one of my biggest training and racing years ever.

 Disappointing that I didn't land a big breakthrough road marathon time, possibly because I mucked up the taper for Melbourne, or some other reasons. My continued overweightness and financial mess also big handicaps, and of course the injuries I am carrying don't help, although don't think the latter was a big factor.

I did keep stats, but have not really compiled them much during the year, so its difficult to tell without a lot of time and effort (which I don't easily have access to... am more time poor than ever before in this digital information age, thats the tyranny of the internet and social media infested world which has its good points too, but that is one of the big down sides of life these days...)... exactly how my year was and my leadup to MM was compared to previous years... if I get enough free time I might have a look at it, but in any case I think the key is the weight. If I drop the weight the rest will come together and I am experienced enough after decades of training and racing to modify and refine my programming, training and racing to peak and race well... not to say there isn't still lots to learn, but I have basically switched from a manual "exercise book" training diary in former years to be essentially digitally reliant in the last 3 years since 2013... I still have the manual backup but internet issues this year have made it difficult to maintain the manual backup, and I am so used to doing things I don't need to monitor things closely...

If I have spare money (you have to pay for everything nowadays, fading fast now are the days of coaching for free, although I still do that a bit for people who share training time with me, and who I see as having potential) I could seek coaching from someone like Roberto, Ray or Ray or Simon, or Sarah,  or Mile27 or Sweat or SQUADron or some other fantastic coach, but unless my financials improve, I 1, can't afford it, 2. don't need it, and 3. would just get annoyed by impossible demands... I suspect, or maybe I should try and find a little money for that as well...  But at 41years after more than 20 years of experience I should be able to work out what to do myself. What I do want is groups where I can find training buddies to do good sessions with, so for that I am certainly willing to put a few dollars towards and have done occasionally on and off in recent years at Bt Bu and Fr. Also Phat for free.

Since I still find a lot of joy and meaning, and beauty in life worth exploring, like exploring the the beauty of amazing trails with mountain or hilly views... seeing some of the amazing animals the Creator Triune has blessed us with... If I stop racing altogether hiking on the trails or mountainbiking on them will persist if I can find a way to do either or both of those things since there is an insatiable unfathomable supply or amount of that to explore.

I remember reading in serious training for serious athletes book in 1996? that to be world class you need to do about 500 hours of training/racing per year... since I did 286 hours in 2015, I am still not far off, so if I can ramp things up to somewhere near the 500 hours mark in 2016 that might be part of the jigsaw puzzle that will help, especially if I am to get my weight under 70kg... My intention to go to a gym appears to have disappeared yet again for the second time in a couple of years, so maybe try again or maybe that environment is just not a worthwhile one for me... My goal of 7 hours a week in 2015 would have been 364 hours for the year and the new 12 hour goal works out at 624 hours a week... and 10 hours a week is 520 hours... so if I aim for 12 hours a week and come up short in some weeks I should end up somewhere near 500+, and if I can continue to manage my injuries (can't afford treatment, and doesn't seem to be anything seriously wrong at this stage for sure), then I should start to get into a position for a truly world class effort, maybe in the CCC or UTMB races although my finances for a start would have to improve a lot, and while I will continue to be on the lookout to do that, in the meantime I can at least try to maintain some sort of athletic progression... My marathon time has stagnated around the 3.55-4.10 sort of area for about 12 years now, although I sincerely think there have been many chances to go under 3.30, however I have never got into tru sub 3 hour condition as far as I am aware, and I still think the potential maybe there if my weight goes under 70kg... So I guess doing UTA 50km in 2016 is my way of having a little sneak peak at what is required to succeed on the Ultra Trail World Series, especially since a few of my training buddies while way ahead of me are either succeeding there or are close to doing so at least on the Australian and New Zealand legs of the series... Maybe Ultra Trail mountain running sky running is not for me, but I feel my road running days  are drawing to a close to some degree maybe... and its worth exploring for now especially since I am getting a little bored with SFT x4 and 6inch x9, although I certainly have not reached the top wave of either of those and am still in the slowest group... but my experience does help these days... ... so in 2016 hopefully around 10-12 hours a week (need to be flexible and not because its a LEAP ;-) year) will be a goal that helps me to progress towards sub 70kg... and world class performance.... given the history of the last 12 years my likelyhood of success is very low, but while I can still try I may as well give it a red hot shot...maybe... perhaps... well at least thats the new years resolution... shall see how long that lasts... but UTA gives me a focal point in the next 4 months or so, followed by Melbourne as per usual after that... not sure what else, but those two goal races are enough to give me a 2016 focus to work towards.... I hope...
Above is 11 of the 16 legends in the exclusive 6 inch red spike club. The people who have run 6 inch 6 times or more.
Bruce Hausted, me (Trailblazer), Martyn Flahive, Dave Kennedy, Phil Baker?, Simon "12 inch" Bonnick, Nathan Fawkes  Grantley "Slammer" Dunks, Paul Ankers, Rob Donkersloot, Grant "the machine" Wholey....
Missing from this photo include Kevin Matthews, Craig Berg, Rob Adams, Callum Law?,  and Brett Coombes.

In the week ahead its time to start my 2016 training....
Goals in 2016 will include (at this stage but subject to modification if need be);
1-enjoy a good race at Ultra Trail Australia 50km,
2- run a sub 3 hour marathon at GCM or MM.
3-drop weight to 69kg,
4-train and race 7 hours per week 364 hours annual10-12 hours per week (520-624 hours per year),,,
5- run 1km-2km of VERT per week (52km-104km of VERTICAL ascent for the year)...
6-explore some new trails races...or more likely new training trails as much as possible...
7.-possibly attempt an 80km or 100km or 12 hour or 24 hour race or sattempt a sub 5 hour 6 inch.

Will consider trying some new races, and plan to increase my trail running time even more, but retain some occasional road running racing, plus will consider the track races at the World Masters Games in Perth. Will aim for 12 hours training per week, hope to get fulltime work, and seek to be disciplined on eating again if things stabilise. Am really keen to make some big progress on my bills as I have done a little in recent months, since I got some casual work again from about June onwards, but every week is a struggle, and the last time I had annual leave was about 10 years ago.... ? Juggling increasing bills with mounting debts and unpredictable low income and 3 young children, is a tough mix, by the grace of God we have hung in somehow for another year...sincerely hope things get better, at least there is some significant potential for me to progress now I am working for one of the largest organisations in Australia... Hope it comes good, and the blessings from that continue to develop....If so I might be able to achieve something special in racing, but its getting hard to be motivated now... trying to provide a good future for my wife and kids is becoming more and more one of my main motivations now, and obviously serving the Creator Triune... am getting a little bored with racing, but its still fun, and beneficial so will persist for now... Will try not to push the retirement from running button just yet...