Well big for me anyway!
I headed over to Oxford yesterday and started out at Coopers Creek parking lot. We are looking after our neighbors dog,Oscar, for a month. The little fella is full of energy and has been my most consistent training partner over the summer. Generally I only take him out a little 30-45min runs around CHV and I haven’t done a “big” run since January, so it was gonna be a interested day out for both of us. We climbed up the Mt Oxford track going at a descent pace. About 3/4 of the way up we come up on group who had a little dog taging along with them. It wasn’t their dog and as they predicted he was pretty keen to hang out with Oscar and started to tag along behind us. I tried to scare the new dog away as I didn’t really want to be held responsible for it, but it would not leave, so the 3 of us head up to Mt Oxfords 1364m summit, reaching it in 68mins. The down hill was super fun and we reached the Whafedale track and headed down stream before turning onto the track to Black Hill. After about 50mins of climbing the 3 of us reached the Black Hill Hut and I refilled my water and headed up to Black Hill (1335m). I am not sure if made it to Black Hill or not, as there were a few little peaks along the ridge, but my Suunto read well over 1335m? We blasted back down to the Whafedale track again and started the long hull back to Coppers Creak. By this time we had been going for about 4hrs. I had downed 4 Gu’s and one of the new Carbo Shotz Energy Bar’s, which I was think would have been enough, but I was fading a little. I held out as long as I could till I had my last Gu and was able to drink heaps of water along the way. The final section along the “link track” was pretty painful, for me at least, Oscar and our new friend, the mystery dog, were still cranking, even with out Gu’s and energy bars! I stopped my watch at 5hr40min and 2616m climbed. A big day out for me. I think apart from the Molesworth 84km race this was my biggest run ever. If I am going to be competitive at the Kepler in December these kinds of runs are going to be key- big vert and smashing my quads on the down hills for 3hrs and then having 1.5hrs+ of runnable trail at the end. I don’t know how regular these runs will be once winter gets underway as I plan on skiing most days, with a small run a few times a week, plus a 90-120min run once a week, with the Kepler in mind. I have been running pretty descent since October now- I am so ready ski……..
Yesterdays 5.5hr, 2600m run. Mike Steel calls this a 40km, 2000m loop