Like a kid the night before Christmas I could hardly sleep Wednesday night- a combination of knowing I had an early flight and that I was going to be going to Australia to meet up with the international Salomon Running Team. So excited and restless I was I got up before my 3am alarm and made my way to the airport. After arriving in Sydney I didn’t have to wait long for Simon, Hamish and Mal who I was hitching a ride to the Blue Mountains with. These 3 lads were as excited as I, and with Simon at the helm we were quickly in the Blue Mountains and tracking down the Salomon Team. We drove out to CP3, missing the Salomon Runners, which wasn’t all bad, as the easy hour jog with Simon, Mal and Hamish was just what I needed. Continue reading
Got a bit of running around over the next day before jumping on a plane in just under 24hrs. Had a great chat will 2010 co winner Stu Gibson, as well as SimonC on Sunday. Between the 2 of these guys I have a pretty good idea of the course- at least I think I do. Feed back from the Salomon team that got over the course on Sunday is “flat and fast”!
I wanted to share the following info if anyone out there wanted to “follow” the race. This from the last minute news letter from AROC Sport-
I am bib number 876
“Follow the race LIVE
There will be live results and a blog during the weekend of the The North Face 100. Don’t be shy – tell your friends and family to follow your progress. The link will be from The North Face 100 website – www.thenorthface.com.au/100.
There is also a nifty iPhone application to allow you to keep track of any runner in the race. Just go to the ‘app store’ on your iphone or itunes on your computer. Search for ‘Sport Splits’ and download the free application. Then open the Sport Splits application and select the top right hand corner ‘+’ button to add an event. Then Choose The North Face 100 from the list of events. You can then search for any bib numbers in the race and view the times of that person through each checkpoint. The data is fed live from the live website so new times should come up within a few minutes of the runner crossing the timing mat at each checkpoint. You can add any bib numbers to your favourite runner list so you can continue to easily check for new data.
Twitter will be regularly updated with race information during the event by both event staff and an on-course runner. Follow AROCSport & AROCultra for all the updates. Please feel free to tweet if you have any news, thoughts or comments before, during or after the race and don’t forget to use #tnf100 within your tweet. The twitter pages will be linked to from the live website. “
I am also expecting Anna and the Salomon crew to be updating the Salomon Running FaceBook page during the race.
Oh yes, I will do a few predictions-
Kilian Jornet for the win- no big surprise, but, I will say, if Kilian is having a off day, or feeling the effect of little running in the last 6 months (and a shit load of ski mountaineering), then the following guys could swoop
2nd- Sebastien Chaigneau- 2nd (to Kilian) in the 2009 UTMB. Haven’t heard alot of talk about Sb, but the guy is the real deal. Will be hard to beat.
Ryan Sandes- will be interesting to see how the best multi day desert racer goes in this
Francois D’Haene- super strong French member of the Salomon team, he was training for the Ultra Trail Mt Fuji
Andrew Lee- 2 x winner and CR holder. A heap of local knowlage, don’t expect him to roll over
A few Aussie dark horses- Damon Georke, and Brendon Davies -maybe?
In the womans race- I haven’t had time to look over it real well. I know that the Salomon girls are super strong and my pick of those over 100k would be Devon Crosby Helms. If she has recovered from here R2R2R record and huge April we will be very hard to beat.
Me- we will see how the day plays out- top 5 is certainly on my mind……
In less than a week, early Thursday morning, I will be flying over to Sydney, meeting up with 3 lads from Auckland to bum a ride to the Blue Mountains and then meeting up with my “team” (I should say THE TEAM) for TNf100km trail race. From Thursday- Sunday I am going to be hanging out with trail ultra running rock stars- Anna Frost, Ryan Sandes, Devon Crosby-Helms, Kilian Jornet, Jen Segger, Julia Bottger, François D’Haene, Adam Chase and many others! And then there will be me, I am sure feeling a little over whelmed in such an environment, surrounded with some truly world class athletes.
This of course is not a chance meeting of such class, this is the Salomon International running team who have gather in Australia, no doubt with plans of blitzing another TNF event like they did in San Fran late last year when Anna and Miguel won TNF50 mile championship race. Continue reading
What a difference a year makes! Long gone was “2010 Routeburn Grant” this past Saturday, in his place was some whimp that walked a bunch of hills, got blisters on his poor little feet and had big ochy on his knee. Yet, despite all that it wasn’t all that bad and I certainly crossed the line with a smile.
By far the biggest frustration of the weekend was getting up at 530 Friday morning only to wait 4.5hrs in Chch airport waiting to fly down to Q’town. By the time we finally arrived I only had time to run around QT to do gear check, grab some food and catch the early bus to Te Anau. I was feeling pretty good Friday night, living the high life in a flash as hotel room, but knew the next day was gonna be nothing like it was the year earlier. The plan post TuM was to crank out some good solid speed sessions, but I refocused from the Routeburn to TNF100 and opted for more longer runs when the patellar tendonitis in my left knee allowed. So a year ago the Routeburn was the focus of my whole summer and this year I was pretty close to pulling out a week or 2 out, but it is such a great event, on such a great course I couldn’t not go, especially with the depth of the field this year. It was really warm on the start line and when the gun went off predictably James Kugler went straight to the front, with Bevan Steves close behind, closely followed by a chase pack. We hit Howdon hut around 21mins, about the same as last year, maybe a little slower and by the time we got to Earlin Falls we were down to 4, James still leading, then Bevan, myself and Nick Hirsfeild. Our split to McKenzie was about 2mins faster than what I did last year and due to the lads in front going a touch off course I took the lead here. James quickly fell off the back, and we were 3, but not for long. I was really hurting and walking the steep bits on this climb (I think I walked about 4 steps last year) and Bevan took the lead- and was gone. Nick quickly passed me also and was about 1min a head at Ocean peak Corner. James started to close the gap on me around here (maybe with in 1 min?) and I was about 2mins behind Nick at Harris. Things were grim for me. I made it to Harris in about the same time as last year, but it was so much harder. Last year it just felt effortless, this year it was just miserable.
I knew I wasn’t gonna catch the boys in front, but was waiting to be mass passed by multiple people, surprisingly this never happened. Almost as surprising was I run 2hr55, which isn’t to shabby considering how I felt.
Pretty humbling- 1st by 18mins and 90secs of the course record last year to 3rd and now 6mins off the CR this year.
Both Bevan and Nick run really well- good job guys! I don’t like to say shit like “well last year” or “if so and so bad ass was here today” or that kind of crap, but a big part of me really wished that 2010 Routeburn Grant was standing on the start line this past Saturday. I don’t know if the results/time would have been that different, but I am think the way the race played out would have been different, I just remember it being sooo easy last year! But, I do know 2010 Routeburn Grant would just blow chunks at TNF100 in 10 or so days, and that is the goal.
Over all it was a really really good weekend and I had a great time racing and got to meet some new friends and catch up with some old ones, as well as a really good catch up with my folks. Evan the race director was, as always, in fine form and I have to thank him for looking after me for the weekend. Who know whats gonna happen next summer, I am always keen to race different events, but I know I will have a hard time not returning to the Routeburn.