Monday, March 26, 2007

Team Mellums Fatass Fastpack

wilsons promontory 23rd-25th march

friday: 12km in 2hrs
saturday: 61km in 10.40
sunday: slept in then went home!!

fastpacking is basically the same as ultralight hiking except i guess you aim to run a little.
you have a lightweight pack (<10kg) and cover large distances self supported over a few days.
i had wanted to do a fastpack for some time - at least so i could justify to the other half why i bought all the equipment 2 christmases ago.
when the alpine 100 miler was cancelled i had planned to do this on the GNW course the same weekend.
but to be honest thought that would be a bit too heavy duty whilst semi-injured and using mostly untried/tested equipment so took the easier option of a campout at 'the prom'.
it wasnt really a fastpack with us leaving our overnight equipment in the combi and running with day packs.
whippet was my tour guide for the weekend :)

the weekend got underway a tad late with the disaster in the burnley tunnel (3 dead in a crash/fire) meaning a 7 hour trip from the airport via suburia in an overheating combi.
friday was a 35+ degree day in melbourne but the predicted cool change came that evening so i pitched the tent inbetween bouts of rain.
wanting to cover some of the course for the last 20km fo the prom run (in 5 weeks). we headed out to the lilly pilly carpark to review the map of the mt bishop circuit (and only the map!) before heading back via picnic point/bay.
it was really good checking out all the places whippet went wrong in this section the previous year - hopefully i wont now do the same.
went to bed after midnight but with the wind and rain didnt get to sleep until 5am and woke up a bit cranky at 7am.

ran the 61km race route on the saturday.
took all my planned race gear including gortex jacket, overpants and epirb!
from tidal river (west coast) we headed to sealers cove and then refuge cove on the east coast.
this point marked '1/3rd way' so getting there in 3 hours was a bit of a shock considering it was good terrain up to that point.

the trip along the east coast via waterloo bay to the lighthouse was wet and windy to say the least.
at north waterloo bay i broke the first rule of ultrarunning which is 'no skylarking'.
a small stream the other side of a sand bank seemed 'jumpable' so after a full long jump-style run up and in full view of whippet (and 2 hikers) i set about losing balance, landing directly in the creek then falling forward heavily onto my right knee cap.
of course the edge of the sand bank i was using as a 'springboard' had given way!

after waterloo bay there were long sections of singletrack where the overgrown bushes would obscure view of footplacement.
mostly u could see where the track was and put your foot on 'whatever' whilst bashing the branches away.
at other times u couldn't see a damn thing and my foot would drift off course and hit the side of the trail.
we were both feeling a little calorie depleted walking up the long steep hill to the lighthouse and a check of the time and our food stocks has whippet a little worried (i was too buggered to care).
i has long since stopped trying to chase whippet down hills (sh!t he is quick) and was feeling nauseus, chafed and just generally buggered.

some more bushbashing then finally some firetrail and clear skies.
ill let whippet tell the 'star picket' story.
arriving at oberon bay camping area was certainly a relief however the worst was yet to come....
the crossing at oberon river is legendary.
kelvin spent several hours here last year trying to find the way over and as legend has it blew his emergency whistle (to no avail!).
mr g and kev cassidy had trouble both here and at little oberon bay and at one point considered unleashing the epirb.

whippet made me go first (he said it made sense as i was taller).
even at low tide we were almost up to our waists (well his anyway) in fast flowing water.
to the left is bass straight and the right is a 100m wide lagoon.
we trudged probably 50m or so before getting to the rocks on the other side (with packs on heads).
we then had to 'coasteer' another 100m or so to the trail head.
now imagine doing this alone, in the dark and rain at high tide!!
note to self: look for the big knob shaped rock and head a bit right!!!
if things get really hairy head back 1km along the beach to oberon bay campsite and snuggle with some sweedish backpackers for the night.

another 7km to tidal river (it was just getting on dark) and then it was bedtime!
to be honest i was absolutely stuffed.
the 60km here made cradle (admittedly in good weather) look like a fcking fun run!!
in 5 weeks time i would (hopefully) have done another 20km to here then need to head out for another 20km loop after this.

wish me luck!
thanks to whippet for showing me the course and teasing me endlessley along the way ;)
the knee seems to have pulled up ok.

....the biomechanical assessment has been postponed for 2 weeks.
basically he looked at me said i was 'a mess' (i already knew that!) and i needed to straighten out my pelvis (tight left glute and right tfl) before it was worthwhile.
in other words i need to do a lot of work before being worthy of an analysis :)
'too funny' as vegie would say!

wild horse 30km race next weekend.


Blogger Spud said...

Bloody legends, I'll get down there one year but alas not this one.
Great stuff guys!

10:27 AM  
Blogger Vegie-Girl said...

Geez bro, spooning with Sweedish backpackers sounds like a sensible option to me.

What's the going rate for footage of your hyjinx at waterloo bay? ;)

Looking forward to hearing your progress in 5 weeks.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Jen_runs said...

Sounds like fun - well, except for the river crossing. And the skylarking fall. And the snuggling up to swedish backpackers ;-)

8:34 PM  
Blogger Virtual said...

My stove is still ligher than yours.

In the biomechanical assessment are you sure he said that you should straighten out your "pelvis"? Then he went on to talk about your glutes?

Did he put both hands on your shoulders in the assessment?

You were cruised.

Nice run chaps. You've been banking a few miles of late. (yes I meant banking not bonking).

8:52 PM  
Blogger Tesso said...

Holy crap! You guys are crazy.

PS You always look calorie depleted to me :-)

8:57 PM  
Anonymous Whippet Man said...

Yeah, yeah, yeah. The creek was only a metre wide. It was your huge
quads that stopped you jumping it cleanly. ;)
The river crossing was fun. Remind me next time to show you the swing
bridge. ;)
I hate being cold and hungry. You're lucky I didn't steal your gortex
jacket and energy bars and leave you to try out your EPIRB. :P
Look forward to the real deal in a few weeks. :)
Oh, and I found the problem in the Kombi. Loose fuel hose.

11:04 PM  

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