Monday, September 13, 2010

So are you doing the slam?

in february 2008 paul monks started a thread (and poll) on CR entitled 'australian ultra grand slam plebisite'.

here is part of what he wrote by way of introducing the idea:
As a background, the USA Ultra Grand Slam model involves four 100 mile trail runs in separate states that occur over a 12 week period. A seperate entry fee is required to attain the Grand Slam and a sculpted eagle head trophy is awarded. The USA also has several other 'slams' that vary from this format but they are less formal.

the problem of course is that australia does not have 4 x 100mile trail runs over 12 weeks.
we have 4 sanctioned 100 mile trail runs (3 by aura, 1 by traq) in march (alpine), september (GH), october (GOW), november (GNW).
and then of course C2K (150 miles) is nicely positioned 4 weeks after GNW in december.
i have never run C2K but from what i am told it is about 50% road.

4 people who i have the utmost respect for completed GH, GOW, GNW and C2K in 2009.
this is a fucking huge achievement.
they are all legends.

the problem is not everyone will agree with what events should be included in a slam.
there are many arguments for/against each event being included which have been argued on the thread.
i won't repeat them all here.
and the lack of sanctioning doesnt help.
AURA is unlikely to ever sanction a slam that includes a non-AURA event (GH).

in the end i guess the idea of a slam is to encourage people to do crazy things which is what ultrarunning is all about.
we just need to respect other peoples choices, the work they put into training and competing and the motivations that drive them towards this.
and try and limit that 'pissed off feeling' we get when like-minded people have a different opinion and different goals.
it doesn't make yours any less worthy.
and this works both ways.

so am i attempting the slam?
well yes i am.
not sure how far i will get but i am half-way at the moment.
and thats a good start.
the next time someone asks me i will refer them to my blog.

100 milers are never easy

GH100 report 11.9.2010 31st/42 28.57.17

i think whippet said this once.
he is right.
its just a bloody long way.

had splits set for 28-29.5hrs.
crept over the longer splits at the 110km mark (cp2/base) but was just pleased that i had never felt so good at such this stage of a 100 miler.
minimal nausea, was eating well and felt strong.
the feet (and a small chafing matter) were crap but bearable.
was well ahead of bill - always a good indicator ;)
wasnt worried at that stage.

an extra 2km (each way) in the eastern section played with my head a bit to be honest.
ian subsequently gave us another 30mins grace but i didnt know this at the time.
when you are 10 mins behind your 29.30 split and you now have an extra (unplanned) 4kms you better hope you dont sit and vomit for an hour or take a wrong turn!
in the end i had enough split buffer picking up 10mins on WH and 30mins on the loops at 10 without a problem; mainly through zipping in and out of CPs rather than any running as such... and soft splits of course :)

hardly ran at all in the eastern loop.
no need for it really.
have to admit i did regret the late finish coming back along the steve irwin way at 10am - some long unshaded sections had me just cooking.
presumed i looked a bit hot and bothered at the finish.
just hate the heat.

overall had things in control about 90% of the time which is all you can expect really.
the 8a loop and the last 5km the only real bad points.
pretty pleased to feel so good overnight i guess a reflection of the slow pace.
in 5 weeks i will see how chipper i feel at 2am when i have been pushing hard all day :)

the pre-race niggles behaved strangely.
the butt wasnt really a problem: the glute would fire randomly at times and give me some sharp pain but this didnt happen often. and the GH course isnt hilly enough for the glute/hammy to struggle it felt worse at 12FT to be honest.
the knee/prepatellar bursitis started playing up at 2.5hrs on downhills and i thought i was in for a loooooong day but by the 10hr mark for some reason the pain had almost gone and even when i got to the beerwah loop and wildhorse it behaved so it wasnt just that the hills had disappeared.

a few quick gear things.
i feel soft saying this but i really need to get some (running) gaiters.
i have said before i would rather wear a v-neck jumper and drink a soy latte but i had to remove my left shoe maybe 10 times to get a bucket of sand/gravel out.
my feet were pretty crap after the 50km mark and hopefully this explains most of this.
i have no buffer at gow i need to be fit/healthy and problem free and i still may not come within cooee of the cutoff.
and feet were a big problem this race.
the ayup headlamp worked well but will go back to the medium/diffusing beam. the intermediate is just too narrow and powerful and literally fried my retinas.
food was good, ate well.

it was really nice to catch up with mellum again.
also pleased to say i did all 3 x long GH races this year (80km, 50km, 160km) as well as hares and hounds.
never done that before!