what a perfect name for the mountain.
just stuck there by itself in the middle of jamison valley.
the name says it all - mt solitary.
Monday 25.4.11 45km 2900m A&D 7.44 48th/61
arrived on the saturday to miserable weather 11 degrees drizzle and misty.
turned out every day of the long weekend except the sunday (day of the photos) would be the same.
have been looking forward to this run for a while.
for starters it was my first ultra since october's DNF.
secondly it was a good DTI weekend with TOH joining me.
and also mellum was going to be there - with both spud and andy sweeping until andy was a late dns.
looking out at mt solitary on the sunday TOH said 'holy crap you run up and over that?' 'that looks steep' and that pretty much sums up the whole race.
mt solitary is the main and pretty much the only player on the day.
a nice little trot down to kedumba river (initially 4wd then some singletrack).
a bit suprised to see spud the sweeper behind me at the river (i'm last!!) but knew i would pass a few on the climb so wasn't worried.
the climb up mt sol contains 2-3 steeper bits as steep as any climbing in any ultra in australia - reminded me a bit of the staircase spur up bogong though probably more likely to fall off and hurt yourself here and a somewhat shorter climb.
need to grab a hold of trees in some places to avoid falling backwards or sliding down.
kept it pretty easy but still managed to pass 10 or so which made me feel a bit better.
no views to be had on top and a somewhat tedious singletrack with lots of twists and turns and ups and downs.
would've been nice on a clear day but being a 4-eyes suffered from fogged and wet glasses which without wanting to sound like a woos the weather made things pretty difficult.
its hard to run the technical stuff when you cant see.
took a wrong turn at one stage and lost 2-3mins bushbashing (the bush wasn't that much worse than the actual trail) then backtracking - blame it on the poor vision ;)
the trip down was as advertised - rock scrambling with 3 large sections to arse-slide down.
despite being wet the traction was suprisingly good.
i'm sure the front runners just flew down here.
mt sol was pretty tough to be honest.
after that was all pretty straightforward.
had i known this i may have pushed a little harder earlier but despite this was pleased to get to the golden stairs turn a little early than planned at 4hrs feeling very fresh.
started then forgetting about the 9 hour splits and thinking more about a sub 8.
amjan and brian were a fair bit ahead of me ?20mins on the stairs so figured i would be unlikely to see them until after the finish ;)
nice runnable singletrack all the way to lila falls except for a small landslide area then wide 4wd track from just after the lila loop to the finish.
the drizzle had cleared a bit and with dry lenses took the opportunity to look back up at the escarpment at wentworth falls, sublime pt and kedumba where TOH and i had looked down from the day before.
didn't feel worried at all about the climb back up kedumba pass, was running stong, enjoying the downhill and looking forward the climb back up.
what a fantastic feeling!
saw the 1st people since golden stairs (cp1) just before cp2 so had a nice lonely time.
a solitary run i guess!
passed 4 people at or just after cp2 but strangely didn't see anyone after this until at the finish.
guess i was just too far behind.
the first time i felt tired was half-way up kedumba.
started feeling a little cold and hungry so had a snack and eventually got back on track time-wise.
looking at the finish times had i pushed a little harder here i may have caught a group of 3 just ahead.
nice to see g, buzz, rod at the finish.
waited for spud after.
splits were 0.52 (river) 1.38 (col) 2.39 (true peak) 3.44 (bottom stairs) 4.00 (cp1) with 4min turn 4.16 (bottom stairs) 5.25 (lila falls) 5.53 (cp2) 6.55 (split). so 4.04 (including cp1 stop)/3.40 for the 20km/25km sections.
despite the strong field was feeling a bit pissed at being so low down (48th) but reassured that a 3.40 in the 25km would have me in the top half and on fresh legs...
somewhat strangely i looked back at spuds training run splits that i based my 9hrs on (by adding bits here and there) and after the col we were within 1-2mins of one another all the way including exactly the same cp1 and finish times.
didn't mean anything but is just freaky!
a nice run.
not as hard as i thought but worth the trip.
and certainly value the experience on mt sol.