I went to Harrietville for the La Sportiva Razorback Run on Saturday 30th November. This is a race that goes from Harrietville right up to the top of Mt. Feathertop, a decent climb! It then traversed the ridge line to Diaminta Hut (I was doing the 42km option) then back the way we came to Harrietville.
I started off nice and easy, trying to focus on my form rather than speed at that time. I have not done a huge amount of long runs and did not want to burn myself out too quickly! I also wasn't used to having so much in my pack! We had to take a full kit of thermals and waterproof gear because the weather can be so changeable in the alps.
The day started off cool as we ran up Bungalow Spur. This is a single-track that winds its way up the mountain. It is very pretty, which made the going pleasant. There was a bit of a conga line going on, but everyone was very polite when passing and being passed.
We soon came out onto the ridge. We ran on here for a bit before turning off to climb the summit to Mt. Feathertop. This is a very rocky section. The wind blows strongly along here too. One of my friends managed to trip running uphill and cut his leg so badly he had to withdraw from the race and go to hospital! It's a tough course.
Once you get to the summit, you turn around and head back towards the ridge. It can be quite tricky, as people are going in both directions! I was soon back on the ridge, but began doubting myself about which way I was going. I dithered a bit, running back the way I came till I found someone who said I was on the right track! Oops! Turn around again and head off! I came to a junction where I was pretty sure I kept going, but there were no signs. I waited for the guy I had asked before and called out to him. Yup, right way, but more time wasted!
I kept going through the undulating terrain. All singletrack, once again, and quite rocky underfoot. I had many near-trips to keep the adrenaline pumping. I knew there was one girl in front of me, and I kept hoping to see her around each corner. As I came towards the turn-around, she ran towards me. Not that far in front! Good!
I turned at Diamintina Hut and went back the way I had come. I had just run past some walkers, chatting cheerfully with them, when SPLAT! I fell flat on my face and arm through a rocky section. My pride took quite a beating, but I was basically okay. I soldiered on, then passed the girl in front of me.
i was starting to get tired by this stage because it was the furthest I had run in many months. Then the big test of my legs came: 10kms down Bungalow Spur to the finish!!
You would think downhills would be easy; a rest, but not this one!! Very hard work on my poor legs. About 8kms in, my foot caught on hidden stump and I fell flat again. This one really knocked me about, barking up my arm and hip, and bruising the muscles in my ribs. I was quite shaken up by my fall and had to walk for a bit to regain my composure.
I managed to start up a run again, and passed my friend who had injured his leg as he hobbled down the mountain. I was soon back on the bitumen road, but couldn't for the life of me remember exactly which way we had come up. I stood around for a while consulting my map in a useless effort at finding my way. I looked around and saw a dot in the distance, it was the 2nd woman! Off I ran, determined not to get caught, and instantly knew which way to go!! I kept it up, and crossed the line in 5.47; first woman and fourth overall.
As a return to racing, I was very happy with my result. I know I could have run faster if I had more training under my belt, but this was always going to be a training race.
Next race is to be Bogong to Hotham, another tough course. I can't wait!