Monday, September 28, 2009


my first ultra marathon...

yurrebilla 56km ultra trail marathon, adelaide south australia. first time this event has been ran as on official race. first time ive ever ran 56km, so i was excited to see how id go in an ultra marathon despite only running around 260km this year. some runners i talked to at the race registration do that in a fortnight, so after hearing that i hoped my cycling fitness and raw vegan stamina would help me finish my first ultra marathon.

after 15km i was ready to pull the pin, as my right arch and hip flexors were protesting quite intensely. i got to the 20km mark and the first aid crew offered me some nurofen but i told em im better off listening to my body and let my body decide if it wants to continue rather than block out the pain with drugs and risk a real injury.

as i continued to the next check point i slowed right down and asked myself why my legs felt so sore, i guess my lack of running had left my legs more prone to impact fatigue and when the gun went off, i ran with the leaders for the first 10km and we smashed the downhills and in hindsight, i was better off running my own pace and trying to hold a consistent pace for the entire race rather than blowing my legs to bits and crawling to the finish.

freelea said that morning before i cycled to the start to 'have fun'. so i looked at how i could make the rest of the ultra 'fun'. i caught up to the slower runners that had started a few hours before us and had some nice chats with em and got to see the trail at a pace where i could appreciate more details around me.

i finished in 8:55 and ate fruit the whole day. before the run, during the run and after the run. i carried 300g of dates and 1 large banana and this was enough for the entire run as i was fully carbed up from a few days solid eating and drinking prior to race day.

so where can i improve? DO SOME MORE RUNNING! :) that way i will reduce my chance of injury and get to really use my aerobic fitness to full effect.

i highly recommend anyone have a go at an ultra. start off slow and resist temptation to run at 10km race pace when you have another 6hours in front of you!

Congrats on the ultra! I've got one mind in May, a point to point through the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains here in NorCal on a trail I backpacked as a kid. Yes, running is very different on your legs than cycling. I've had a similar experience to yours: a big engine from cycling, but I still get fried on the downhills!
you might wanna try running in some Vibrams. I recommend reading Born to Run. The Tarahumara run in sandals they make out of bits of tire and straps.
HI Harley,
I loved your story..very well written...hope you put some of this in your Book that you are writing.
Its nice to go at a slower pace and take in the scenery and envrionment and the friendly ultra running mates around us, eh!!?
Did you run the whole duration or do a 30 minute run:5 minute walk sort of ratio? I'm interesting in running beyond 42.2 and am wondering what is the best strategy.
Congrats, love the blog. I really loved the post on your bike getting taken. A great lesson on detatchment...It's all in your perception of things. Namaste,Mandy
Thanks gang, with road marathons, if you wanna just finish it, then run at a pace you can handle. If you wanna set a pb, then dig your own personal pain cave and hibernate in that for 42km! :)

Im actually doing some running training now so I can start winning some ultra marathons instead of limping them.
I love trail running. I just watched a 24 hour run and hope to do a 6 hour first to start out.

Thanks for the rec of dates and bananas.
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