I'm a 47 year old IT professional living on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia, with my partner Allie and two kids aged 6 & 8. I grew up in the Adelaide Hills and ran competitively in high school, with my best performances being a 1:21 half marathon when I was 15, and coming 6th in my age group in the state cross-country championships in the same year (1984). After leaving high school, I barely ran at all for 20 years, although I played Australian Rules football for a few years, as well as cricket and basketball.
In 2007, at the age of 38, and about to become a first time father, I noticed my usually lean frame was starting to deteriorate, and, worried that I would be wouldn't be able to be physically active as I would like with my kids, started to run the occasional lap or two around the Tan. In 2008 when we moved down to the Peninsula, I started to run a little more regularly on the trails around our area, and in 2010 decided I would run my first marathon.
After finishing the Melbourne Marathon in 3:33, I felt like I had ticked that box, and just continued running for fun about 3 times a week. Towards the end of 2011, I saw an ad for the Two Bays Trail Run, and as it was close by, thought I would enter the 28km event to be held in January 2012. I trained well for it, and was ecstatic to finish in 43rd place in 2:19:08, about 20 minutes faster than I had hoped. And so that was it. I was hooked on trail running and vowed I would be back the next year to run my first ultra. Due to work commitments I was hardly able to run during the winter, but resumed training in September, and got myself to the start line for the Two Bays 56km event in January 2013.
I finished the race in 6:15:20 about the middle of the pack, and while it was roughly what I had estimated, secretly I was disappointed, as I thought I might be able to do better. I realised that I didn't really know much about developing proper training programs, diet or in-race nutrition plans. I had blamed my lacklustre training in the lead up on my advancing years, and had been too easy on myself for such an event, really only doing just enough to get me to the finish line.
After another average effort at the 43km Roller Coaster Run in March 2013, I sat down and decided I would get serious about my running for a couple of years, and see what level I could get to. I spent all of April researching and revamping my training program, then worked hard all winter to get into competitive shape, running regular 100+ km weeks.
Beginning in May 2013, this blog is about my journey as an ultra trail runner. My training, my injuries, my races, the wonderful people I meet, and the beautiful places I run.