Thursday, August 29, 2013

Yurrebilla Trail 56k - Preview

My next race is the Yurrebilla Trail 56k which will be held on September 22, and winds its way through a series of national parks on the western face of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. Already acknowledged as one of the most beautiful ultras in Australia, runners pass gorges and waterfalls as they make their way from Belair Railway Station to Linear Park, Athelstone.

The course is point-to-point and has 10 aid stations, with major stations at 20km & 37km, where drop bags can be delivered to. An interesting aspect of the race is that they start in three waves, with the fastest runners going off last at 8:30 am, two hours after the first wave.

This is my first time running Yurrebilla, but a look at the course profile tells me I am in for a grueling race. It climbs 1785m (5856 ft) and descends 1972 m (6469 ft), and that last drop looks like it will be murder on the quads!

Adelaide is my home town (I moved to Melbourne in 1996), and I am looking forward to having friends and family there at the finish. I will be driving over with my 6yo son, Sullivan (Sully), which will be lots of fun as well. We will stay overnight in Horsham on Friday, then complete the drive on Saturday morning, so I will have plenty of time to rest before the race on Sunday.

My brother TJ will be crewing for me, and Mum & Dad will take Sully and my niece Poppy to the various spectator spots along the way, and meet us at the finish. I am super excited to be running a race back in Adelaide. It will be my first organised run there since the 1984 Greenbelt half marathon, when I ran 1:21 as a 15yo.

I have trained really hard for this, and while not quite at my peak yet, If everything goes right, I may be a sneaky chance for a top ten finish. 24 days to go!!