Monday, 8 August 2016

Race Report: Silvan Trail Race 2016

The beautiful park in which the race started
Along with the dam that is also a part of the park
Since I ran in a trail race yesterday, today’s blog post is going to be a race report and the race report begins last Thursday, with a killer migraine. I went to bed that night hoping that a good nights rest would cure it; I get migraines once in a blue moon, but I get headaches a little bit more regularly and sleep always cures those, but this time it didn’t. I woke up on Friday with what felt like no energy at all, feeling lethargic. I still went to work that morning against better judgement, but got sent home pretty much as soon as I arrived, for which I’m grateful for. I then spent the rest of the day in bed hoping that all this extra rest will set me right for my race, I was worried that if I felt like this come Sunday I wouldn’t be able to run. Lucky for me all that extra sleep on the Friday was the only doctor I needed and I felt fine on Saturday, and then again on the Sunday morning. And what a morning Sunday was.

Here you get to see that when I ran up a hill my pace dropped off the charts
This race was Race Number 3 of the Hoka One One Series, which was held in the Dandenong Ranges National Park, near Silvan. It was about 20km in length with 750m of elevation (according to the website). I reckon this race was probably one of my best races yet this year, sitting alongside Puffing Billy. I got there nice and early so I could do a proper warm up. This meant when I got to the start line I was ready to go. I also did my homework for this race, which meant I knew what I was in for and was mentally prepared for hills that I would have to climb up, and also knew that I would most likely have to power-hike up some of them.

I honestly reckon that was the biggest difference between this race and the last trail race I did in Plenty Gorge, I don’t think I’m much fitter between now and then but every time I had to walk last race I was mentally beating myself and I wasn’t in a very good head space, for this race I was in a good head space the entire race.
Some of the amazing single track I got to run on
The final hill I had to run down
I started off with the leading pack for the first 4ish km’s because; to my surprise, they weren’t going that fast. I also knew though that I wasn’t going to be able to keep up them for the rest of the race, but running with a group like that put me in a good position to try and beat the time I set myself. This meant by the time I got to the ‘hill from hell’ at about the 5km point I could still see the race leader, and that the race leader was power hiking. As soon as I saw that I thought that there was no point in trying to run up it at all, so I didn’t. To my surprise I even managed to pass someone whilst doing this, which was a great feeling. From this point onwards, until about the 8km mark I was running by myself and getting into a nice rhythm on some beautiful single track, when the major hill started. This was the point when I managed to catch and pass the leading female (who apparently is heading to some mountain running world champs later in the year) and when a battle with another runner started.

Just a little bit of the beautiful scenery

This other runner is named Owen and he caught me and stormed past me running up the hill, only for me to pass him at the water point (10km in) as he had to stop for a drink and I didn’t. He passed me again towards the top and got a good lead on me by the time we reached the top, but I must be a much better downhill runner than he is as I was able to catch him and beat him, and on it went for the rest of the race. Unfortunately for me on the flatter sections and for the last remaining bit that was uphill, Owen was much, much faster than me. So by the time we got to the final hill about 18km in he had a good lead that I just couldn’t claw back with the final downhill. This meant I crossed the line in 9th place overall and getting the time that I wanted. I wanted to achieve 1 hr 40 and I was so close, coming across the line in 1 hr 40 min and 32 secs (15 seconds behind Owen). This also meant I won my age group, beating the next person by 15 minutes.

I also wish to make a quick mention to fellow Sale and District Runners who also ran in Silvan with me, but competed in the short course. Well done to Mel for beating her friends and to Kym for getting 3rd in her age group!
Well done to everyone out there, it was tough!


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