Bart I signed up initially for this run and for a short period of time we had another two takers, although they never paid the entrance fee, so I guess they were not really “takers”
In the end it’s just Bart and I. Bart’s a 30 year old Belgian who loves trail running and needs little or no preparation to embark on these trail runs. I on the other hand need a heap of training and a positive mindset – oh to be young!
Avoca is a 2 plus hour drive from Melbourne and we’ve (or rather Barts’ budget) decided to camp. I’d have preferred to “motel” it, but Bart is not working at the moment so I succumb to camping.
Google have this spot on, it took us 2 hours and 20 minutes although we have a slight delay on the Western Ring Road – when don’t you?
It’s still light when we arrive and we pitch our tents, mine is the one on the left and is a Kmart special at $12 which only took me four minutes to put up. Barts’ took 15 minutes and cost $165.
We drive out to the winery to ensure that there will be no surprises and find the organisers setting up for the weekend, it’s about a 10 minute drive.
Recon done, we head into town for dinner and a beer. There’s not much choice in Avoca: pub grub or cafe’s. We choose pies and chips and head to pub for a belly full of beer. Perfect preparation for an arduous 21.7K run the following day.
Bed by 10:30 and this where my Kmart special Tent showed it’s worth or it’s cost. Every time I touched the sides the condensation seeped in and I got wet. It wasn’t that it was raining, it was just cold and I guess that conflicted with the heat.
Apart from a toilet break at 2:30am I had a pretty good nights sleep until some bloody rooster forget his lines and started “roostering” at 4:30am. It wasn’t even light so I’m not sure what his game was. Anyway he woke me and I had another toilet break, By this time the end of the sleeping bag was soaked and I was quietly dreaming of a motel.
Bart at this time was oblivious to the rooster – how the hell do people sleep through that?
7:00am and we head into town for breakfast: Bart has brought his own Muesli and Yoghurt which he offers to me but I refuse for fear of trying something new on race day. I get a couple of bananas from the IGA and a double expresso from the bakery – fixed.
We head back to the camp site to change into our race gear and head out to the winery. On arrival there’s about 30 people already there – the overall field size is circa 80. Three toilet breaks suggest I’m nervous, but for what I’m not sure. I’ve completed a few half marathons but this was different – it was hilly -very.
Two buses transport us up the mountain to the start line – the route is somewhat precarious and the edges of the roads up the mountain are bereft of barriers, so in some cases the drop is sheer and about 500m.
Arriving at the start after a 35 minute bus ride, we’re introduced to the race organizer who lays out the plan and the terrain. I’m not not sure if others took this in but I was left with the distinct feeling that this was going to be tough.
I started at the rear -last
It’s 9:07pm and I’m stuffed -Race report tomorrow – night all!