Monday, March 17, 2014

I took on the Elephant yet again!!

So yesterday I took on the Elephant again this year.  It was the second annual Derrinallum Market to Mount Fun Run, 5km from the Football Oval on the far side of town, a lap of said oval, then up the Hamilton Highway, through the town, past the Sunday market, out to Mount Elephant and then scale that darn elephant any way you could to finish on the top of the peak.

So to set the scene, the area around here is full of old dormant volcanos.  Kind of makes you feel a sense of thrill right?  They're dormant, not extinct, they could blow at any moment!!   So just so you know (Leitchy I'm not crazy!!) but I took these photos AFTER the race had finished and I was on my way back into town.  But just showing you them here in order as I would have seen them on the run, to set the scene.

So we ran out of town and hit a head wind.  It was nasty.  All I could think of was when I turned to head to the mount it would be at my back.  No, not so, the wind turned.  Gaaaah!  I hate that.

So here's the view of the mount as we left the highway.  It doesn't particularly look like it here, but in some angles it actually does look like a big old elephant laying down.

Continuing up the slight rise dirt road almost to the base.  The gravel was nice and smooth here, not too bad at all.

Until we hit the first cutting which in the photos above you can see diagonally rises from the base on the right up towards the middle.  It is nasty scoria and some of the rocks are big.  There was no running at this point, it was one foot in front of the other just to make it to the top.  Don't worry, we knew what the track would be like, we were warned well in advance, and I did this run last year so was expecting it.  Somehow though it felt harder this year .... hmmm perhaps because I'm another year older!!

You get to the top of the scoria and have a slight reprieve where the track dips down slightly and a welcome water station, and then rises yet again, but this time it's two tyre tracks and cut hay.  It was like we were heading up to the clouds!

Closer and closer to the finish at the top, one more turn around at the top and the flags were in sight!  Yep, it was steep alright!  And funnily enough I got to the top, saw the flags and took off at a run to finish and the Rocky theme started on the headphones.  How appropriate!  I resisted the urge at the top though to jump around arms in the air like a mad woman.  All I wanted was more water!

The pain soon subsided though when the elation of having made it took over.  I was on top of the world, you could look out in all directions as far as the eye could see.  Just to the right of my head there is the township of Derrinallum where I had come from.  I look really short in this photo, now I might not be the tallest of people, but this really is an optical illusion.

So times...

Last year I did the run in 47 mins 33 seconds.
This year the official time has just been posted today ... 46 minutes 55 seconds.

I beat my time by 38 seconds and that is a win in my books!  That's all I wanted to do was beat my time.

Plus I came 45th out of 64 runners so I was happy with that placement in the field.  I definitely wasn't last (not that anything would be wrong with that).  I might add that there was (at a guess) a 70 year old man ahead of me, he was remarkable, obviously athletic.  I told him at the top I was keeping an eye on his butt the whole race.  He was delighted!

And check this crazy elevation map out from my Runkeeper.  This is nuts seeing how the 5km panned out.  Mind you the steeper the elevation, the slower my pace got until it was almost non-existent!

So after a bottle of water and a banana at the top, I started making my way down again.  This was where I slipped and fell last year, so I took more care this time round.  We were able to get down to the base of the mount where there was a bus that would shuttle us back into town.  Pffft to that, I decided to run back into town, so all up a 9km day (5km out and 4km back) back to the market where I met back up with Mike and had the best egg and bacon roll for breakfast that I swear I've ever eaten!!  Then waited for the presentations.

It was a long day yesterday, we ended up travelling through to Ocean Grove to meet up with Mike's family for a farewell lunch as his sister and family are heading overseas for a wonderful holiday.  We decided to try an Academy Award style selfie a la Ellen deGeneres.  We may not have broken Twitter, but I don't think the kitchen chair fared too well at the back! ha.

Soooooo the next race I've entered is the Half Marathon at Geelong.  40 days to go.  Gulp!

1 comment:

Lynne said...

Congratulations, well done. It's a win in my opinion too!