While browsing Facebook one day I saw The Running Company Geelong post an upcoming event they were a co-sponsor of. This is how I came to learn about the My Physio Trailblazer event in the You Yangs.
I love trail running, there is no doubt about that. I enjoy it more and more each time I’m out there, and at the moment I’m enjoying it over road running. It’s fair to say that it is definitely something I plan on exploring more in 2014.
One of the goals that I set for myself this year is to run at least 3 trail run events. However, I have stipulated that these said events need to be over 10km.
Enter The Trailblazer.
This was the first year that the Trailblazer ran, and I’m glad that I got to be a part of the event. I chose this event for a few reasons. 1, it was in the You Yangs, and I haven’t been there are years, and 2. It’s close to Werribee (where my parents live, so it’s close to my 2nd home). So that’s a win-win in my book.
The other plus was the price tag, it was under $30 which makes me one happy runner.
Thanks to daylight savings ended we got another 1 hour’s sleep, yay. Yet surely I can’t be the only one out there that still wakes up before the pre-set alarm?
We drove to the You Yangs from Werribee and arrived there with plenty of time, to get my race kit, go to the loo and do a warm-up.
The owner over at Bootcamp Geelong did a dynamic warm-up for us, and yes I was one of the few up the front. Why are people so afraid of being at the front? Please tell me why.
Then it was time for all of us to line up. When I say all of us I mean the 10km runners and the 7km, runners. I was one of the few who were up the front. I’m not “fast” but I’ve done races, and well if there is space for me to be up there then I will be up there.
When the starting gun went off we raced off down the road.
As you can see in the picture the road actually splits because of a traffic island for approx 20 meters. It didn’t alter the distance of the course in any way though.
I guess you could say I had an advantage over others when it came to training for this event. My home turf is exactly conditions as this particular run. It had a bit of everything, from bitumen to gravel road, to single-track trails, and to hills.
The first 3km were the same for the 7km runners and the 10km runners. After that, the 10km went right and did another loop while the 7kers turned left.
But let me backtrack just a little bit.
After the start gun went off we ran down the bitumen road, for about 100m then turned onto a gravel path. I knew around the 500m mark that I was going way too fast. It also didn’t help that we were on a slight descent. I had to slow the pace down or otherwise I was going to burn out.
When my watch beeped indicating the 1km I noticed my pace: 4:25, indeed too fast, so I backed it up some more. It was just as well I did, as from kilometer 2 to 3 was all uphill. It was one of those deceptive hills, that looked flat but it actually wasn’t. I had some runners in front of me so I just told myself to keep pace with them. Over the course of that 1km hill, I overtook a few runners, obviously, that hill was harder on them than it was for me. There was this one female runner (the only one I could see at the time) ahead of me, and I told myself, just keep pace with her. As I slowly gained ground on her I was disappointed to discover she turned left (7km) while I turned right. Oh well, it happens.
I was now on a single track and loving every bit of it. One thing that I did notice was how incredibly dry it was. The You Yangs need rain (like we all do), but I also noticed that it’s an area that my kids would enjoy, so will have to come back for a day trip and do some walks.
The 5km marked the beginnings of the climbs of the You Yangs range. It also meant that I would be catching the tail end of the slower 7km runners and walkers. There wasn’t much of that I could do about it, just warm them that I was coming through.
Sure the climb was tough, but I ran it, however, slow it may have been. All that hill training in the Grampians obviously paid off. And the view from the top was worth it. It also meant that the hardest part of the run was over, it was now all downhill.
I really felt like I was flying coming down the mountain. Which made getting to the finish line more enjoyable.
I crossed the line in a time of 50:35. Which is a pace of 5:08 per km / 8:08 per mile. Which I’m happy about. Trail running is different from road running, but it’s a good evaluation of my race capabilities.
The best part was finding out my results. I came 3rd in my age category, 9th female to finish, and 40th overall runner (in the 10km run). Not bad hey! Woohoo, go me!
Overall I must say I was impressed with the event. It was well organised, volunteers were friendly and helpful and the course had varying terrain and would appeal to any newbie trail runner.
The other thing I want to mention is that I really enjoyed the roving MC. He interviewed runners of varying ages and locations pre and post-race.
I look forward to running this one again next year.
Have you ever run a trail event?
Ever had a good result from a race? Tell me about it.