Race Review: Gold Rush

Event: Gold Rush Run
Distance: 24km & 13km (ish)
Type: Point to Point
Where: Hepburn Springs, Lake Daylesford, Sailors Falls
Start: Hepburn Springs
Finish: Sailors Falls Estate
Event Partners / Supporters: Tour De Trails, The Running Company Ballarat, VFuel

My last event for 2017 would be Gold Rush.

Having missed out on this event due to injury, I was determined to enjoy this race injury free.

After having a short rest period after SCC100 with a much-needed holiday on the Sapphire Coast, training for this event would begin.

I won’t lie, I was extremely unmotivated.  With summer fast approaching, along with warmer weather, my motivation levels were sinking fast.

The training was done, but my effort level wouldn’t have given me any gold stars. My aim, therefore, was just to enjoy it.  I didn’t want to race or push for a personal best. I just wanted to go out there and soak in a course I had never run before.

The long course started at the Hepburn Springs Reserve and takes you long single-track territory following Sailors Creek.

I say long course because days prior to the event there was a sudden course change.  The 22km event would now be 24ish, and the shorter course would change from 11 to 13ish.

While this would upset some people, I just saw it as added value.

Keeping the lush riverbed to our right, we follow the river upstream.

Running, dodging & weaving through rocky outcrops, through dry-box, peppermint, stringybark and eucalypt forests, it was so green in comparison to my home turf, it was a real treat.

There were some narrow drop-offs, and I did witness a few people trip and fall. After making sure they were ok, I soldiered on.

Passing a few old gold mines (I didn’t stop to try my luck), I saw a sign that said: “Photographer ahead”.

Through a small clearing, I could see the flash trigger and thought I would give a jump shot a go.  I had plenty of room. What did I have to lose?

Gold Rush 2017

Hands down THE.BEST.RACE.PHOTO.EVER. Yep. Totally nailed the jump shot.

However, I wouldn’t know that until much later.

For a good part of the course, I ran with a lady I ran with for a portion of my Peaks & Trails Run, Carolyn.  We chatted on and off for a good 7km.

When we arrived at Lake Daylesford for our lap of the lake, I lost her, as she stopped to give something to her husband.

The short course runners had also just started, so we had the pack leaders fly past us as we just plodded along.

If you ever get a chance to visit Lake Daylesford, then walk/run a lap of the lake.  It’s well worth it. If not for the geese.

Without a care in the world, they are thoroughly entertaining.

When we volunteered in 2016, our checkpoint was the last major aid station with approx 5km to go.

I arrived at this station and still felt strong, so I passed knowing the next pit stop would be at the end.

Gold Rush is an uphill course, but you notice more after leaving Daylesford.  All the hill training I had been doing was paying off, I was keeping a steady pace, but it was also hot, so there were some hills I had to walk.

At the told of Sailors Falls, I knew I was close to the end.

Passing my friend Amy, who was directing runners, lifted my spirits, and helped me to push through.

It was hot, and I was tired.

Luckily the last stretch was all downhill.  Surprisingly I had to run on the verge, and not on the road, as I found the road too hard on my feet.

Coming into Sailors Falls Estate, I crossed the line, scrapping in just under 3 hours.

Yes, I ran slower than I did at SCC100, but it was also a lot hotter.

Top: Bonds
Bottoms: Run Amok
Socks: Light Feet
Shoes: New Balance Zante
Hat: Trail Pirate
Vest: UltrAspire
Fuel: Tailwind

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