Now that we are finally post-Covid events are beginning to fill the calendar again, I had done the Griffith Uni Trail Run a few years ago and loved it. Like many events, it had been cancelled for the last couple of years but now it was on!
I was 12 weeks into a 20-week marathon plan so felt like I should be in reasonable condition, even if I hadn’t targeted it – I did a bit of juggling around the training plan, luckily it was a recoverish week so the distance wasn’t too far out from the weekly long run, I just moved the tempo session to it instead and theoretically, it all should work.
While you may think of Australia as a dry country but the last few years we have been in La Niña weather patterns for summer, which means lots and lots of rain. The prediction for race day was rain.
Sunday rolled around and I was there at 6AM ready to run, it was dry but the radar showed lots of clouds – everyone had fingers crossed, running mid isn’t fun. Thankfully the rain held off and it hadn’t been heavy enough during the night for a sloshy mess, instead, we had a slightly humid, cool day. Perfect running conditions.
Toohey Forest next to Griffith Uni where this is held is really pretty, particularly now in early spring, when lots of wildflowers are out. While this run is called a trail run it is really a combination of a little tarmac and lots of fire trails; nothing technical, but hilly. Of course, there wouldn’t be much time to look today but it adds to the event.
The course is two laps of 10km with a few extra km’s thrown in for the Half, this means you get to see the incredible speed of the front runners as fly past you twice! The men’s open was won in 1:20:23 and the women’s open in 1:36:22, way out of reach for us mortals on a course this tough. In contrast, the Gold Coast Half, a very flat road race was won in 1:03:14 and 1:10:53. Congratulations Anthony Farrugia and Sally Matsubara!
My time was quite different… 2:02:54, about 10 seconds slower than the last time I did it a few years ago – basically the same. I was 76 out of 177, 18 out of 39 for my age category and 65 out of 110 for men, just under halfway through the pack. Since I’ve been training for a full marathon and not really looking at this distance I’m happy with that. Most of all though I remember just how much more I love trail running than road running, I need to organise next year to do much more of it!
After finishing I decided to try some fancy automated massage pants thingies available to try, interesting… A real massage is better!