I’d like to say the main reason I registered for the Glenbrook Marathon was as the first step of my build to the Hounslow Classic but the truth is, like I say every time, I love Running Wild events. Their courses never disappoint and there organisation is always spot on… OK, today there was a minor hiccup, come start time there was a car parked in the start finish line but otherwise…
They have a proven formula that starts with David King giving a welcome to nation, safety is trusted to Lucas Trihey and whats not to like about a sausage sandwich at the finish. For the Glenbrook marathon they even upgraded to chip timing. I have my result and its only 3pm on race day!
My race went pretty well. I know I left a little time on the course but at the end of the day my “play it safe” approach delivered me with my best result ever. 11th overall, 9th Male. I blew 10th place with less than 2k to go… that hurt. I am definitely getting more comfortable with the marathon distance and learning every time how to manage myself better and better. My only real hiccup… my brand new Garmin 920xt dropped GPS at 32k coming back to life only 2k from the finish (it did log HR and running dynamics data the whole way though).
The Glenbrook Marathon starts at Euroka Campground. This is the finish for the Woodford to Glenbrook so I was familiar with the location even if I had never actually driven in. Being in the lower Blue Mountains, my drive time shortens to 1hr which is nice… even if the 7:30 race start time still dictates an early departure from home.
The day was clear and relatively mild… a balmy 7c at the start… I had gloves and a buff on just to keep a little warm for the first couple of k’s.
The race starts with a bit of a run around the campground before immediately climbing out of the valley. I had resolved to take it easy until my HR had settled into its normal groove. Since getting my 920xt and getting back into logging my HR I have noticed it spiking at about 1 – 1.5km into my runs before settling down. The day was going to be long so 30 secs to avoid a period of anaerobic stress early on would be worth it.
The run heads straight out to Mt Portal lookout from the start. At the turn at 4.5k I was probably in the top 5 and was just passed by the 2nd female as we turned. The trail then heads towards the causeway (well just above) at the park entrance before getting onto some very sweet single track descent. I really enjoy this terrain although once it flattened out it did get quite technical and I slowed a little. After a bit of climbing we passed the Red Hands cave which is an aboriginal artwork. Sadly its caged up which kind of ruins things but understandable necessary to protect it from the multitude of bogans that frequent the area. If only someone would fund some sharks with frikken lasers that would be better.
From the course low point at 9.3k things just keep heading up and up till the 17.8k mark. Most of the course is on firetrail and is extremely runnable. Many of my k’s with in the low 5’s or high 4’s except for 2kms of steeper climbing. The next 5k the course descends to a lookout over the Nepean river on another out and back section before turning on to the disused Pisgah firetrail. This overgrown unmaintained firetrail is the kind of rubbish trail that surprisingly adds to the course rather than subtracts. Its not there just to make up the distance but rather an important bit of variety. Variety is the very essence of trail running. As another out and back it gives you a final chance to see how you are going. I noticed a few things… the leader was smoking it… and on the way back I noticed I had increased the gap to those behind me since the Nepean turn.
Once back at the track junction I did a quick refill of my bottle and prepared for the final blast of 11k or so along the firetrail. Only mentally I thought the downhill began immediately so with a bit of climbing to do first I had a bit of a low point and strolled for a brief moment before pushing on. And then, my super awesome brand new Garmin 920t dropped GPS signal. The piece of rubbish. I can guarantee it was some sort of software problem too… no other GPS logs on Strava dropped on so there must have been plenty GPS signal out there. Grrr.
The trail then linked up with the trail used to finish the W2G so things were familiar at least, and for the final 5k the committee had set up count down markers. At 2k to go my GPS came back to life and then… I lost 10th place.
Final result… 3:41:32. Only 15mins slower than my road marathon time which is very pleasing!
At the end of the day my race was easily my best ever.
Once again Running Wild nailed it.
Gear for the day:
Nike Terra Kiger 2’s. These shoes just keep getting better. The heel lock lacing has transformed them. They are every bit as good as my Salomon Ultra S-Lab SG 3s, possibly better on firm ground. I’m not really interested in the new 3’s but might just try and find a second pair of the 2’s.
Fusion Multisport PWR Shorts. Just perfect. No slipping down, no chafe, comfy. I will be getting more Fusion gear.
Compresssport Trail Socks. Another blister free race even if I did run with 2 left socks. Funnily the L sock on the R foot was even better.
Salomon Shirt. Got the job done… again.
Ultimate Direction AK Pack. Chaffed my neck.. bad.
Hammer Endurolytes and Expresso Gel. Kept me moving nicely.
Garmin 920xt. Failed at its first opportunity. #shouldhavegotasuunto