Sunday, January 15, 2012

Narrowneck Night Run

After the aborted Bogong to Hotham last weekend, I was really keen to knock out a solid run on one of my local courses. I know this course reasonably well, being part of the The North Face 100 and I was hoping for a clear night to test out my head torch, the Ferei HL08 Li-ion LED Headlamp (rechargeable) generously given to me by a great Aussie company Liteshop to trial for this twilight/night race.

So with Wayne Bulloch and the McClymonts, we headed to the Narrowneck Plateau, and it was clear on the drive up to Katoomba that, like the Bogong to Hotham the week before, we would again be challenged by difficult weather conditions, this time it was in the form of super heavy mist. Unfortunately this also meant the magnificent views offered by this run would be nothing but pea soup. But hey, this is what trail running is all about.

On the way out to the turnaround at the end of Narrowneck good mate and No Roads teammate Sleep Train was right on my tail the whole way, and despite attempts to break the leash, he always managed to pull me back to him. Seems he is gearing up his training for the big races ahead.  He has trimmed down and is looking fit again. Look out everyone!

By the 10k mark, I was feeling super fatigued, not aerobically, more just in the legs, and I knew it was his race to win if he had it in him and boy did he ever, shooting off up one of the steeper rises heading back up the trail. I just couldn't find the extra gear to go with him tonight.

From then on, the dwindling light totally disappeared and it became very dark very quickly. Unfortunately, the heavy mist negated the super strong beam from the Ferei, and it was hard to see 2 metres ahead through the water vapour. I'm sure I wasn't the only one out there that found themselves veering off into the bush when you should have been cornering! It was seriously like running blind and the best method was to point the beam down out your feet to make sure that one didn't trip. It was exactly like they say when you are driving through fog, the brighter the light the less you see!

Half way back to the finish, Fabrice passed me running without a headlamp and I felt then that that was probably the best strategy out of all, his eyes had gradually adapted to the dark over the course of the race and he took off into the mist. He is a classy runner and hopefully he will contest some of the big events coming up. If he does, he is a real dark horse and one to watch.

From then on, I was really was finding it tough to see my way, but was happy to hold on to 3rd with a fast finishing Wayne right on my hammer. The bonus of the night was Tiff finishing strongly for 3rd place too. Kudos to Clarke for running with his wife tonight. Pizza and beer at Katoomba topped off a fun night out, but I'm just hanging out for a nice, clear sunny race day! Hopefully soon I will find some good form!

Photo courtesy of Tiff McClymont. Thanks Tiff!