Thursday, March 22, 2012

IAU 100K World Championships - Course Preview

The local organising committee have released a course preview of the upcoming 100K World Champs in Italy. I will be racing this with fellow Aussie Andy Heyden, running for Australia among the world's best ultrarunners on the 22nd of April. It's DEFINITELY no Blue Mountains, in fact, the state of the roads in the video make Australian roads look truly world class. But I shouldn't be complaining; despite a few 'twists and turns' it is 100% flat which should make for some quick times.

This is actually a really funny video. The guy who filmed this in his car obviously took his vehicle off road down little bike paths and the like that cars shouldn't be going! Look for the surprised folk out on a casual walk become alarmed when they see a car behind them. Add to that the brilliant Italian version of 'Gloria' and what you have is very unique vid!

The video takes you on the 20km circuit of the host town, Seregno. The race is 5 x 20km, which should make for easy strategies. It's easy to break the race up into 5 parts...1st 20k is the warm up, 2nd 20k is the building stage, 3rd is the consolidation, 4th is the 'let the games begin', 5th is the 'hanging on'!

The list of entrants hasn't been released yet, but two that I know of are Canadian Jason Loutitt, 2nd at last year's World Trail Running Championships and Lizzy Hawker, the great English ultrarunner who set the world record in the 24h at last year's Comm Champs on top of winning the UTMB.

It's a pity that Oz couldn't field more athletes for the team. No doubt some couldn't make it due to other commitments like work and family, but I tend to think too that road ultra running is seen as a bit of an ugly step sister to trail races. I think that more trail runners should consider doing some racing on the road. It not only is a different discipline altogether but it also doesn't hurt your times on the trail either!

I've got a A, B, and C goal for this race. The A goal is sub 7 hours which equates to 4:12km. A tough ask. The B goal is sub 7:15 (4:21). The C goal is a PB so sub 7:31 (4:30). This should be attainable. When I set that PB I never ran ultras, I didn't train half as hard or much as I do now and I know I am fitter and stronger. But running on the flat road can be a devil in disguise. Unlike trails where you normally always get nice descents to recover on, there is no such thing on the road. You cook your engine early and it's a long, lonely shuffle to the finish!