Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yurrebilla 2011

After I'd finished.
So where does one start to talk about a day that held a challenge that has been so long awaited...

It was August last year when I first heard of Yurrebilla. For one reason or another I was unable to do it that year and it's haunted me ever since.
Last year, while the event was on, all I could do was think about the lucky people who were running it and experiencing it and sharing in each others pains and triumphs.
I wanted to be a part of it too and was so gutted I hadn't been.

This year was always going to be different. There was no way I was going to let it escape me this year.

I started by doing the training runs. The first two were done "two way" so I could get familiar with the trail and get the extra trail time in my legs.

Between a few of us, we organised a couple more training runs including one starting from Eagle on the Hill and finishing at Athelstone... the finish line.
Although this was a fantastic day, my performance up black hill left a LOT to be desired. This hill has broken many a runner during Yurrebilla and I was more than a little worried how I would handle it with 50kms in my legs...

So I started training on it. Going up and down, up and down.. and felt pretty confident with what I had done. I knew it would be different on the day with tired legs, but I wanted to have the confidence, or positive mental edge. By this morning, I was very familiar with the Black Hill portion of the trail and knew exactly what was coming up and where. I knew I could run up most of it on a good day...

As expected, I didn't sleep well last night but that's ok.
I got up just before 4am as I was just waiting for the alarm to go off anyway... quickly realised that I was ready in 20 minutes and was way early... the bus was leaving at 5.30 and even if I left the house at 5am, I'd be early...

I ended up getting to the bus at 5am.. was just so anxious to start!

We huddled at the start line. I was in the first group. (There were three start groups)
The countdown happened and off we went!! and all I could think was "I'm finally running Yurrebilla" I was just so happy!
I was surprised at how quickly the pack thinned out. There was a couple of guys ahead of me, then another girl and I ran together for a long time. At the halfway mark, one more guy passed us from our group and said something about  being on schedule for a 7 hour finish. The girl I was with and I just looked at each other and said "Does he know what the finish is like???" It may be 6kms, but you ain't going to be doing that in less than an hour... Not the regular people anyhow...

So we kept running... The girl I was with has had knee problems and has had limited running leading up to this event. She was worried how her knee would pull up.
She had her support crew come to meet her at just over the 30kms mark. Somewhere around there anyhow.. So I left them to it and went on as I was pretty confident of the route here on in.

Everyone kept telling me I was the first girl to come through. Made me feel pretty good even though I knew there were two groups starting after me.. so even though I was the first girl through, didn't mean I was placing first. But I was first in my group.

Finished strongly without too many dramas.
Runners from the 2nd and 3rd group starting passing me about the 44kms mark.

When I was 400 or so meters from the end I felt a lump in my throat and thought I was going to cry... but then my calf cramped up again as it had been doing off and on in the last 6kms and at that point a group B runner whizzed past me so the tears were put away and I forgot the cramp so I could just finish...

My time was 7.41.
If you had told me that I'd run this this morning, I wouldn't have believed it.
I was secretly hoping for 8 hours but thought I'd get 8 1/2...
Don't know if I could top it next year though!


  1. Congratulations! This is a fantastic accomplishment!

  2. You did so well Margo. Just think you were home in the shower as I was tackling Black Hill.