Yesterday I woke before the crack of dawn (seriously, the alarm buzzed at the horrifyingly early hour of 3am) to make the 1 hour, 37 minute drive to Numinbah Valley Hall for Round 2 of South East Queensland Trail Running Series. It was even more AWESOME than Round 1 at Enoggera!
First up: the event planning, communications and organisation was superb again. Parking was well marshalled in an adjacent block of land, most of the sponsors were in place and smiling when I arrived at 5:30am, and it was a very short queue (behind one person) to obtain my long course race bib. There are also ample portaloos. The organisers, Those Guys, dressed as a banana and Deadpool, conducted the same pre-race briefing as at Enoggera. I was hoping for something new, but mimicking the flight attendant’s safety briefing was still very funny! Most amazingly, the sweeper/tail collecting pink tape and other markers on the course had completed the Blackall 100 the week prior.
While it seemed more popular, this race was actually smaller than Round 1 with only 361 participants. I did hear that there were a few more injuries on this course, and several runners who forgo-ed their race to help those in need. Runners are the best people!
Second: We departed in 10 waves of approx 20-40 runners each, with 2 minutes between each wave; I was in Wave 5. This made complete sense as 40m into the race we were ducking into a one person-wide tunnel to cross under the main road and onto a thin trail in the bush. Eventually this met wider rough gravel, before heading onto what seemed to be very rough fire warden trails. Now the real fun began downhill (yes, I had the niggling thought that “what goes down has to come back up again…”) and about 4 or 5 small creek crossings. When I approached the first creek, I barrelled through while other dry sock ninnies (their words merely repeated) tried to find flat, dry, non-slip stones to cross via. They gave up on trying by the second and third creeks. At one point, I had to rethink my route as it was a tad deeper than was reasonable to cross without swimming, and I really didn’t want my phone wet. The clear water was welcome though as the day had started to warm up considerably, and it was refreshingly cool on my tight calves.
The Numinbah Valley 11.4kms took longer (01:45:24) than Enoggera 12.9kms (01:40:29), and I blame ‘the monster hill’. This felt like a sheer 400m never-ending horizontal climb, that I marched while silently repeating “left foot, right foot” to get me up and over. Then I was running again, downhill, across flats, through green forests, back on the gravel road and eventually close enough to the event zone that I could smell the sausages on the BBQ. I knew I was about 1km from home! Those sausages got me to focus again and keep my footing. Then, I was back in the tunnel running under the road, crossing the finish line and high fiving one of the event organisers. And smiling and yelling “that was brilliant”.
I finished the day with a sausage sizzle, cola and hung around another half hour for the random prize draw (no winnings though). Upon returning home, I signed up for Round 4 at Bayview. I couldn’t register for Round 3 at Pomona because I did that 2 weeks ago!
The pics are from the race day photographers (finally got some worth buying!).