It was a cold foggy morning at Olinda in the Dandenongs last Sunday for the third race in the Salomon Trail Running Series.
I was doing the long course, 21km, and we were the first wave of runners to go.
The run was due to start at 8.30am and everyone waiting for the start was rugged up in their pants and puffer jackets until the very last moment.
Thankfully it didn’t take long to warm up when we were finally waved away.
It was a pretty tough course.
There was a lot of steep descent at the start and in the early kilometres. The course seemed to just keep going down and down. I kept thinking “what goes down must come up” so I didn’t go too hard, thinking I’d try and keep something in reserve for the climb back to the finish.
The trails were pretty good – a mixture of wide dirt track, fire trail and single track. They meandered through tall trees, ferny gullies and past gentle streams. I had to keep reminding myself to look around and take in the scenery every now and then instead of watching the ground all the time or heals of the person in front of me.
I was able to run at my own leisurely pace for much of the run. But when the climbing started, it certainly slowed everyone down. Long queues of runners (well, walkers actually) formed on the single track sections with few chances to overtake.
It was a little frustrating at first as I’m pretty good at hills but then I thought there was no point stressing about it. It was a nice day to be out and about and used the opportunity to get my breath back.
As much as I enjoyed the run, I was glad to get to the finish when I did. The juice was running low. But I was happy with my time – 2 hours 16 minutes – and I’m looking forward to the fourth and final race of the series at Anglesea in a few weeks.