|At the start line|
|At Terros Ladders|
|All UTA runners on the back of a T-shirt ... An Ironman merchandise trait|
The sub heading to this a report on a DNF race should read what can go wrong and does often despite the best planning .
Unfortunately despite the best preparation and a 5 month build with more elevation then I have ever done ,I DNFed the UTA 100.
I still do not have a definitive reason other than by checkpoint 3 I was having cramps and spasms in the left leg and despite more salt it was not stopping the spasms.In addition I felt the legs were much more fatigued than I had experienced at that stage of the race. I was not in the frame of mind to really determine what had gone wrong .I just knew I wasn't going to struggle through the rest of the race just to finish.
The week leading up to the race had been good. The only downside was I slept little the night before and the fatigue may have not helped. Other than that I arrived on Thursday and kept my walking to the minimum .Did a short 2.5km run and then nothing for the rest of the week till Saturday Morning.
The start came soon enough and it was a great day .Cool weather at about 7-8C and I was in start group 5 which started of at 7.21am. ( an hour behind the elite group 1) I felt good and got into a steady pace early till we got to the bottom of the valley running along landslide and then up the golden steps.Got to check point 1 in 1.41 fastest yet by a minute and then refilled the bladder but I hadn't really drunk much at that point as it was still cool and I was not going too hard. The next stage to checkpoint 2 Dunphy's camp was a 20 km run and that is where I suspect I started to have issues. My 2 bottles of fluid with nutrition (tailwind) concentrated meant that did not add to my fluids/hydration , leaving me with a bladder with about 1.2 l for the next 3 hours of running . I suspect that led to a deficiency in fluids and the muscle tiring and then at Dunphy's in the rush to get out I filled the bladder but failed to drink more.By the time I got to Ironpot I was tiring rapidly and struggling . Going down from Ironpot I had slowed and then walked out of the climb 5kms from Check point 3 which was the start of the six inch run. By the time I got there I was just done and mentally disappointed that the muscles were so fatigued. Sadly I decided to pull the pin as the intention was to finish but with a faster time than the previous 2 runs .Sadly not to be.Mentally I had not prepared for this contingency and worse not worked out my fluid intake .The elites would probably have got by with 3-400ml per hour. I had a sweat test last year and in hot conditions I would need at least 1 litre an hour or more. In the warm conditions in the valley I suspect I was only taking half of what I needed especially as I ran out of water 4 km from checkpoint 3 and only had my concentrated nutrition . A really big rookie mistake to make.
Despite the fail , I enjoyed the tough training especially the 2 trips to Bluff Knoll and the increased fitness leading up to the UTA.Not sure if I will be back next year . I plan to run a few local races but on returning to Perth I got a bad dose of Flu and have been ill for 2 weeks with no training. The body was probably run down and the flight back did not help.
If I needed a reason to run ultras it is in the piece down in the Guardian
Guardian article on Ultra Running
A strange Peace
It is about conquering the demons .Sadly sometimes it isn't enough to finish .I wanted a PB badly and the mind just would not accept finishing .