I jumped at the chance to race for No Roads Expeditions Trail Running Team. I was even more excited when my training partner Beth Cardelli said she’d travel down to the Mornington Peninsular to race the 30/50 Challenge too. Beth and I had unfinished business. Beth sadly had to pull out of our No Roads Expeditions Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney team with an injury. We both trained hard together and we were busting to race together rather than race against each other. We were both keen to run together and give each other a real push. I’m a great starter she is a great finisher. Together we will make a great team.
There was only problem. 6 days before the event I was diagnosed with haemophilus influenza. 9 days before 30/50 or 6 days after my GNW DNF I was still having problems with my breathing. I was getting worse. My strengthened asthma drugs were not working at all. I felt like I was only breathing out of one lung. I could feel something blocking my bronchioles on my right side. I was worried. It felt like I had a growth of some sort. I actually thought the worst, I was thinking cancer I felt so sick. I decided that I would go back to the doctor and get a referral for a specialist.
The GOW 100k was my second 100k trail race, after my first, The North Face 100 in the Blue Mountains. I still felt like I didn’t know what I was doing! I expected the course to be much flatter and with a lot less stairs. Also, the mandatory gear requirements were less stringent, which, thankfully, meant I was carrying less.
This race was run along the Great Ocean Walk coastal trail, which is located along the Great Ocean Road on the Victorian coast. The course itself was a mixture of fire trails, beaches and single track. The commonality of all of those was the beautiful scenery. The race started in Apollo Bay and wound its way around to Port Campbell.
Of course, being on the coast, we were subject to some tough weather conditions. We were faced with rain that came in sideways, and then warm sun that made me feel very hot! These two conditions kept swapping all day, but part of the challenge of an ultra race is dealing with different and difficult conditions. Such changes in weather also make a race more memorable, the coast is even more beautiful when the weather is blustery and wet.