AMRA Tour de Ridges, best week ever?

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9th-15th December: I was a spoilt little trail kid this week.

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Tues/Weds = Thredbo trip for MTB fun and a long run around Kosci/Charlotte’s Pass/Main Range loop.

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Fri/Sat = Katoomba trip for Mt Solitary long run/hike and a hills session on Nellies Glen.

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Sun = Back in Canberra for AMRA Tour de Ridges 21km race.

Looked like a high quality field and I thought I might struggle after a big training week. One of the younger uni guys, Tom Body, led off at the start. I was at the front of a chase group including the likes of Paul Cuthbert, Rob Walter, Tim Cochrane, Scott Imhoff, Jeremy Gallant.

Rob and I took the lead after a few km and I decided to take a risk – push as hard as possible and try to bury everyone else, hoping that I could keep it up. This seemed to work pretty well as Rob and I gapped the rest of the field. I would get a small lead on each of the downhills and hold it on the flats, before Rob would catch up on the major climbs. We also were lucky enough (and a bit freaked out) to spot a huge wedge tailed eagle perched on the ground a couple of metres from the fire trail.

After the 16km mark it’s pretty much flat fire trail to the finish, and I had maybe a 10 second lead. Rob burned me by about 10 seconds per km for the last section and finished 30s ahead. I couldn’t quite latch on to him, but was pretty stoked with a close 2nd, as this was by far the closest I’ve ever been to him (usually it’s a km or two in races of this distance). This was also a course PB for me by 5mins or so. Tim Cochrane came in for 3rd and I considered myself lucky he wasn’t in peak form. Hanny Allston set a new women’s course record.

Good atmosphere with everyone hanging around afterwards to collect spot prizes of wine and chocolates courtesy of John Harding/AMRA. A few boys from uni finished strongly which is a good sign for ANU’s Inward Bound competition that is coming up in March. My focus is now on Bogong to Hotham (12th Jan) and preparing for the unpredictable weather conditions.

Official results/report 

Image(photographer: John Harding)

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