9th-15th December: I was a spoilt little trail kid this week.
Tues/Weds = Thredbo trip for MTB fun and a long run around Kosci/Charlotte’s Pass/Main Range loop.
Fri/Sat = Katoomba trip for Mt Solitary long run/hike and a hills session on Nellies Glen.
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.