You know that trail running is popular when 13 people turn up for a training run ahead of this year’s biggest trail ultra, the Great North Walk 100 miler. What’s even more staggering about this is that it three times the amount of people who actually finished the race in its first year of operation – oh how the times have changed.
What we do know is that this is brilliant, and we can only hope that it gets better and better. The setting for Saturday’s run was an out and back between checkpoint five and four (Somersby to Yarramalong and back). Despite being around 25-30 minutes ‘quicker’ due to some course changes, there are still some extremely gnarly sections that have the ability to chew you up and spit you out. There was a lot of testosterone kicking about too, and the only goal of the day was to go hard, or go out.
All the regulars from Ultra168 were present, along with a certain Running Mad Kiwi fella who was talking himself up quite a bit. Fresh from his DNS at The Tan Ultra, our Kiwi friend was keen to dish out some banter as we jogged merrily along the beautiful bushland towards the Hidden Valley. We’d set a few provisional splits mentally as to how fast we wanted to run, but ultimately the goal was a sub 6 hour run for the return journey – which for the most part the majority of us managed to achieve with ease. Have a look at the video below to see some of the course, and indeed the banter from the boys.