GNW Training Week One – The Somersby to Yarramalong Pain Train

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.

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I'm a mediocre runner who can bat above his average when I train hard. A man of extremes, I do enjoy everything life offers and consider it an absolute pleasure just to be able to put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander somewhere different.

5 thoughts on “GNW Training Week One – The Somersby to Yarramalong Pain Train

  1. Thanks for a top day out. Even with a deeply dicked knee and a conversational run back with Poppy I Garmined my own half-arsed effort at 5:59 – I know, what are the frickin’ odds on that? Who went over 6:00? I mean, apart from the dude who was training for walking and the local crew who came for a yog, who could it have been among the runners that fancied themselves that took longer than 6 hours? Even though they offloaded multiple weight penalties throughout their Galloway training?
    : )

  2. P.S. Coober won, by the way – what a sick legend of a dog. Pretty cool that he’ll still go for a run with a bunch of noddies even now that he’s a huge film star.

  3. I know Roger, I ran this route about six weeks ago in a very pedestrian 6:17… and that was taking it real easy. I think they may have to redirect the GNW again given what our Kiwi friend was up to…

  4. It’s very interesting to see the evolution of not only the race but the approach people are now taking to conquer this course. Less than 2 years ago a group of us did a training run on this same section although we did O/B from Yarralamong to Somersby. That day took us 7:04 run time plus a 30 minute break at Somersby. This run on the weekend took us on average 5:30 to 6:00 run time with only a few mins break. Sure some did closer to 5:00 but as a group the run was faster for sure.

    It’s swarm mentality as soon as a time is posted people are keen to go out and break it, even in training.

    Bring on next weekend – real hills and big step up in distance.

  5. Totally agree Vizey. Just this morning, as I was running down Mandalong Street, I was recalling the fact that two years ago our 50km training run times on the GNW started with a ‘7’… now they start with a ‘5’… Big mentality shift, coupled with some vague ability increase too 🙂

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