This weekend sees three very different races being held, one over in Hong Kong, where the might of the Salomon team will be in full force once again, one on the track down in Canberra and the inaugural Stromlo Injinji 12 hour track race run by Ultra168 board member Martin Fryer. Finally, there’s the exquisitely scenic Maroondah Dam down in Victoria run by the ever popular Brett Saxon.
First up we pay a visit to our Victorian friends and Maroondah Dam, one of the most established runs in Australia, and also a selection race for those wishing to qualify for the Australian team to contest the world trail championships. Word on the street says that this one is Victoria’s equivalent of Six Foot Track, and those entered will be contesting either the 30km or 50km events. It is also the first race in the series of the Victorian Trail Championships, which cover:
- Maroondah Dam 19th Feb 2012
- Macedon Ranges 3rd June 2012
- You Yangs Regional Park 22nd July 2012
- Tan Ultra 12th August 2012
- The short course Championship will be held over approx. 6-16km
- The mid-course Championship will be held over approx. 30km
- The longer course Championship will be held over 50km
- The Ultra course Championship will be held over 50km-100km
Good luck to all of those competing down there this weekend and we look forward to the results next week.
From the trails, we head to the track where Marcus and Dan from Ultra168 will be competing in the Injinji Stromlo 12hr pairs race, which takes place on Saturday evening from 6:30pm through to 6:30am the following day. Current C2K champ, Ewan Horsburgh is also spinning his talent in the 12 hour solo event ahead of a shot at the full monty 24 hour distance later in the year. This race is pretty much what it says on the tin – a 12 hour race around a 1km track with the goal of running around that track as many times before the clock runs out. If you’re doing this type of race for the first time, or considering it in the future, we checked in with RD Martin Fryer, one of Australia’s leading ultra-marathon runners to see what he has to say for those running this weekend:
“Running a good race in this format requires careful pacing for a good performance. For 12h Solo newbies I would suggest that you don’t start out any faster than approx 1 K/h faster than your final goal average pace – e.g for a 120 K total the average is 10K/h (6 min/K), so I would recommend not exceeding 11K/h (about 5:30 min/K) in the early parts of the race.
“It is also helpful to take regular walk breaks from the very beginning: all except the elite competitors would benefit from a run to walk ratio of around 4 or 5 to 1 in terms of time (e.g run 16 min run, 4 min walk or 25 min run, 5 min walk), making use of the walk times to get in adequate food and drink. This may seem far too easy at the beginning but gets significantly harder as the race progresses. More experienced and elite runners may have very occasional walk breaks – more like a ratio of 10:1 to 30:1- but at least some walking is good for changing muscle groups and for more comfortable nutrition/hydration.”
There you have it, straight from the horses mouth!
Finally, we have Ryan Sandes and Grant Guise from Team Salomon smashing it out on the Hong Kong trails in the Vibram Hong Kong 100kms. The 100km course starts in Pak Tam Chung on the Sai Kung Peninsula and covers some of the most beautiful scenery in Hong Kong, including remote and unspoilt beaches, ancient forests, nature trails, reservoirs and steep hills. The course is based around Hong Kong’s famous Maclehose Trail, but with some diversions to ensure that runners spend more time in its most scenic sections, as well as finishing with the descent from Hong Kong’s highest peak (Tai Mo Shan). The course involves a cumulative elevation gain of over 4500 meters and the cut-off time is 32 hours.
Ultra168’s man on the ground in Hong Kong, Andre Blumberg will be helping us with full details from the race, but it looks like it will be a corker and it will be interesting to see how Ryan goes ahead of coming back to Australia in May for The North Face 100km event. Giddy up!