Friday, November 23, 2018

SkyRun 2018

I have not blogged for a bit ....
Liz has dreamed of doing Skyrun for nearly 20 years, last year we tried and we were under trained for trail and snow arrived which nearly delayed the start but it did give us wet feet and Liz got a blister at about 42km in. I sort of gave up after that but we still trudged along to Balloch cave where there is a medical check,. Knowing my Brother and SIL were camping at Balloch and we had stretchers, beer and wine  that made the decision to stop there much to easy.  I had  also put my leg down a sink hole of black mud and realised my reserve shoes were not gonna get me through! The medics were also concerned as high BP indicated dehydration, agreed we could go  .. All in all enough reasons to stop.. You can't keep a good man down can you.

We entered for 2018 and decided to do some better training, we did Wolkberg Trail run which is 40 sat (1800m elevation gain) and 25 sun (800m elevation gain) , awesome weekend, we will be back.  One of our views

A few weeks later we did Mnweni Spring marathon (38km 2133m elevation gain), having done the Autumn  edition in 2009. What a great day! Our time was  9:30 which was about 2 hrs faster than in 2009 , all looked good... Nice profile
Have a look at the route here

And then I got bronchitis on the Tuesday before sky run training camp, I asked the doctor if I could do 100km that weekend at the Skyrun training camp... no response. Then  came the anti-biotics and the cortizone and the pain killers and the cough syrup.. I lost 10 days training.. Not sure the missed training was a problem but the missed training camp was. We seriously needed to do the second half of the route in the light so we had some idea of how to tackle it..  It was not to be.. We did some good training but at the end  of the day how much is enough...

A few days before the Skyrun we hear about service delivery protests in Lady Grey, residents are threatened to not take on visitors, overall an unsavoury event.. BUT Pure Adventures are up to fixing anything , in one afternoon the event is turned on its head and boom route changed start at the finish location no problem about doing the wall twice I mean its only a few kms... There were pros and there were cons. I think next year lady Grey  has missed out on their "biggest income" event of the year. I cannot see this race going back to Lady Grey. Essentially we went back on the route for 33km, which was to a reasonable stream called old faithful and meant we could restock our water. We were forced to carry 3L of water which just about made it for the 22km between water points.
You can watch the route video here  Sky Run fly by

I really don't like running but with 350+ people making a 2km dash along the road I realised a jog was in order. If I run too much i know that my calves will cramp and that will make life quite tough so I took it easy. I walked every incline and was probably about 3/4 back in the field, it was hard trying to keep an eye on Liz as well. Going up the wall the was pretty much single lane congestion, the first cutoff at Ballock 7.7km was 2:30 so we could not dawdle, we go to the top in 1 hr and got to Ballock pretty much on 2hrs.. we gave some jackets and watch chargers to Trevor for storage. A nice 4km stretch along the river included filling up our water before mother in laws revenge.. An idea I had was to put the Powerade concentrate in the bottle to allow a quick mix.

So looking at our profile above , yes we did the out and back section only, that gentle section along the river is actually a reasonable climb , except that straight afterwards you can see people all the way to  the top in front of you... and then some. I really  do not know why but I struggle on these steep climbs whereas Liz just surges ahead.. In the Magaliesberg / Klipriviersberg / Suikerbos I can out climb her, but in her turf in the Drakensberg eish she is tough..  I knew we needed to average better than 15min /km when we got back to Ballock and also knew that  starting with pretty much 25km of uphill we may not quite get it right early on. 

The second cutoff at Skidaw as 4:30 and we made it by 17 minutes, stopping to have a bite to eat we soon set of to reach our highest point for the first time.This leg took 2:03 as we ascended  the dragons back. The views on standalone peaks is really awesome and we treasured the clear skies but did wonder where the predicted overcast weather was. WE started seeing the return runners coming past, a massive gap after the top 4, was followed by an increasing number of tired runners..   

A 1:59  to Snowdon and water plus some food and a find of a full bottle of mixed powerade, was followed by a 2:10  back to Avoca and a 1:57 to Skidaw as the hot wind picked up and the temperatures soared. I tried not  to think too much about the heat but did force myself to drink more than I usually would . We stopped  just after Skidaw for a snack and sort of join up with another group but they took a wrong route, amazing to see the guy teaching his wife the route, only to go wrong and lose nearly 30 minutes on us to Balloch. It seemed every one we met/ passed  or were passed by on this  section had doubts about going past Balloch.

When we got to Balloch our pace was 14:50 /km  so just with our target. We both changed clothes, putting on thermals as the night temps are much lower! We restocked water and food and reported for our out clocking. We spent just on an hour at Balloch which probably was a bit much but was the right thing to do.

Immediately on starting the ascent of the Wall I felt knackered, Liz powered ahead with Hendrik who was the last person to finish in 31hrs:13min, I just had no oomph. The 65km sweep came cruising past me, told Liz to rather go to  the top and wait for me and bolted up. I asked Liz to wait as I caught up with her and we then set off upwards..  I guess the body is tired after 60km and 17hrs of exercise .. Then the 100km sweeps with the final participants caught us Fred Richardson was trying to encourage us all by saying the rest was easily doable, but I remembered the facts, about 1% do negative splits , Adrian never said it was easy. Liz and I changed our minds about 10+ times on the way down the Wall to the road. It really was tempting but we just felt that maybe it was too much, we saw how difficult it was navigating ion the dark. Your torch only really lights up your immediate path, yes we both had torches that we could change focus and brightness but every stop costs time.. We may still harbour doubts but we made the right call...        

Guess Skyrun is not to be.......

           The Start

1 comment:

  1. Not this time, but look at what you have achieved! You guys are amazing, and I love how you support each other.