Wednesday, 7 October 2015

You Yangs 80Km 2015 (Trails Plus)

Event Date19th July 2015
LocationYou Yangs, Victoria, Australia
Relative DifficultyEasy Moderate Hard Extreme
StyleSupported, trail ultra-marathon
TerrainHard packed single trail and mtb tracks, gravel fire track.
Aid StationsApprox. every 5km. Well stocked (Gels, cake, drinks, sweets).
My Position11th of 19
My Time10h11m
Winning Time7h32m
Drop Out Rate15%
Weather on the dayCool/cold. 0-10C, (freezing in the early morning, sunny through the day)
Course (Strava)You Yangs 80km 2015
Event WebsiteTrailsPlus - You Yangs
Enjoyment Rating1 2 3 4 5
Lessons LearntGoing out hard in the first 30km is not a good idea (for me).
Before I write about the event, I need to qualify it with this. At the beginning of the race I decided to hang with the front runners for the first 30km. I wanted to assess my current fitness against them. It was a strategy I knew could hurt, but I least I was aware of that from the oust.

Was it a good idea? No. Would I do it again? No. Do I regret doing it? No. I learned something valuable; I like ultra running because I like spending long days running trails.

The competition isn't as important to me as the experience is. If I can complete at the front on any given day, then great, that's fun. But setting out with the sole objective to complete (to win) isn't what I enjoy. That's just me; I like the experience of an ultra. The highs, lows, the pain and euphoria, the nature around me. The competition comes second.

So, to the event...

This was a really well organised event (a common theme with TrailsPlus events). Registration on the day on quick and easy, the trails were clearly marked, and there were plenty of aid stations.

Aid stations were about 5km apart. All were very well stocked with the usual things you'd expect; a variety of drinks, sweets, fruit, cake, gels, etc. Great if you like running with minimal kit.

You can easily get around this course without needing to carry any food, and arguably without needing to carry any water.

The weather was cold in the morning, about -1C. It was a beautiful sunny winter day, and warmed up to a high of around 10C.

I ran the start of the race in shorts and a thermal top, then swapped my thermal top for a short sleeved top a couple of hours into the race.

The course contains some nice single track, connected by dirt fire roads and hard packed mountain bike trails. The single track trails were really nice; a mix fast twisty trails, some rocks, a bit of undulation, and all run-able.

The hard-packed mountain bike trails... I didn't like them. They were too boring for me. They twist through a lightly forested section, were completely flat, and very hard under foot. I would have preferred more loops of the single track.

All in all, I didn't really enjoy running this race. The event itself is organised really well, but I really didn't enjoy all the flat, hard, mountain bike tracks. And my strategy of going out hard and seeing how long I could hold on... was silly. But hey, you only learn through trying different things!

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