This won’t be a race report of the Cradle Mountain Run (last Saturday’s little day out). I have just finished editing the GoPro footage, some of which does it justice, so I’ll mostly defer to that…bar a short summary:
Wow! That is the grand-daddy of trails. Beautiful, technical and wild. It was a hot day, and my body was not in the mood to cope well with that, so I was slow, letting the engine cool a few times to extend its longevity.
I was also a bit under-prepared for just how much of the trail is super-technical. Nearly all of it, is the truth. Don’t be fooled by footage of duckboard and parallel boards – there is a lot of that, but couldn’t be more than 10kms in total.
Multiple people had warned me about the last 20kms being extremely rooty and rocky. What they hadn’t mentioned is that, apart from the immediate 10kms before that, which itself wasn’t exactly easy, the 30kms before THAT was actually harder than the infamous Lake St Clair section at the end, in My Humble. Even the first 20kms, which were the easiest, still involved a lot of rock-hopping over very challenging terrain. Hardcore, man!
One great relief and, ironically, a highlight was the water situation – I can get a bit panicky when I’m not sure where my next refill is coming from, and I knew there was no water supplied by man along the way: streams and creeks were the go. I had some concerns beforehand about drinking the water untreated, especially with prior reports of giardia outbreaks. However, once I was committed, and realised that the moving water was relatively frequent, I actually quite enjoyed looking forward to my next taste of gorgeous, COLD mountain water. The fountain of youth, y’all!
Another key highlight was knowing my wife was going to be waiting for me at the finish. After nearly 20 ultramarathons, this was a first (logistics etc, what with three young kids and trail ultras being somewhat inconvenient), apart from the Coburg 24 Hour, which was much easier to get to! To her I accredit the late burst of adrenalin that saw me run out the last 5kms at something approaching reasonable pace, and JUST sneaking in under 13 hours. Magic.
Here’s the vid: