My Holy Running Grail – The Point to Pinnacle

It’s known as the world’s toughest half-marathon

21.4km of uphill grind from Wrest Point Casino to the top of Mt Wellington in Hobart, Tasmania (Australia)

This is my Holy Running Grail

I can’t actually pinpoint when this became my goal.  It sort of snuck up on me.  As I conquered each little distance the limits I put around my running started to fall away.  My goodness, if I can run 5km I am sure I can run 10km.  And then, with determination and training I did run 10km. I kept running and entering fun runs.  Initially I felt out of place and uncomfortable but slowly I started to feel happy with anticipation.  The Unsporty Woman can do fun runs – who would have thought this possible?  Certainly not me.  If I can run 10km perhaps I can do a half-marathon.  Why not the world’s toughest?  It’s right on my doorstep in Hobart.  I shall have a go.  And so my biggest running dream, my hugest goal for running was created.

The Point to Pinnacle is on Sunday 17 November this year.  Let me tell you a bit more about it.

On Tuesday my friend J took me night trail running in the bush (my last post was about this).  It was so much fun and I can’t wait to do some more trail running.  We drove up part of the course that the P2P covers.  Just for fun I pushed go on my GPS.

7kms P2P course - clocked with my GPS in the car.

The GPS clocking our drive in the car

The road just goes up and up.  Over the 7km drive the altitude rose 450m.

All up the course rises  1,270m in elevation.  Driving up just a third of it on Tuesday I was overwhelmed by how steep it is.  There are some very steep hair-pin bends and it just keeps climbing and climbing. J has walked the P2P three times and her best time is 3:03:00 which is very fast for walking.  While we drove up on Tuesday night we had a good natter about it.  One thing that really concerns me is the time limit.  I know (at least I believe) I can run up this mountain but I’m all about distance, I’m not fast – running all the way and finishing is very important to me, the time it takes to run the distance is very much secondary.  The P2P has time limits.

This is what the web site says about time limits:

Time Limits

All competitors must complete the course by 11.40am (Run: 3 hours 40 minutes, walk: 4 hours 40 minutes).

In addition to the finish time all competitors must pass the below points on the course by the following times:

1. 8.30am All competitors MUST BE PAST the junction of Davey Street and The Southern Outlet.

2. 9.40am All competitors MUST BE PAST the turn onto Pilanger Drive off Huon Road.



Anyone who does not meet these times will be asked to follow normal road rules by using the footpath to meet the next timing point. These time frames are set by Tasmania Police and will be strictly enforced to ensure roads can be opened at designated times for normal traffic use.

Any competitor who has not completed the course by 11.40am will be instructed by Tasmania Police to hop on the final bus leaving the Pinnacle at 11.40am as it comes down the mountain. This is to make sure the event complies with Tasmania Police approval and Pilinger Drive can be reopened to regular traffic at designated times. (Source: )

The time limit concerns me.  No, that’s an understatement, the time limit TERRIFIES ME!!!

Yesterday the Sydney City2Surf FaceBook posted an article titled How to avoid race day disasters.  Point 2 was all about knowing your course.  Up until Tuesday I had been avoiding looking at the course.  I had looked at the photo of the elevations but not googled the course.  Then I read the time limits – let’s just say that the Unsporty Woman wanted to be an ostrich and stick her head in the sand! Time limits?  Oh dear!

Today I sat with Husband and we worked out pace and times.  We looked at the information about time limits and studied the map.  I would have to run very very very slowly not to make these times.  I did the Lilydale Lope of 16.6km of steep hills in 1:49:00 – I’m sure with the training I’m doing I can achieve this run within the allocated time.  I truly believe this and I will work to make it happen.  It helps that Husband thinks I can do it, it helps a great deal.


Maybe I will succeed with my goal to run the P2P, to run all the way and finish.  Maybe I won’t.  Not to try will be far worse than not succeeding.  Sometimes the weather is so bad that the event has to be cancelled.  Things happen and running plans have to be shelved.  Whatever happens between now and 17 November I’ll be training as best I can, giving it my best shot to be as ready as I can possibly be.  What happens on the day only time will tell.

Mt Wellington


Point to Pinnacle here I come.  If I can work hard and run all the way to our letter box, then work my way to running 5km, then 10km, then slowly adding distance bit by bit,  why not the world’s toughest half-marathon?  I never thought I would run 1km in my life, now I regularly clock up around 35km per week.  Running has become my friend, my stress-relief, something to feel good about.  I can set running goals and work towards them AND guess what?  If I can do this running thing ANYONE can.  Honestly I’m the Unsporty Woman and I can run.  I am a runner.

Happy running 🙂

PS Husband and I are going to do our very first half-marathon on 13 July.  It does have some uphills but unlike the P2P it has some downhills and some flat parts too.  We are very excited.  It’s wonderful to put ourselves out there and have a go.  No matter what the goal, big or small we are all winners just for having a go!

14 thoughts on “My Holy Running Grail – The Point to Pinnacle

  1. I had no idea that it was the world’s toughest marathon. That’s pretty awesome in itself! You’ve trained for this (and will continue to do so right up to 17 November), you’ve discovered and nurtured your love of running, and I have no doubt at all that you’ll achieve your (pretty darn inspiring) goal. All the best. 🙂

  2. Sounds like an awesome race! I recently completed America’s Toughest Road Marathon, where there was over 7,000 ft. Of elevation change spanning three mountains in the state of Virginia, USA. I blogged about this run a few weeks back. You should check it out. Maybe it will be your next bucket list race. 🙂

  3. I`m following Hal Higdon`s half marathon plan, hoping a couple of injury setbacks won`t prevent my competing in a July half too. Happy training!

  4. Pingback: July kms and I’ve registered… | Unsporty Women Can Run

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