The lovely thing about Convicts and Wenches, apart from the perfect autumn running conditions, was that all of us went in without any expectations. We were out to run the distance. Run the distance and enjoy the scenery.
Convicts and Wenches has three distances: 12kms, 25kms and 50kms. Louise, Pauly and I went for the 25kms and Louise’s husband Grant went for the 12kms. Louise, Pauly and I are known as Team Huey, Dewey and Louie, Grant is Daffy and together we make four of the member of Team Quackers – The Team for Bruny Island Ultra in December. More on this in coming months.
The course for the 25kms went out and back along Green’s Beach for 3kms, through 6kms of undulating coastal headland trails, over a small section of boulders, out to the end of Badger’s Beach (this is the 14km and turn around point) then back again missing out the Green’s Beach section.
I can’t believe how wonderful the day was. We were relaxed, no pre-race nerves to speak of (well apart from getting lost, snakes and other creepy crawly encounters…apart from that…relaxed!)
It was a small field of runners – about 70 in the 25kms. I positioned myself at the back and for a short while (up to the 9km mark) was rocking last place (again). Running the 6kms of headland track I stuck like glue to the other back-of-packers. It wasn’t well marked! Fortunately I managed to keep up with a running friend who knew the way well. I had planned to walk the rough sections but found myself running the whole way! I quickly worked out that I needed at least 4m between me and the runner in front to allow for adequate viewing of the terrain. I nearly fell over three times on the way out. We were travelling at about a 6:30 to 7:00 min/km pace which is fast considering the hazards along the way – branches, rocks, tree roots and brachen obscured sections. No snakes though fortunately! (What was that russell in the bushes?!? Yikes! KEEP UP Unsporty Woman!). Did I mention it was undulating? Up and down, up and down it went!
After getting through the trail there was a short section of boulders to get over. As soon as my feet hit them a cramp took hold! Ugh! It was funny to go from running the trail to boulders – I think my foot decided to voice its displeasure at having to change running style. Once the cramp died down I was on such a high that I had to take a happy-runfie (a running selfie) and I posted it to facebook as you do when you’re running and having a good time but don’t care about what time you do.
Fiona and her lovely boys were on the beach cheering everyone on. So good!!! You can’t put a dollar value on those cheers!
Onto the beach and I was away. It was lovely. I saw Pauly and Louise fly by on their return trip, both looking strong and happy. The houses in the distance of the photo above is the turn around point – they were way in front of me! At the turnaround point I decided to fully stop – I haven’t done this before but it worked yesterday. I had a new source to refuel on – I had tried one but not on a long run. Talk about yummy! And it sat in my stomach without any Shrek-like noises! At the drinks stop Endura electrolytes, water, coke, bananas and lollies (candy) were provided – I had the electrolytes with my hammer bar. Oh and I had a good chat with the volunteers and a few other runners – it was fun.
Then it was time to get on back to the finish line!
I got lost four times on the way back! I got a bit anxious AND I was running on my own. All the people I’d been running with had slowed right down and I left them behind one by one. I was also a little worried about creepy crawlies and slithery things in the undergrowth. I slowed down a bit and walked the rough sections as I’d planned initially. I’d been passed at the 9km/19km drink stop by the first 50km runner and was expecting to have to pull over for other elites, but didn’t have to – but this slowed me down too because I was mindful of keeping an ear out for them, I didn’t want to slow them down. 50kms of a run like this must be so tough!!!
My time was about 3:05:00 – I forgot to stop my watch at the end and official times aren’t out yet. Louise was 2:34:00 and Pauly 2:30:00. Grant did a fantastic 12kms considering he doesn’t really train, coming in about 1:19:00.
Then it was back to Louise and Grant’s holiday house where we stayed on Saturday night – we were spoilt with a fantastic brunch.
All up a great way to spend a Sunday. Friends. Running. Beach. Perfect.
Happy running 🙂