Nerang 100 miler, my first….. but not my last
My Nerang 100 miler race report, its a long read but hopefully will raise a smile with some of you..
The course set in Nerang forest on well-defined rocky tracks
100 mile – 6 full loops of 25 km plus 2 x ~5.5 km loops – elevation gain = 6272 metres
Having not had the best preparation with 2 weeks prior to the race, put on a course of anti-biotics and having lost 3kg due to no bottom brakes, I was actually surprised to get to the start line, but with huge thanks to my Meli and the amazing Wright support crew a DNS was never on the cards.
The week before was all about preparation, both in kit checks as I was wanting a shower halfway to refresh and a solid fuelling strategy and yes we took far too much food and drink but better to go in ugly than end up empty.
Standing at the race briefing and looking to see only 12 of us lined up for the miler did worry me somewhat as to how many of us would finish, and would I be a DNF.
Enough of that Stephen get in the zone now… right now.
6:00am and we are off with the 100km and 50mile runners, I pick my place right at the back and then 4th from last at the top of 3 hills, from this part I no longer took an interest or knew my position in the miler. The Nerang course is rocky, loose underfoot, hilly and all those other nasties I had been warned of, but Nerang seemed to like me. Every hour on the hour, endurolyte tablet, some food; either Baby food, Clif bar, Lollies or Salty chips always taken with plenty of Tailwind, Squincher or water from the aid stations on course. First loop done in 3hr 25 and feeling good and happy to see Meli half set up with my next laps supplies ready.
Loop 2, this is where it started to warm and already the climbs felt harder and about 15k into this loop it was just plain hot and my legs started to complain, at this point I was struggling to find shade and to get enough fluids in so walked plenty, my guts then decided at this early stage that Clif bars were coming up and Technicolor vomit was the result, this was a hard lap and by the time I got back my head was pounding. Second loop done in 4hrs, I took a good rest this time, re-evaluated my fuelling to stick with Baby food, collected my “iced” cold shirt, ice filled hat, Dan sprayed me with a mist of cold water then drank coconut water like a fish and was given some Panadol for my head.
Loop 3, this one started hot, so I went steady, now also with Mick the Stick and Crampfix on board ready for those leg demons. The Stick helped immensely and we soon became best friends especially on Heartbreak hill, my running was no longer running, more like stylish stumbling. On the way down 3 hills, it had become head torch time and noises to the side made me smile when I looked to see a possums eyes lit up as it chewed on the flour put down to mark the course, it was at this point I received my reminder to look where I was going, as I tripped and very nearly fell. I walked the rest and made my third loop in 4hrs 56. At my crew table I jettisoned my food, stick , picked up a drink and headed straight back out for the 5.5k out and back, this I covered in 1hr 5 and was soon walking back in to have reached 50miles in 13hrs 28.
Dan escorted me to the showers helped me off with my shoes, sense checked my feet, then I showered and put on all fresh clothing bar my shoes. Back at the table the crew fed me home-made special fried rice (yummy), home-made banana bread (yummier), made me drink like a fish, stocked up my belt and I was off again into the night.
Loop 4 and 5 were similar, I hurt, I dug in and I smiled in the darkness, the rustles in the forest, the sounds of pigs all helped keep me alert, and I enjoyed the darkness, me run/walking in my semi-circle of light. Lap 5 threw up another vomit session and headache, but that ended when I pulled in again to my crew table then quickly to the toilet, very quickly. Loop 4 in 5hrs 01, Loop 5 in 4hrs 59, so pretty similar. Before loop 6, they fed me chunks of sausage complete with sausage jokes, stocked me up made me drink, took my head torch then sent me off now in daylight having covered 130km in 23hrs 29.
When I reached the top of 3 hills this time, it hit me that this was my last big loop, finish this one and your 5.5k out and back and your done Stephen, you are going to finish this miler. And I was lifted from my toes to my head, no more pain, no more doubt, everywhere I could run I ran. Another huge lift were all the 50k and then 25k runners that started at 6:00am coming past me each of them congratulating me and telling me what a great job I was doing, thank you every one of you. I got warm, the shirt came off and I felt fantastic, coming into the start/finish area grinning from ear to ear loop 6 covered in 4hrs 16 and ready for my last 5.5k, I announced to Mel, I just wanted Tailwind, a shot of Crampfix and I was off back up 3 hills and over to the turnaround point, it flew, I felt amazing, far too many emotions carrying me to the finish line, as I turned into the Velodrome, my Mel was there waiting for me , the Wright crew cheering me in, my little sunshine Kahlia grabbed her grandads hand to run in with me……
I did it, I ran my first 100miler, it was not easy but not the impossible dream I thought it would be, the race was not without incident, 2 bouts of vomit, one extreme toilet stop, trip hazard possums, wild pig impersonators, the Saturday heat but I wouldn’t change any of it, I learned more than I could write down here and I’ve realised a dream, 28hrs 36mins on my feet has not put me off, rather the opposite, I want to do it again already
Issues – Stomach, too much of one thing combined with the heat caused the vomiting.
Things that worked – Salomon S-lab sense ultra-shoes & Steigen socks, not one blister or lost toenail, 2XU Compression shorts and calf guards have left me with minimal muscle stiffness, Dads shirts kept me cool and positive, Mick the Stick(you are so coming to UTA with me),Tailwind, Hammer extreme endurolytes every hour( Thanx Tommy), Crampfix its foul tasting but amazingly quick working.
My rules for this miler were to stay upright, don’t get lost and try to finish in 30hrs…
Thank you “The Wright Crew” you are more than amazing, you’re the best, giving up so much of your time and effort to get me through in style, we did it together(keep those shirts for next year ). Thank you to everyone that showed me support this weekend, people that just came out to shout words of encouragement, all of my family in England that have bombarded me with good feeling, all my mates worldwide posting kind words on social media, race directors(Ben D's impromptu nightclub) I love this race……………… I am high and you are all to blame
2017 Nerang 100 Miler - Fisiocrem 100 Mile
Distance Split Race Time
25 03:25:47.0 03:25:55.0
50 04:00:57.9 07:26:53.0
75 04:56:13.0 12:23:06.0
80.467 01:05:33.9 13:28:40.0
105.467 05:01:27.0 18:30:07.0
130.467 04:59:08.0 23:29:15.0
155.467 04:16:35.6 27:45:50.6
160.934 50:10.7 28:36:01.4
My Nerang 100 miler race report, its a long read but hopefully will raise a smile with some of you....
#ultrasteve #thewrightcrew #nerang100miler #crampfix #tailwind #steigen #salomon #hammer #2xucompression #mickthestick #leswrightsshirt