With a long run on the calendar, it seemed like the logical thing to sign up for a run at the You Yangs Trail Festival and treat it as a practice run for Cairns to Port Douglas in only a month or so.
The You Yangs are my local trails so paying money (to a race organisation I don’t like I might add) to run on them and not use the aid stations seemed kinda silly, but I know me and I would have struggled to finish the distance if not for a “race” (yes I hate long runs!)
Cairns to Port Douglas is going to be warm and sticky and has long sections without aid, so I had to practice looking after myself.
Rather than going through the course details and race perks (summary: there aren’t any), I thought I’d do this race recap a bit differently and focus on the gear, nutrition etc
I’ve been collecting gear for “hot weather races” since summer and intermittently testing them out. I wasn’t about to wear my super light white tee and hat to a freezing cold race in the middle of July so I’m glad I tested those out in the warmer months.
I’ve never ran with a bladder in the back before so I was keen to test that out this weekend. Not going to lie, working out how it went into my pack was a bit of a challenge. I ended up following a video on YouTube.
I spilled it twice trying to squeeze the air out which everyone says you need to do so it doesn’t make so much noise.
So in the back of my back I had 2L of water, my seem sealed jacket and basic trail first aid kit.
In the front, I had two 500ml bottles both with tail wind in them as well as two sleeves of Clif Blocks, a full bag of Natural confectionary lollies and my usual little bag containing my phone, emergency headphones and paw paw. Safe to say the bag was blood heavy.
I only have to carry a thermal top and a high vis vest in cairns (in addition to all the water and what I already had) which hopefully won’t add too much weight to my already ridiculously heavy pack, but it doesn’t encourage you to drink more to lighten the load!
Anyways, being a local race I didn’t have to get up super early and also had the benefit of not having to queue for a porta loo or anything.
I had my usual Berocca sport, 2 black coffees and porridge before my long run. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it I guess!
I made it to the start line early enough to hear that the course had changed from before lockdown and there was now a lot more climbing. I wasn’t too stressed because I was never “racing“ something I had to keep reminding myself every time someone passed me or I saw someone up ahead to chase.
I just kept trying to maintain my easy pace and remember to eat and drink. The drinking I think I did pretty well at and the bladder hose thing actually made it a lot easier, even if the noise was annoying.
Food though, I came home with a whole sleeve of blocks and way too many lollies. Definitely need to improve for my long run this weekend.
I wore my new Altra Mont Blanc shoes which I actually quite liked but my tights let me down with a bit of chafing around the waist. But other than that there were no gear issues at all so that’s a win going into the next few weeks of training and practice racing.
I refuelled as soon as I got home and pretty much stayed on the couch all afternoon. Probably not the best idea because I was pretty stiff in the calves and quads the next day but still managed to shuffle through 8km with the puppies.
More of a training run than a race recap for sure but if you are interested in the You Yangs, I’ve done a few posts on the trails out there. I wouldn’t run a trails plus event unless you really needed the company for a long run and don’t mind paying for not very much. I didn’t use the aid stations and I knew the course so I paid $100+ for a medal but it’s always fun to run with old friends and see some new ones.
If you are looking for great race experiences in Victoria there are definitely much better organisations out there.
Next up for me, some speed work, some solo long runs and Peaks and Trails 50k as my last big trail weekend before Cairns to Port Douglas.