Race report: Hubert 100
What I learnt from my first 100-mile race
My first 100-mile race! I placed fourth over-all and third in the male division.
The landscape of the Ikara-Flinders Ranges provided not just an amazing backdrop for the race but for me a seductive spiritual dimension to flow through. The ancient land speaks to you, it radiates knowledge and seems to silently watch you.
The major events from my race. I was up front for the first 20ks or so (after getting slightly lost heading towards Saint Mary’s peak), then was swiftly passed by the race leader (and over-all winner Beck Butler). I stayed in second place for some time and eventually caught up with Beck as we both scrambled up the side of a steep and rocky hill side trying to find the course as the sun fell. This diversion knocked the wind out of my sails and doubts about my success (as in finishing at all!) started creeping In, I eventually got over this and will explore my mental space during this period in another blog post.
Night quickly came and I continued at a consistent pace through the dry creek beds and woodland. The terrain was relatively flat so I began to find a fluid pace. I tried to be as quick as possible through aid stations and keep to my nutrition plan.
The out and back nature of the first part of the race allowed me to see who was behind me and how far. This was great for my motivation to keep the speed up as was the headlamps steadily chasing me.
Eventually I got passed by Simon Porteous and two others on a long stretch of dirt road somewhere after the 100k mark. At this point I realised how competitive I had become and all I wanted to do was to secure a podium finish. This meant not letting anyone else pass me!
The new day came. And not seeing anyone for hours gave me a false sense of security about my position. Around 20k from the finish my spirits were bolstered by seeing my Father (riding along side me) then the wave of 100k runners and My Brother and Sister in Law.
I managed to pass Simon climbing the outside of the range but was not exactly certain of my overall position, all I knew was that the race leader had a lead of hours!
With only 5ks to go I started getting content and complacent, more interested in my sprint-finish music selection rather than actually running. Out of nowhere came George Mihalakellis another runner I had not seen for maybe 10 hours! What a Ninja! He quickly passed me in a steady jog which I tried to match but couldn’t as in my confusion thought I had lost my podium finish.
3ks to go I snapped out of it picked up the pace, finishing with a sprint and I smile. I secured Fourth overall and Third in the Males.
While my head is still trying to compute the entire 27 or so hours of running, there are some major take-aways that are most apparent.
- My 100 to 180k weeks paid off for my endurance, but my speed and hill legs need work
- Just keep moving and you will do well
- Doubt will come, just run through it. You will be ready to give up running forever one moment then it will be your only purpose a few ks later.
- Veganism and a plant based diet works for me and is the only way forward. I just need to dial in my race nutrition
- Turns out I am competitive. I just didn’t know it because I have never been doing so well in a race
- My head might be my biggest weakness and my biggest strength. Being able to motivate myself on lonely stretches helped me, but losing my cool when I got passed by other runners did not benefit me at all.
- I had much more in my legs but I could not find the boost button when I needed it in the last 10ks.
I’m sure there is much more that will come to me in the next few days regarding this race but for the time being I am stoaked with my achievement and for me it has solidified my commitment to trail running competition in the future.
Thank you to the race directors, volunteers and traditional owners of the flinders ranges.