Monday, 6 July 2015

Wilsons Prom 100km 2015 (Running Wild)

Event Date2nd May 2015
LocationTidal River (Wilsons Promontory), Victoria, Australia
Relative DifficultyEasy Moderate Hard Extreme
StyleCompletely self-sufficient, trail ultra-marathon
TerrainSoft dirt single trail, sandy beaches, gravel fire track and a few kilometres of bitumen.
Aid StationsNone. But you can access your car at the 80km mark.
My Position10th of 22
My Time16h05m
Winning Time11h08m
Drop Out Rate-
Weather on the dayWarm, overcast and sometimes sunny. Stormy during the evening.
Course (Strava)Wilsons Prom 100km 2015
Event WebsiteRunning Wild - Wilsons Prom
Enjoyment Rating1 2 3 4 5
Lessons LearntEven without enough training, a day out running can never be a bad thing!
I almost pulled out of this race due to lack of training. In the end I thought, why not just run it anyway? At the very worst, it will be a good day out running. And that's never a bad thing!

I'm so glad I did run it too. There was a good deal of winding technical trails, that weaved through the hills. The scenery was spectacular and overall it was great to explore Wilsons Prom.

I'd heard the weather there can be unpredictable and frequently windy. I must have lucked in, because it was a perfect day for running. Hardly any wind, slightly overcast and generally warm and sunny.

Though I did get into trouble by missing an opportunity to fill up water at creek, and subsequently ran out. It meant running about 20km with barely anything to drink, during the middle day sun.

By the time I got to some water, I was somewhat de-hydrated, and it took a couple of kilometres of walking before I recovered.

Talking about water, this event follows a "self-sustained" theme. I am happy with that, because I like the idea of wild running, but it's not for everyone. The event organisers did point out all of the places where you can get water. These were mostly creeks, the odd rain water tank and one tap (at the light house, about 50km in).

So be prepared. Think through how much water you'll need to get between each water source.

Which brings us onto food. There are no food checkpoints. You must be fully self sustained as far as food goes. At least up to the 80km mark, where the course doubles back past the start line. The race rules permit you to stop and get additional food (or water) from your car/campsite if required.

I must admit, this is the most unprepared I've ever been for a race. I really hadn't looked at the terrain, the map or the elevation profile. So bad me. But it was only a 100km, and it's pretty easy to run out of Wilsons Prom no matter where you are. At most it's probably only a 20km run from the furthest points.

There is a deceptive amount of elevation gain. Just over 4000m. Most of the hills are runnable though, with the exception of one or two, depending on how fit you are. I wasn't feeling all that fit, so a walked a few of them, especially towards the end ;-)

During the final 20km of the race a big storm rolled in, and the skys went black. It was pretty awesome, and when lightning started to strike, it gave me a jolt of motivation to get a hurry on!

The view from the top of the final ascent was spectacular. You could see the lights of Tidal Bay peering out of the scrub into the black night sky. I was up there by myself, and it was one of those moments that reminded me why I do these sorts of adventures.

Overall, it was a great day out. The event was very well organised, albeit, requiring you to be fully self sufficient.

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