With Training and the lead up to the event Me, Charitha and Mitch had finished and survived the 2014 event in horrendous conditions, That iam sure was the muddiest oxfam in history with plenty of
- Mud, Sweat 'n' Tears -
I knew i could finish it without a dout but i had a few niggles to overcome and fitness to work on so did not have a repeat of last years ITB issues that forced me to walk like a old FART for the last 20km.
Training and Gym work is a normality for me leading hikes on the weekends
2 weeks out i led a very low key and social hike from kurnell to Cronulla and enter Marcel....
I was on the look out for our fourth member, on our lunch break i questioned his lunch which was Burcher Museli, then threw the line over about Oxfam Trailwalker. What drew me to him was the positive words that came out of this little Swiss Master, Straight away i said you are in and when we get to Northies Pub i will brief you some more.
Marcel was fearing his shoes and will his feet hold up to the distance, he and charitha did a 20 odd km hike a week out and the results were good. Marcel's fear had changed, though still a little worried he clearly packed enough for the support crew as if he was going on expedition.
The lead up to the week was hectic and the nerves were starting to set in as it was time to do it all again, the expectation was to finish and yes we had a goal to better last years effort but had no specific target in mind as i didn't think it was possible, so just improving on last year seemed like what we should be aiming for, WE WERE WRONG.
The morning of the Event we met as a team at Hornsby Station, you know its real when you see hundreds of people heading in the same direction to that of the little sleepy town of Brooklyn. It really hit me as we walked off the station and turned the corner, there were hundreds of people checking in and going through their final preparations. We had the 7am start and we were off up my version of Heart Break Hill (great to pause for a moment to see the trail of people taking the grind up the hill.
We did the first two checkpoints in good time and i was already questioning why there was not many people around us, maybe we were setting a good pace early.
Mitch was suffering early from really bad cramps to the point where he was considering from retiring from the event, the team was not considering that at all. At Checkpoint three Mitch had disappeared into the medical tent and was receiving some sort of massage which totally recharged him to a new level, he ordered Srini to re fill his water and After our Banana Bread (and the secret ingredients)
it was game on for the next two checkpoints as we started making times that were way better than last year and we were continually passing teams. St Ives and French's Forrest we had a clear strategy and goal in mind. We arrived at Davidson park after the section that i dislike the most, its the dead of the night and walking around creek beds over roots, rocks and pitch black apart from your head lamp. This my little curse of the whole 100km day or night i have never enjoyed this section.
We had a short stop at Davidson Park and much earlier then the previous year, our support crew were there already and waiting with some hot soup. Soon we were off with one more checkpoint and the last 18kms to go, i was fine until about 30 minutes into this section is when i started to feel fatigue set in.... I was ok but it was it was just that little period where you had to stay above the point where part of your mind is saying thats enough iam exhausted, i was not going to take none of that and we had one goal in mind and that was to finish. It was a fairly easy section the the second last checkpoint, one where we met our support for the last time, we did not stop there for long as arriving at Tania Park under 24hrs and as the Sun was rising was rather appealing.
The last section was a mix suburban streets and the Spit to Manly Harbour Track and clearly the suburban streets around Seaforth were added in to be more annoying and make up the 100km than for mere enjoyment. I kept wondering when are were going to get to the Spit to Manly section, that way i would have known "Right" only about 4kms to go - Thankfully it appeared and our steps and determination became one of lets get this thing done.
As we were approaching Tania Park with sweeping views of Middle Harbour and Sydney Heads the sun was just starting to show its colour. As The Four of us rose above onto Tania Park - there it was the finish line, Maybe 2/ 300m to go and THATS IT - It was amazing to start with four and finish with four - arrive at the finish line, have the Sun Rising over the Sydney Harbour Heads and all of the above in just over 23hrs. Of course how can we not forget our support crew, they were there to see us through to the end, fed us with some awesome food - kept communication up and met us at every checkpoint - Great team effort and a amazing experience
I was pretty wrecked as i had to drive home from Hornsby, I did not elect to leave my car there and pick it up the next day as driving Now was more convenient - Well Marcel had me asking and repeating things to him several time's poor guy he must of thought i was a real nutta.