Event Date: 23rd January 2016.
So here comes the race report from my first trail marathon of 2016.
From the name itself one can easily figure out that its a trail run in the night. What you can’t figure out is that you will be running in 3-5 cm snow throughout the route on a foggy cold night with challenging & slippery trails!
Daniel & I drove together to the race & we met Kenneth & Ole at the start area who were also running the marathon distance. After a short chit chat, it was the time to get started. The race started when it got dark (5pm) at Karup Orienteering club. There were not that many marathons runners. May be I was expecting more marathon runners at the start. May be not everyone is crazy like us 😉
Deal was to run together with Daniel until we can keep at each other’s pace otherwise I should not slow him down. BUT as always we started way too fast for my current fitness level. Even though we have decided to start around 5:30min/km pace but you can’t control the pace of this guy 😉 . The first km we clocked at 4:49 min/km. We slowed slowed down a bit after I told Daniel that we are running way too fast but after 7-8 km I realised that the pace is still too fast for me & I cannot keep running at that pace. I told Daniel to leave me & I will can run alone at my own pace. It was so important to find my own rhythm because around 10km-11km the idea for quitting after half-marathon started spawning in my mind. But soon after couple of kilometres, I found my rhythm & felt that I’m back in the game. At several places, the route was very slippery esp. all the downhills. I think Iin total I fell down (slipped) 3-4 times 😀 And out of that one time completely flat on the ground/snow 😀 … But nothing serious!!!
Soon I crossed the depot at the half-way mark in a good shape. Quickly grabbed a piece of banana & gulped half glass of tailwind & 1/4 glass of coke & headed for the 2nd half. Until 26-27km I ran smoothly & I was in the zone but after that it started getting a little boring as I was all alone on the trail in the dark. It was getting a bit difficult to keep the motivation & the pace around that time. But then I saw a flashlight coming closer & it was a runner approaching me. I told to myself, come on if he can keep up the pace then you should also. I told myself that I will keep the pace so that he cannot overtake me. It was not for competition but just to keep myself on my toes. I think in long runs you have to find these small “reasons” to keep going inspite of all the odds. Between 33km until finish, I overtook around 5-6 runners that gave me some confidence.
Last 7-8km I just ran counting every passing km & feeling happy that soon it will all be over & I will be back in warm & get something to eat.
Even though the race organiser had previously told me that the route is 44.4km long but my Garmin recorded 42.2km on the nose when I finished. There was chilli corn carne & drinks at the finish but unfortunately not for me as I’m a vegetarian.
Would love to come here one day & run in the day light to see & explore the area. Glimpses of the the area during day (Photo Credit: SNOT TEAM).
Overall it was a great event & awesome trail. Would love to come here one day & run in the day light to see & explore the area. Totally loved it even though it was hard running on snow, unknown trails in the cold, dark & foggy night & that too running mostly alone! But hell ya!!! thats what long distance trail running is all about.
Thanks to the SNOT team (race organisers) for arranging such a great trail event. Everything was just perfect. And being a race director myself. I think you guys did a fantastic job esp. with the route marking!
The next big race is VUMB 100km+ in the beginning of February & the plan was to use this race as a training run. And I feel satisfied with my finish time of 4h:35m for my current fitness level. I still have a long way to go to get back in shape.
Have a great Sunday everyone!
My Marathon no. 21
Total Ascent = Approx. 450m