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1st ever trail run: Rumbalara Bush Run


(two weeks late post…again!)
I was not really wanting to travel far to St. Mary’s for an 8Kms, just not in the mood, I know its good to support the run but I found something different in the Running calendar.  Its a bush run up the Central Coast, called Rumbalara Bush Run.  And i thought, its a good reason to go up the coast and visit Tezza’s mom at the same time.  Haven’t visited the coast since July at Bay to Bay run.

Tezza, liked the idea and so we went Friday night.  I even had to squeeze a quick body soak for recovery after an intense workout that day.  I did not want to be having glute and quad soreness from the excercises and do the race.  Caught up with his friends Friday night, did some touristy stuff Saturdays where he brought me to places I havent seen yet, had bush walking and quick swim at the beach.  No big night out for Saturday, even though we were considering in going to the Octoberfest up Gosford way, its mart to just have a quiet one and spend time with Tez’s mom.  Had a lovely night, she cooked us vegetarian spaghetti, yum.

A tour of Central coast

Bush walk day before the run to lobster beach

The race starts at 8am, so we have to leave 7 enough time for pre-race stuff.  The race information said there will be only one water stations in the course, which is at the turn around point.  So before the weekend, I had to rush and go get some hydration bladder, as that is what I can afford as of the moment.  I have my small back pack I run with to work, which will do fine with the bladder.

I registered 16Kms, mind you it will be my 1st trail run.  And I did not know I forgot and what I was thinking, I signed up for the longest distance at 16KMs for a first timer.  Also, I was toying of running it with my Vibram Five Fingers Komodo Sports, but I still brought my Nike Frees 5.0 v3 just in case.  I know I must be crazy to do a course I do not know wearing a footwear I have not ran on a race.

We arrived the venue just on time as planned.  Parked, got my bib, warmed and psyched up.  I knew and I planned to go slow anyway on this run.  My first trail run, I did not know what to expect, and I did decide and I will challenge myself running on my VFFs.  There was not much females doing it.  10 of us, and I was almost feeling going to back out, as the female compitetors look fit and they do look they are trail runners, I might end up finishing last!  Too late, no backing out, we travelled all the way from Sydney up the coast, and I did not want to do another DNS just because I am soft!   Also the course description includes a 200m uphill.

The elevation map - i did not bother looking before the run!

We will be running on the Rumbalara Reserve, that’s where the name of the event came from, and the 16KM runners will do the “Rumble.” So the organizer gave us briefing, walked up the steps where the start is.  Telling us we should be aware of the tapes so we do not get lost on cross tracks.  And they changed the course this year.  From running on the horse trail to the walking trail.  I did not actually know the difference, they are both paths.

I positioned myself at the endish bit.  I did not want to get lost.  I brought my phone with me just in case I get lost, or twist an ankle which I am prone of. So off we go.  It was a good 50 meter run and funny runners already started walking up a steep climb.  No one is even bothering to run.  Maybe the leaders did.  I’m glad that it isn’t just me who is walking.  Although, i am still aware I might come last! I can hear female voices behind me so I told myself,  at least push harder and be in front of the voices.  I did not even bother looking as my mind might get defeated should I see how fit and quick they are.  It’s good to have that imagination that will keep me pushing myself not to give up.  So as we climbed that steep bit, we reached a trail on top of that steep climb which looks runnable and people started running.  It was a single technical trail run.  Now that is the only time I realized what they meant about walking trail track and the horse track :D.  So we are running in a single file.  I just let all males pass me, no point competing with them and I was just still on my first kilometers and I do not want to burn myself in a middle of nowhere, as marshalls will only be at the turn around point.  It was a different run.

Find me, I'm somewhere ...

First, the track.  Loose gravel, big and small rocks, branches and rocks, wet leaves, wood slabs as trail.  My foot is definitely trying to adjust.  It was challenging stepping on large chunks of gravel, loose gravel down hill and branches sticking out.  I had to do quick steps to prevent the shock and impact on these elements.  I suppose, that is the purpose of this footwear.  2nd, I have to focus on navigating as well on cross trails that does not have ribbons, and when the rest of the runners in front of you are very quick and the runners behind you is not that close either.  The reserve was actually pretty.  Specially going down the canyon for the extra 3 Kms, the vegetation gets thicker, and not much sunlight.  There are creeks.  I was thinking, shame I am not walking and enjoying the scenery with Tez’s who is up the start waiting for me to finish.  I also have to be aware of snakes and spiders and watch where I am stepping.  At some point going down the canyon, I thought I was lost or mystified in some sort that it seem like I was running on the same loop twice that freaked me out.  And I had to relax and think, and hope I would be coming out somewhere different later on which I did.  Probably, it just look the same.

Then the worry thinking of the downhill all the way to the canyon and thinking coming back up to the finish, that is long way up the mountain!  So it was.  Glad it was not all steep hill.  It was andulating hill.  Not until a runner behind me caught to me and I asked him how far away and he told me  we are half way to the finish, and warned me its not easy half we are starting to climb up he say.  He was not joking.  So I can see him walking up and I am trying to keep up with him or at least not lose sight of his back.  There was no female who actually passed me that race so I am glad the female voices probably are still behind me and I will not be coming last.  Looking at my watch before the climb I was predicting to finish 1:52.  However, because of the walk the 1:52 seem to be unrealistic.  Maybe 2 hours or more than I was thinking.  By the 13thKM we caught up with the 13Km runners.  As I was just behind a couple, suddenly on an edge of the trail downlope, I tripped on a branch sticking out the ground that I did not see because of the bushes covering the side of the track.  So I stacked it.  Fell and had my 1-2 minute hall of shame :D.  They were nice and asked If I was alright.  I got up and brushed myself and I thanked them and told them I am alright, just tired legs.  Then after exchanging pleasantries I ran ahead, seizing the flatish course ahead.

Just continued without stopping this time, no more walking, have to jog if I have to on the hills back.  And at the top was a water stop! So took a moment to drink and cool myself, normalize the heart rate and chatted with the volunteers and marshals.  And decided to continue for the rest of the course.  I am glad I am not feeling any pain from the fall and I am hoping that I did not hurt and injure myself.  Then the course is looking more familiar until a quicker runner is climbing back up cheering us slower runner saying its not far that away.  I was thinking 1 more kilometer.  So I was following these 3 males doing the rumble too and they seem to be lost and stopped and I asked them, are we going the right track as it looks unfamiliar.  Yes i have to stop twice myself along the course and wait for runners to ask which way.  Then I had a feeling its not the right way I told them I don’t think its the right way and good call, the photographer did follow us up and told us we were on the wrong way and we were just less than 400m away from the finish.  Run down the steps to the finish.  And hurray, I finished just under 2 hours!

To the finish

I was met by Tezza at the end.  I was bushed but enjoyed the run.  I was also happy running with my VFF.  Where I saw three runners running with it.

Location: Rumbalara Reserve, Gosford, NSW
Distance: 16.2 Kms
Time: 1:49:41, 3rd F30-39, F7th/10th


One Comment leave one →
  1. 15/11/2011 4:44 am

    Sounds as if you had a great time. I wish it was nice and warm where I am. Just got back from 8 miles all bundled up.

    Must be cold there specially now! Yes thanks did have so much fun that weekend

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