The following post was written by Kate Bevilaqua about her experience on Day 2 of Ultraman Australia 2021
Day 3: 84.4km Run (Double Marathon)
I woke up the most nervous I had been since we started Ultraman Australia - what was going to happen today? How was my body going to feel? Respond? It was all an unknown.
Before leaving for the start line I got on my laptop and looked back at all the run training I had completed over the last 6 months. I had enlisted the help of Mick Francis to prepare me for some Ultra Distance road / trail events and had been running the most consistently in years. I knew I had it in me.
It was quite surreal starting in the dark, but I loved it because that is my favorite time to run. I felt a little stiff to begin with and the Hamstrings were tight (Guy told me later I looked a little awkward!) but I knew once I warmed up and settled in it would be okay.
The first 5km is a no feed zone so now crew allowed, which was fine as there was a group of us that had settled into a similar pace and were chatting together like a weekend long run - I was enjoying it!
The run course in Noosa has 500m of elevation gain....it is rolling for the first 10km along the coast - really quite beautiful with the sunrise over the ocean. It was just about this point after checking my time up until then that I said to Guy "I think I need to slow it down a bit". So I let the group go and settled into what I hoped would be more of a sustainable pace for longer.
My pacers Guy and Ruth were swapping out around 2km at a time and making sure I was constantly eating and drinking, keeping the calories up. There was still a long way to go!
Meanwhile Mel was driving the minivan and trying to locate us at various points along the course. The path we run is not always accessible by car, so a rough estimation of pace and how far I would get was needed quite often.
About 27km in you hit a nasty steep climb! So nasty that Guy said I was best to walk it and he was right! My walking pace would have been close to my jogging pace. It was also a good opportunity to eat, drink and compose myself.
The rest of the way to the halfway point (42.2km) was relatively flat and there was a little "yippee" to myself as I made the turn! Now to bring it home!
One of the good things about heading back was seeing everyone else on the course and the cheers and camaraderie between athletes and crew. It had been a long 3 days and we were nearly there. At 57km it was time for a walk again up the steep climb. This was a no feed zone. My pacer at the time - Guy, was allowed with me but the rest of my crew had to detour around to the other side.
This was about the time where the internal mind games became even more important. Constantly telling myself "stay strong, stay focused, you've got this!"
- If I go out to hard and suffer on the way back I should still be able to do 8 hours
- My previous best run time was 7.32, I did ride a bit harder day 2 this time so anywhere between 7.30 - 7.45 would be great
- 7.20 - 7.30 would be AWESOME!!
There was one little challenge left though and that was running the last 400m along the beach! REALLY???? Ruth and Guy joined me and as we approached the finish line Mel ran the last few hundred metres.