Begin sluggish, end like a prepare. For the final three years I’ve all the time began Delirious at a gradual tempo slightly than race tempo. The purpose is all the time to get to Mandelay Assist station (round 122km) after which sleep earlier than making an attempt the tough twenty kilometre or so stage to Mount Clare. As you’ll be able to think about any support station with the phrase ‘mount’ in its title goes to have some severe elevation, and this stage doesn’t disappoint. This yr with out my wingman Adam Loughnan, who was washing his hair!, I began faster than I usually would and was working within the prime 5 for the primary day. Mark prompt I run by means of the evening and attempt to make Warpole , or a minimum of Mount Clare earlier than taking a ninety minute break. Attending to Mandelay within the early hours of Thursday morning it regarded like Warpole could possibly be a risk, being a small ten kilometre hop from Mount Clare and predominately downhill in fact.
I informed Mark to arrange the swag at Mount Clare and we may determine as soon as I arrived if we might relaxation there or proceed to Warpole. Because it was the run from Mandelay to Mount Clare was as dangerous as we anticipated (in all probability worse!) and there was no means I may have run on to Warpole, perhaps crawled? It was solely the corporate from Julie Gibson that made the journey bearable. Arriving round three thirty within the morning would imply we’d be leaving in daylight to Warpole, after a ninety minute relaxation. At this level within the race I used to be truly main the male runners because the earlier chief had acquired himself misplaced popping out of Mandelay and finally retired.
Sadly the crew subsequent to me acquired very excited when runners got here in so my sleep was disturbed at finest. I used to be within the swag for ninety minutes however in all probability an hour sleep at finest. Earlier than I knew it I used to be peeping exterior and it was daylight, albeit very early. I feel I acquired a bacon sandwich earlier than setting off to Warpole the place I’d seize a effectively earned bathe and breakfast.
So is that this the suitable tactic , beginning faster and getting deeper into the occasion earlier than the primary sleep? The jury is out on this one. Mandelay to Mount Clare within the early morning after a sleep is a pleasant part to run, at the hours of darkness, after a tough days working, it’s brutal. In fact the advantage of working by means of the evening is you might be nearer to the end and additional up the sector on Thursday morning. You may assault the part to Warpole with added vigour. I’m nonetheless not satisfied however I used to be definitely nearer to the sharp finish of the sector on Thursday morning albeit not as contemporary as I usually am however twenty or thirty kilometres forward of my regular place. It truly is a commerce off however going through the Mount Clare part once more with no relaxation doesn’t fill me with pleasure.
Extra sleep, higher ending time. This yr I had much less sleep then the 2 earlier finishes, in all probability lower than two hours in whole. I additionally tried to spend much less time in support stations. In 2021 I had a number of sleep, or tried to, however this yr was all about ending with time a secondary concern. I attempted to sleep at Mandelay and Tree Tops with little success however finally acquired an honest sleep at Conspicuous Cliffs and the remainder of the race was excellent. One other couple of hours at Denmark and I completed like a rocket, catching fairly a couple of runners in direction of the again finish of the course. I used to be finally a prime ten finisher total (sixth male) after being almost final after the primary day. Final yr was the same story when my crew forgot to set the alarm and we had about 4 hours sleep at Mandelay. Once more ran by means of the sector from almost final to complete fourth total.
Each years sleep early made the final two days loads simpler and I used to be capable of make up positions simply. In 2023 Mark and I made a decision to start out faster , get to the entrance of the pack and sleep much less, hanging on to our place slightly than chase runners down. Though this tactic labored and I completed second total I used to be struggling on the final two days slightly than exploding to the end. I held second place for the ultimate two days however once I put in an effort to catch the chief I used to be undone by drained legs, humorous that.
So is that this a tactic I’ll use once more in 2024 ? Once more the jury is out. With final yr being an out and again this was the primary time on the unique level to level course since 2012. That yr I ran over 83 hours , so a sub 72 hour end this yr is an enormous course PB, however 2021 was all about ending the place as this yr there was a racing half to the journey. If I had slept at Mandelay and ran to Mount Clare would I ultimately made up the time. I hemorrhaged time after Mandelay as a consequence of fatigue and working the testing terrain at the hours of darkness. If I had ran this part within the mild and never stopped at Mount Clare would I’ve acquired to Walpole faster ?
It’s a advantageous balancing act getting the correct quantity of relaxation to permit your self to carry out at your finest throughout the occasion. I do know Shane Johnstone, the 2012 winner hardly slept in any respect albeit he completed in simply over 54 hours. I’d recommend that’s about on the cusp of what’s achievable earlier than you begin to see an enormous draw back along with your working capability compromised, it isn’t known as the Delirious West for no motive.
The seaside is so a lot better within the daylight. Once I ran 83 hours in 2021 I hit the seashores completely, little or no evening time working as a substitute confronted with wonderful days in good situations, respiratory within the magnificence. This yr I wasn’t so fortunate and ended up working at the hours of darkness alongside a number of the finest scenary. I left Conspicious cliffs early afternoon and so coming into Peaceable Bay I used to be at the hours of darkness and with my second head torch, the much less highly effective one. This made navigation tough as there was some rock hopping with little signage. On the intense aspect it could have been very arduous to get misplaced so long as you saved the ocean to your proper shoulder ! The coves which had been so inspiring within the daylight grew to become a problem at evening particularly when in you add in some rock hopping near the ocean. Fortunately I picked up a pacer at Peaceable Bay , the beautiful Sarah Dyer, and firm makes up for the scenary you’re lacking. Boat Harbour was additionally missed as at the hours of darkness it’s only a head torch beam of sunshine infront of you, pity as that part is so good in daylight.
Reaching Parry’s seaside within the early morning meant I had the run to Monkey Rocks to sit up for in good daylight situations and the coves and seashores on this part are so good. In 2021 I ran Monkey Rocks part in darkish, moist situations, not splendid. It was so a lot better in daylight albeit I had a full abdomen because of Chris Gerdei and his great Spouse. Once more the inverse was true round Cosy Nook the place I used to be confronted with a by no means ending part at the hours of darkness after which the run alongside the seaside to Mutton Fowl automobile park. From 2021 I do know this part is wonderful in daylight.
I suppose the one solution to see the entire course in daylight is to do the occasion twice and be sure you run twelve hours slower or faster the second time ? Easy actually.
Grabbing a poduim is value it. In 2020 I DNF’d Delirious at Mandelay, 112km into the occasion. I used to be a damaged man however the outcome was not sudden. I had misplaced my working mojo months earlier than and had ran little or no the three months previous to the occasion. I used to be uncrewed and so unprepared. The very fact I acquired to Mandelay is principally all the way down to Glen Smetherman taking pity on me early within the race and holding me fed. I had no hydration or vitamin plan and finally the quads seized up, giving me the right excuse to exit stage proper. Though the ending was not the outcome I had hoped for I had fallen in love with the occasion and in 2021 returned to complete in simply over 83 hours. As I mentioned earlier this was all about ending and having a good time with my crew, and we had a good time. A lot laughing , in between the working, and once more I couldn’t wait till 2022 to go once more.
In 2022 I managed to sneak to a fourth place end because of a quick end, sorry Trevor, and though there have been much less laughing because of the racing I nonetheless cherished the occasion. This yr it was about attempting to go quicker once more and this was achieved with an enormous course (on the purpose to level course) PB. It was more durable this yr as I pushed myself to maintain within the prime three however the finish outcome was value all of the ache and struggling. A second place on my fourth try greater than makes up for my DNF in 2020. It’s a mission completed second reality be informed however I do know I can go faster subsequent yr so we nonetheless have work to do, and that’s why we do what we do. This occasion simply retains on giving.
Lastly as all the time I give a shout out to a few of my favorite merchandise…
fisiocrem ( https://www.fisiocrem.com.au/ ) is simply bloody sensible and does precisely what it says it does , it simply will get the key muscle teams shifting once more. I take advantage of this extensively in direction of the top of the race when my quads are hammered. It actually makes a distinction and permits me to maneuver again by means of the gears in direction of the top of an occasion when most runners are stumbling house.
Bix hydration is simply ace, a product delivered to life by Vlad Ixel an expert extremely runner who is aware of a factor or two about hydration. ( https://www.bixvitamins.com/ ) The perfect factor about Bix is it tastes good with many alternative flavours and also you by no means get sick of ingesting it, this can be a huge plus as Maurten and Tailwind (each nice merchandise) might be tough to digest later within the occasion. From the web site :-
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What can I say about HumanTecar, ( https://athleticus.com.au/ ) it seems to be nice, smells nice and is superior for restoration and even pre-run/exercise. Learn in regards to the science behind it first after which attempt the merchandise. The compression bandages are simply magical after an extended occasion. Put these on and the subsequent day you might be recovered, I’ve used them on plenty of events they usually by no means fail to astound me albeit the household poke enjoyable at me as I appear to be a ‘mummy and odor humorous’ !
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Shokz headphones, allow you to communicate with the world round whereas dropping your self in high quality tunes or podcasts. ( https://shokz.com.au/ )
T8 working attire is one of the best you may get, second to none. Designed for the extremely humid Honk Kong situations the house owners stay in. It’s mild and does away with any chaffing worries. T8 is the title given to the very best hurricane warning in Honk Kong, storms and typhoons with gusts exceeding 180kph, which explains the branding. ( https://t8.run/)
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