Monday, September 23, 2013

Surf Coast Century 100KM Relay - Leg 4 Race Report



I suppose I was taking it too easy and chatted to most of the people I met along the way, that's why!

11.30am at the Start|CP4|Finish area of Surfcoast Century.

In all honesty, I probably didn't take my run as seriously as the rest of my teammates did (so sorry, ladies!) as I was happily enjoying the view of the sea and blue skies, the cheers, and trying not to get calf cramps by the time I hit the beach section. Eerughhs!

Jon contemplates whether he's had enough rest before he tackles
the remaining 50KM to claim his beer stein thereafter.

About 1pm, Amy and I headed up to Moggs Creek (CP6 - 77KM) and we lingered around for a while.

Eager runners waiting to start their leg.

Bananas, fruit cake, biscuits, sandwiches, jelly beans, power gel, water and Hydralite were
available at this aid station.

Every checkpoint is like a picnic party! :)

That's me, all dressed for running in the chilly night. Totally did not expect to run in the
afternoon, LOL! But hey, at least I wasn't sunburnt. :)

I was torn between running off immediately and waiting for YB to come in so we could run together, as we had initially intended to. I tried calling him but was unable to get through to him.

After a few minutes of standing around like clueless cow, I kicked off at about 1.52pm. Which was a smart move as YB sent me a text later to inform me that he was 1.5 hours away from me.

First thing to do is navigate your way through the trees!

I don't think I was quite prepared to run during lunch hour with no lunch beforehand. I had to force myself to eat up my slice of banana and walnut bread just 30 minutes before my run.

A few minutes later, I caught up with this guy.

The system wasn't warmed up yet. My lungs and legs were still asleep, not knowing why I was forcing them to work out at that moment. I was struggling to regulate my breathing.

Running along the single track, I was so excited to see the emerald sea against blue skies. This must have been what they were talking about - the best lookout point at the 79KM mark.

My jacket fell off my bag and I had to stop to tie it up carefully. It was so frustrating that I couldn't fit it into my tiny bag as the water bladder, first aid kit, space blanket, headlamp, etc took up most of the space inside.

Someone came running by and asked if I was OK. I'm not sure if he believed me when I said I was fine as he turned around to ask me once more, rather dubiously.


He must have thought I was some loser trail runner wannabe since I was overdressed and such. Hahahaha!

Saw him later on further up ahead but that was it.

I wished I had asked for his name because I would have named him here! (He was not too bad looking, too. Ahem. :D)

Eye candy! :P

Soon I hit Robyn Road and spotted a fluffy golden retriever in one of the gardens along the road. I should have taken a picture.

Who's Ron?? Is he the grumpy troll who sits under the bridge and eat
little kids for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

The bridge did swing a bit as I stomped across it. Thankfully, it didn't break!

It was such a lovely day to be out and about, I must say.

Just a bit after 4KM later into my run, I found myself on a sandy 4WD track. I chatted with a lady who was walking (she was doing a 50KM relay and had just completed Leg 3) and soon the guy I overtook at the beginning came running by.

The sandy track reminded me so much of TMBT that I couldn't help but to whip out my camera and take a snap.

Honestly, I was being such a tourist! :P

It was getting warm that I was ready to strip down by now!

Running down the driveway (on the grass beside it, actually) was fun and I felt so much better. No one was in sight and I really did my best to hurry along.

My lungs and legs were FINALLY awake after 6-7KM and I can't believe how long it took me to warm up! Hmmfh.

My right bunion was starting to feel a bit of friction against my shoe, so I had to readjust my foot landing to avoid creating blisters. I did use body glide beforehand, but since it was a warm day, sweat must have washed it away.

These two came out of nowhere and ran past without saying hi. Must have been in a real rush eh.

We soon came to the bridge which we were supposed to crawl under. I let them go first so I could be sure I wouldn't fall into the river and be laughed at. :D

Treacherous conditions under the bridge.

We were supposed to run to the other side and underneath two bridges so we would get up on the other side of the road, without having to run across the road.

After squinting hard into the picture, I can now spot the ribbon marker on the other side. Oops!

Instead, I had followed the two runners who scrambled up immediately onto the bridge on the same side of the road.


So I had to watch out for traffic before crossing the road - which was not supposed to happen in the first place.

(This is what happens when you forget the briefing information and follow the lead in front of you!)

I arrived at CP7 - 86KM (Airey's Inlet Skate Park) and almost ran past it without eating something. All I grabbed was a jelly bean as nothing else really caught my fancy. The spectators and supporters were really nice and friendly, and the boys were shouting out, "Well done!" and blah blah blah which I mentally reminded myself that if and when I do have kids, I'm going to bring them to all these events and teach them to have fun and cheer everyone who runs by.

Reaching the Aireys Inlet Lighthouse soon!

I felt so much better after taking in a power gel. Was getting a bit hungry and realised I had better get something into my tummy.

There were plenty of tourists at the Aireys Inlet Lighthouse are that afternoon but at least they didn't block the way.

Aireys Inlet. Hello!

Aireys Inlet Lighthouse.

The view of the lighthouse against the blue skies and marshmallow clouds was awesome. I waved to the people up there, who waved back. Awwww, so kind of them to have done so!

Chuffed, I continued running (oh, really, Yvonne??) along the track and soon had to stop again to gobble down a bite size Snickers bar.

I continued moving my feet as quickly as possible (I can't seem to chew and swallow chocolate while running! Can you?) and just as I turned a corner, there was a photographer!

What the ...

With my mouth full of chocolate, I tried very hard not to look like an oversized chipmunk as I did my best to grimace a smile without showing my chocolatey teeth.

I swear I must have looked like a fat tourist with a snotty nose instead of a participant of an ultra trail run.

Gotcha back!

Told him I might as well grab a picture of him, too, seeing that the view was magnificent. :)

Ran quickly as I could before I got distracted by another scenic view. It was about 10KM into the run already and I was excited to get the run over and done with.

Sent a text to YB to ask where he was and told him I was halfway done.

*roll eyes* I was such a tourist!

Nice view, right?

You know what?

I'd rather you people join the Surfcoast Century 100KM instead of running the Great Ocean Road Marathon any time at all. The view is just simply amazing!!!

If you're blessed with awesome weather, that is. ;)

KM14 - 15 later, it was a short run on Sunnymeade Beach and I was getting more and more excited, knowing that I had only 8KM to go.

The beach run lasted for 100m before we climbed up some new looking timber steps to a single track.

Two guys came up the stairs and we had a brief chat. They were equally excited that the finish line was just 8KM away. I mentioned that I had hoped to see the sun set during this leg and one of them said no way, he wanted to get this over and done with!

We chatted some more and agreed that we had the best leg ever (he was also doing a relay). Blah blah blah I must have talked too much because I could have sworn a saw a thought bubble above one of the guys' head that read, "OMG, WOMAN! Stop talking already! This is a race to run!"

Another guy ran past me along the track and I just followed him from behind as I was trying to take in my 2nd power gel. He turned a corner and I could just make out a yell from him before he disappeared from my sight.

Turned out that there was a bit of a muddy track we had to manouvre around before running through a car park. 

Waved hello to the people at a marshal's hut and asked if there was a shortcut to the finish line but was instead told "Awww, no, sorry!" 

It was time to hit Urquhart Beach.

Baywatch run was not to be, Nick!

After a while, my calves were starting to protest. 

What's this, they asked, running on sand? No wayyyyyy!

It was a run and walk, run and walk kind of arrangement just to ensure that my calves wouldn't seize up entirely and decided to call it quits. Soon I caught up with the guy ahead (white t-shirt, ahead of the lady in red stripey shorts) and asked if he was OK. He was walking a lot as his legs were cramping up as well.

Hello there, doggy!

Both of us ran past the dog's owners who asked us whether their dog was in our way. I said nope, he was a great cheerleader!

With just 5KM to go, I was extremely excited and tried to increase my speed but I could only muster up a sub 7min/km pace. I couldn't wait to get off the beach!!

I was running low on electrolytes and was trying to ration it out up to KM20.

After 3.4KM on the beach, I climbed up the timber stairs and onto Melba Parade and then the Surf Coast Walk.

Almost there, almost there!

I could see the flags on the left and just another 2-3KM to the finish line. Yay!

It was only then I finished the last of my electrolytes and knew I'd be OK for the last 2KM.

Had to run a bit on Anglesea Main Beach and soon came across several supporters paving the way to the finish line. I was asking everyone where the beer stand was!

I almost veered off course as I spotted a small arrow up ahead, which was in fact the course marking for Leg 1.

They were also yelling, "Go, Girl Power!!!! For the ladies, yay!!!!"

If not for this group of ladies who yelled out "OVER HERE! OVER HERE!" I would have ran all the way to Torquay, hah!

I crossed the finish line at about 4.30pm, taking 2:47 for such an easy leg. Kept the smile on my face as I scanned the crowd for a familiar face but was instead approached by 2 senior couples, asking if I had just run 100KM.

Told them nooooooo I was only part of a relay team. Had a good time explaining to them what that meant, and told them the 100KM finishers would usually crawled or rolled past the finish line in a glamourous finish. :D

Next time, I'd like to be Team Waddling Ducks, please. :D

Woosh, it was time to stretch and get changed, before waiting for YB and Jon to cross the finish line. I told YB that I was done and he called me to let me know that he had 15KM to go.

Had a large hot chocolate (AUD$5.00) from the coffee stand, sat around before I went to the river mouth to wait for YB.

I stood around for 20 minutes before I shuffled back to the bag area to grab my headlamps. It was getting dark and I feared that the runners weren't able to spot the arrow directing them to the finish line. (The arrow was not of reflective material so it could be very hard to spot it in the dark.)

From 6.30pm to 7.30pm thereabouts, I had my headlamp on flicker mode and cheered anyone with a headlamp to come my way. A few runners almost continued running along the beach if not for some supporters and myself yelling for them to head towards our direction!

One lady told me that my 'strobe-y lights' were very helpful. 

A boy came up to me in the dark to ask, "Are you that lady with the blinking lights?" and I wasn't too sure what to answer (just in case he was a young punk intending to bash me up because my lights offended him, I dunno!!) but later on I found out from his mother that they spotted my lights from the road as they drove down from Melba Parade/Surf Coast Walk area.

Well, it was good fun to be offer some assistance and support and apologies for not standing there for the entire night as YB and Jon were already back from their run after 7.30pm. 

It was nice to have some people come by to talk to me while I pretended to be a Christmas tree (with just one blinking light)! :)

Race/Event summary for Leg 4:
1. Trails were well marked.
2. Plenty of supportive spectators and people along the way.
3. Weather was awesome!
4. Leg 4 was not technical. In fact, I'd give it a 1.5/5 just because we had to run on the beach!
5.  The cow bells rung by marshals to indicate that a runner was approaching the finish line was a good one to rouse spectators to start cheering as soon as the runner reaches the finish line.
7. If there was a 100KM trail run as lovely as the entire Leg 4, I will sign up at an instant! (And end up with more pictures than my camera battery can handle!)

All in all, I'd like to say thanks to the people of Rapid Ascent for a job well done [by the way, did anyone come across my Prosun shades? I think I dropped it at the bag area :(] and congratulations to everyone who did well and/or enjoyed themselves!!

Thank you to those who endured my chatter along the way and I do apologise if I annoyed you to bits. :D

For more photos taken during my run, go to my Facebook album here.

For more information on the Surf Coast Century 100KM event, visit Rapid Ascent's website here.

Teams often have their own objectives for running a race, be it for time and placing or just plain fun in the sun. (Hey, it rhymes!) But safety is everyone's utmost concern and as long as our teammates are safe and sound, we're good! :)

Note #2:
If you'd like to run 100KM in Sabah, Malaysia, I'd highly recommend TMBT - The Most Beautiful Thing. The 2014 edition will be held in August next year. My 25KM race report can be found here.


  1. So you gonna do the 100 next year?

    1. That was what Jon asked me too!
      And YB said, "At this moment, it's a no."

      Well, guess I'll have to wait for a better time to ask. LOL!

    2. Hmmm... Let me speak to Bin... I have a full year to convince him...

  2. What? No Baywatch run scene? LOL!

    Seriously though, with a view like that, I'd be walking the entire race soaking it up!

    Congrats to the both of you.

    1. It was a good day, I suppose, and I got the best leg, hehe.
      Ask those who ran Leg 3 (with the killer incline), I think they'd beg to differ! LOL!