Trials and tribulations of the KSR trail running team.
I unfortunately had to pull out of this year’s Glasshouse 100k with an injury at about the 45km mark. I have only pulled out of 2 previous events with an injury and it is not a decision that is taken lightly. The problem with an injury is that the rest of your body may feel fine, your energy levels are good and you feel ready to continue running. The injury itself becomes a singular point of misery in an otherwise fun day in the forest! This time an old hamstring injury flared up to the point where one minute I was challenging for the lead of the race and then a few kilometres further along was reduced to a walk even on flat gradients. I was able to walk relatively comfortably but was in considerable pain when running. It could be argued that I should have kept walking for as far as I could, maybe walking all the way to the finish but for me the prospect of walking 50kms in 10+hrs when I have trained and prepared myself to run it in 5hrs is not very appetising so I decided to not risk aggravating the injury further and pulled the pin.
Almost immediately after stopping and turning around to start walking back to the nearest checkpoint I was passed by several other runners all of whom checked I was ok before continuing with their races. One thing I just love about running and ultra running in particular is that the sense of friendship, camaraderie and community that exists between everyone is incredible. For an individual sport, where in training and racing you often spend the vast majority of the time on your own, this community spirit is a wonderful thing and about as far removed from the shenanigans of professional televised sport as you can get. I cannot imagine a Glasshouse event ever being tarnished by a drug or match fixing scandal. One of the runners who passed me was Laurie Laine who was running the 100 miler. Despite not knowing Laurie well, we have met many times at various ultra events and have that strong bond that exists between fellow runners. After checking that I was ok, Laurie pointed out that the car coming down the road was his car and that I could get a lift back to the start with his wife and kids. Laurie’s wife Sarah was already performing the mammoth task of crewing for her husband with both kids in tow and now had the dubious pleasure of my sweaty company for the next hour! Not only did she drive me back to the start (not even slightly on her way) but shared her food with me – those home-made quadruple choc-chic cookies were awesome!
This is my abiding memory of the 2013 Glasshouse 100k – community, friendship and human spirit. Brilliant. Thank you Ian Javes and crew for putting on an exceptional event that truly epitomises the spirit of the ultra community.
I’ll be back!