Training Weekend in the mountains

Last weekend Denis and I went up to Katoomba to train on the race course – the plan was to cover the last 35 km of the race – the stretch most likely to be run late afternoon and at night.
We started at noon from Katoomba and to start with we had to ‘battle’ hordes of tourist coming up the 900+ steps of the Giant Stairways! I am looking forward to these steps after 70km into the race – it is going to be fun ‘running’ down those stairs….I only hope there won’t be any tourists! Once we turned off the main track and onto the race course down Jamison Valley it was great – all alone in this big area of bush – beautiful. The course was perfect, so was the weather. Denis struggled since he tried out a new sports drink which he could not keep down and the result was dehydration and slowing down for him. Another proof that it is important to test all your gear and nutrition well before a big run and race. Once we crossed Jamison Creek it started to get uphill and somehow we had to get up those cliffs again on the other side of the valley. Boy oh boy were those hills steep….considering that we were fresh and on the race day this would be into the 80’s these hills sure will be a test of strength and willpower. Once on the top of the cliff it was a breeze to head to Checkpoint 5 and on back to Leura. Another good test was the temperature..as soon as the soon went down low it cooled down and in May it will be cold so warm clothes for the race are a must. Sunday morning we went for a quick 20km run along the first 10km or so of the race just to loosen our sore legs up a bit. We just made it back before the fog and rain came in. I only hope that on 17 May the sun will be with us – would be a real pain in the bum to cover 100 km in rain, fog and high humidity.
Well, what can I say – another test well done, now a few more weeks of strong training on hills and endurance and then we should be ready for The North Face 100
Happy running

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