Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mirabella Mountain 2012 Run Report & Buller Road Trip - Part 2 (21k of asking WHY!)


Wow. Sometimes you just have to get out there & live a little u know? My decision to join the Mirabella run was after realising that the Razorback Run was too gungho for a newbie-to-the-area like me. And trust me it was a good decision, I've met wonderful people, made new friends & learnt more about Buller in the summer than many locals i'm sure! :) The run was properly organised, runners were well taken care of & all in all - a stellar effort put in by the organizers & it certainly shows. If you're a runner wondering whether you should consider joining for 2013 & beyond - wonder no more, sign up & you won't regret it. The event is destined for greatness.

Here's my run experience narrated via the colourful medium of pictures:

Friday nite - arriving bit late, everyone had already finished dinner! Tried to sneak in while Hanna was giving a briefing on the lodge, but was duly acknowledged by her & the crowd :) everyone was friendly & I had a wonderful time getting to know many of the organizers & crew members. I crashed early after an exhausting road trip.
Pic courtesy of Sonya Clota.
The next morning. View outside the lodge. I'm not sure whether one can ask for more in terms of view. Weather was holding well - and that only meant INTENSE SUN! 

Back at the lodge after breakfast which was a small bowl of cereal for me - was getting ready & waiting to depart for the registration area - which was about 5mins walk towards the centre of Mt Buller village. No last minute rush or anything so it was definitely a good idea to stay overnight at the lodge. 
Summer it was indeed. Well coming to summer anyway. Entire Buller village is empty & from what I know the whole place will transform come Snow & winter. Jam packed with people & pristine white snow everywhere. Looking forward to seeing that one day.
Waiting for our ride to the starting point & chatting to the runners & getting goose bumps from the breeze. I forgot they were doing baggage drops otherwise would've brought my jacket along..
Pic courtesy of Sonya Clota.
One for the album - group pic of the 21k runners before we set off & make history.
Pic courtesy of Sonya Clota.
Oh wait - before that - warm-up exercises! I think everyone was caught a bit off-guard when the music started & the dance moves started :D in any case it was good fun (everyone seemed keen to get started already!)
Pic courtesy of Sonya Clota.
David Fot & me hopelessly trying hard to get in sync :D
Pic courtesy of Sonya Clota

Here's a clip of us warming-up & being amused!

As soon as we were flagged-off - the elites were off! I think they ran together for another 5k or so before the top dogs started pulling away & the separation was levelled out even more. My own strategy  was just to do my slow 6min/km pace for the first 7k, and incrementally by 30sec for the next 2x 7ks. I knew I could do no faster in my current form. In fact I was ready for pain.

A picture with David at around 2/3k mark.. legs were still feeling fresh & smiles all round! soon to change of course! 
Behind that smile are tired legs! Most likely at the 14/15k mark at this point, not too sure.
18k mark - lovely views. Didn't have the strength to admire for long, was just focused on regulating breathing & hydration & making sure I don't puke coz tummy felt bit funny at this point. 
Chugging along. I remember at this final drink station Hanna running across the road & handing me a wet cloth - grateful for that as it was much needed. I'm surprised my legs were still going at this stage as the agony of the 18k mark was kicking in.. pic courtesy of Sonya Clota
Drink station angels - Hanna & Sandra! Pic courtesy of Sonya Clota
The dreaded Hell Corner at the final 1k. Whoever named these corners must've been a runner !
Doesn't look like much? Trust me after 20k of running uphill - you'll feel every step of this corner!
Soldiering on. The long & lonely journey to the top. Onward march up the final 1k. Picture courtesy of Sonya Clota.
I mentioned about my race preparation - a set of hard-biting teeth. Put in use right here! Picture courtesy of Sonya Clota.
Vanity is.. mustering a gleaming smile for the camera no matter how much pain one is in! Picture courtesy of Sonya Clota.
Prize-giving ceremony - all smiles. I was proud of my time, proud of my efforts & very pleased that everything executed to plan OR it could just be the PERONI beer I had.. :D Pic courtesy of Sonya Clota

History making crew. Mirabella Mountain 2012 participants. Pic courtesy of Sonya Clota
A finisher's medal is actually very meaningful especially after a meaningful run :) While many pro-runners probably would be happy just with the record of their times, I personally won't mind having some kind of memento regardless of my level of run going forward.

While it was 21k of asking WHY - it was also 21k of KNOWING why!

Left - burger + drink for lunch shortly after run. Juicy goodness. Right - Brunch a day later (Sunday) back in Boxhill - Beef noodles, also total juicy goodness. Both highly recommended! :D
Some tour-guiding by Norman & Sandra who brought us up to the very summit & showed me & David around for a bit after our lunch. Found a nice place for coffee too :)

Post Event Thoughts.

Well I needed all this. I needed to get away & remind myself of the great outdoors is always there. Whatmore now knowing that Victoria is such a beautiful place with so much to offer. I'm already thinking of a possible future where I might be organizing my own trail runs here there everywhere (there's so much potential!) just like the Mirabella folks & their ambitions for the event. All in all I loved the experience & would not hesitate to put this event forward as a race to sign-up for 2013. :)

While I suffer the post-event & post-amazing-weekend blues - I shall have to start focusing on the next run - Thanks for reading & sharing this experience with me :)

The hills are alive. The view really opens up at the very top. Need to come back during winter!


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