What made you want to run 6FT?
I’ve wanted to run six foot for years, ever since doing a training run on the course. I think the challenge of the course is a big factor in why it’s so popular, and why I wanted to do it. The race itself has a reputation for being organised and run like a well-oiled machine with an amazing atmosphere and I wanted to experience that.
How did you alter your training to suit the race?
With the guidance of coach Gary Howard from Run Crew, we shifted the training focus by increasing long runs, including 2 x 37km runs on the course and removed some track sessions, replacing them with hill/tempo sessions. Some of these sessions were designed specifically to induce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) to help my quads manage the huge eccentric loads that they’d be under during the race.
What does an average week of training look like?
I’m slowly building some mileage and consistency – around 120km a week, including 2-3 medium long runs, intervals on track, a tempo/fartlek and a long run. I do 1-2 strength sessions a week with weights and resistance bands to help with running efficiency and injury prevention – I’ve been getting help with this program from Peter Fein at Sydney Uni sports clinic.
How did the race pan out?
Some nice scenery followed by agony, then elation. It started well, taking it easy down the steps and picking up the pace gradually on the trails to Cox’s river. I passed Brendan and Stu on the first climb after Cox’s river and put my head down and went for it. Possibly due to effort spent on the hills or from a fall earlier in the race, I really battled the last 10km! I was walking up any hill I came across after the campground at the end of Black Range. To be honest, I was expecting to get overtaken at any point in those final stages of the race so when I heard those bells and I was still in the lead it was pretty bloody amazing.
What was the least enjoyable part?
Having to leave the final 2 aid stations. All I wanted to do was sit down and drink more coke.
What’s your favourite memory from the day?
The realization as I made my way down the final ramps that I would actually win the race; I really thought my race was over a couple of times. As a whole, the start line buzz and energy of the finish at cave’s house that continued into the day was amazing and something I can’t wait to experience again.
Will you be doing more trail running now or is a marathon on the agenda?
I’d like to get back to the roads for a bit and see how I can go over the marathon, on a flat course. I’d love to run 6 foot again next year have a crack at the record.
What races do you have coming up?
Sydney 10 and SMH half marathon in May
Need a podiatrist? Tom’s one….and a bloody good one to boot!