The Boy & Chicken Legs Do Surf Coast

September 9th saw yet another massively successful edition of one of the most beautiful trail races in the country, The Surf Coast Century. Located in the serene town of Anglesea on the pristine Southern Victorian Coastline, this race attracts 1,000’s of keen trailites year upon year. Finally after having spectated at so many editions, I felt it was fit that I compete to some extent at the event. Living 30mins up the road in Geelong means it’s easily accessible, and most parts of the course are a regular training ground for me. They’re without doubt some of my favourite trails in the world!

I’ve got my sights set on having a good performance at the North Face Endurance Challenge 50miler in November this year. Given the timing, it worked incredibly well to have a solid 50km hit out around this time in my build. Luckily for me, my coach and The North Face Aus/NZ teammate, David Byrne (TheLongRun) graced me with his partnership to create a team of 2 for the 100km event. A team of 2 with the best name ever “The Humble Servants of Bosco and Walter”. As expected, Dave was quite soft and decided he wanted to run the easy half of the course, with less climbing and more luxurious warm sunny beaches, but that was expected, so I let it go…. Really though, I take preference to the back half of this course. It contains a much more specific profile to that which can be expected in San Francisco come November. Containing a higher amount of climbing with nice punchy little inclines here and there, it will work as a great building block.

Prior to this event, I was a touch nervous, but also somewhat confident. I hadn’t run 50km in a long time, probably since 2015 in fact. Things hadn’t gone so well for me since then, and I’d been fighting some rough luck for a while. My training loading for the past 6 months has been very slowly and steadily building after a calf issue late 2016. I’d run a couple of road races, as well as the UTA 22km, all aimed at being basic economy building events. The consistency without any crazy volume has been working well, though. In recent weeks I’ve been consistently feeling big strength improvements, especially in the latter half of long runs. Which is always a nice thing to see when you’re training for an 80km event in which strength is absolutely paramount.

How the weekend unfolded is pretty easy to summarise. We all had a bucketload of fun, raced an awesome event, hung with great people, received amazing hospitality courtesy of the Spence family, and of course drank some post-event beers. It was a true joy to be in the thick of a large scale event with so many familiar faces.

Dave and I ran a total time of 7:15:51 for the 100km (plus a little extra), with Dave splitting 3:30:xx for the first 49km, and I ran 3:45:xx for the back ‘half’ 51.5km. (the course measurement is accurate, but a little rerouting was necessary due to heavy rains in the weeks preceeding the event) This time saw us post a new CR for the course, which we honestly didn’t have in mind at the start of the day. As mentioned, it was more of a ‘building block’ run for us both. However, I did end up running a little harder than I had anticipated. My legs felt wonderful and I split the 30km mark far ahead of what I thought I would, which was a good feeling. It’s good to be cautious though when post-event training needs to be prioritised, so I didn’t dig too much for the latter parts of the race. (It still felt plenty hard enough after the 40km mark!)

It’s now just over a week post event and everything feels good. So time to keep logging some km’s and working forward!

Thanks to The North Face Aus/NZ, Shotz Sports Nutrition, Nutrition Strategies, Compressport and The Long Run for the continued support. Plus my wonderful parents and the strongest, most enthusiastic training partner one could hope for, Walter!