02 Apr Matty Abel Northburn 100Km Race Report
After 10 full weeks of general and specific training I found myself on the start line feeling ready to rumble. Despite the confidence I still had my doubts as im sure any athlete goes through before an event. Had I training enough? Am I recovering properly? Is my nutrition right?
Friday I arrived at the race, checked and weighed in, did my gear check and we had our race debrief. I had already adjusted to New Zealand time so getting up at 4:15am (2:15am Syd time) wasn’t to bad for me. We drove into the race and I was feeling very relaxed going over all the training and my race prep I had done, (i had the race broken into four – been 20km, 30km, 30km, 20km) I did my warm up, spoke to a few runners I knew and next minute we were off.
First we had a 5km loop, which still being dark i took with extreme caution, knowing my ankle was still weak. 3 runners took off, not knowing who, I stayed content and stuck to my race plan. Next to me was another 100km runner and he said it was his first. In my head I knew he was going too fast and he would later drop. 3km later he did. Around 7km in we hit the HILL! From 7km-19km it was 90% up hill continuously. This was my strength. I was running with a 50km runner and dropped him a few kms later. Around 16km I ran into Martin Cox, Grant Guise & Gary Melhuish who had missed a turn. They were the only three in front of me and thank god they were in the 50km race. I stuck with them till the 24km mark where I refuelled, put on my thermals (as temps were around 4 degrees) and let them run off as i was running my race. The next 13km was down hill and it hurt I took my time trying not to do anything silly. At the 40km mark I caught and passed Grant & Gary while Martin was in eye sight. The next 10kms was a mind battle thinking “have i gone out to hard” i’ve just past 2 elite athletes and they are only doing 50km. I came into 50km check point with cramps so I took my time tried to hydrate as much as possible. I re-stocked my bag and set up my music for the next 50km, talked a bit more as the Marshall’s weren’t expecting anyone yet then Lisa Tamati kicked me out and said “Get running”.