GSER 100 Mile Race - Mt Buller to Bright
Friday 17th November at 5am saw the start of this new event kick off in the misty dark village of Mt Buller. Distances were 50mile, 100mile and 100mile relay option.
Trails & Ales Albury crew had managed to scrape a team together, merging with Rob Sharpe's Wagga Team. It consisted of Tim Goddard (1st leg) Rob Sharpe ( 2nd leg) and Nick Williams (3rd leg).
GSER 100mile course consisted of 180k's, over 10 000m climbing and 11 000m descending. Now that on paper is scary enough. But broken down into 3 legs as a team couldn't be to bad right? After some quick calculations i figured we should be done in 24hrs. How wrong i would be!
After hitting the summit of Mt Buller and turning to descend down a very technical, slippery, hard to find track to Gardiners Hut I soon realized this was going to take a little longer then expected! Falling over and getting bumps, bruises and cuts to the legs/hands would be the norm, it felt like the bush was fighting back!
Some cruisy k's along the river soon
ended as we hit some climbs, 8 Mile Spur and The Bluff. It was more like scrambling and rock climbing in sections and Strava told me I did a 17:37min/340m elevation for 1k, tough going! Once at the top of the Bluff (27.5k mark),some single track to Bluff Hut was enjoyable, then it was mainly fire trail all the way to Upper Howqua -CP2 45k where I would be passing the baton to Rob 6.5hrs in.
Rob left smiling at 11.30am and I would later pick him up at 5.30am Sat morning at CP5 - 108k mark 18hrs later, he was a broken man. This was no doubt the toughest terrain and conditions faced throughout the race. To quote Rob "That was the hardest 18hrs I've ever done. In no order of preference I've experienced hail, lightning, leeches, climbed under or over 1 million fallen trees, taken shelter in a cave & climbed a rickety wire ladder in a lightning storm."
Hats off to Sharpy for taking on the remotest stretch of the course in the worst possible conditions. Crossing sections called The Cross Cut Saw, Mt Buggery, Horrible Gap, Mt Despair and The Viking they all lived up to their names!
Enter Nick Williams who would be taking on the final 72k, this would be his longest distance attempted and total time on feet. After 3hrs of bush bashing he had hit The Twins. It was onwards to Mt St Bernard then a steep descent down Bon Accord to crush the quads. At roughly 11.30am I caught up with Nick at Harrietville, the final CP. He was looking fresh and flying through the field apologizing to the incredible solo runners he was passing.
The final stretch from HV to Bright was 34km and Nick hammered through it in 4hrs, crossing the line in the pouring rain around 3.30pm Sat afternoon to give the Trails & Ales team a total time of 34hrs 27mins.
A huge congrats to all 58 solo finishers, the last one 5mins before the 53hr cut off mark, inspirational stuff! Thanks to Mel & Sean and all their team for putting on such a testing and brutal event.
#1 Martin Kern - 29hrs 20min
#2 Tim Locke - Tim and Stephen finished together in 33hrs 49min
#3 Stephen Redfern
#1 Hopkins Holiday - 28hrs 15min
#2 Trails & Ales - 34hrs 27min
#3 Blood Sweat & Trails - 37hrs 44min
#1 Nick Montgomery 12hrs 52min
#2 Ash Bennet 13hrs 11min
#3 Garry Marwood 13hrs 12min