Listen. Learn. Run.

Learn To Run

Mechanics of Mud Racing

The last few days have been busy ones…Friday started bright and early with a 14km run around our surrounding suburbs while Marcelle and Angus slept.  All I had to do was to make sure I was back in time to help get the young fella organised for school.  No problem.

Felt a little sluggish, but it was good to get out after what was a pretty low-mileage week although I did manage to get some much enjoyed strength work done…shoulder is tracking pretty well and I can already feel I’m able to do things I was unable to do pre-surgery….push-ups, bench press, shoulder press.  I feel weak as a kitten, but there is no joint pain so it’s just a matter of regaining that strength intelligently. I’m hoping to announce a new nutritional partner this week which I am sure will make a huge difference to this process.

Distance 14km  |  Time 1:07  |  Pace 4:49/km  |  Energy 1,300kcal  |  Ascent (stuff all)

Home Loop

With the working week out of the way I had a couple of gigs to look forward to….Saturday | Salomon Trail Running Workshop….Sunday | Mother’s Day Classic.

The trail running workshop was great.  Sponsored by Salomon, in conjunction with Rapid Ascent (organisers of the Salomon Trail Run Series and 100km Surf Coast Century), had secured the services of one of today’s best ultra-distance trail runners, Ryan Sandes.  In 2010, this South African trail runner became the first competitor to have won all four of the 4 Deserts races. Each is a 6/7-day, 250-kilometer (160 mi) self-supported footrace through the Atacama Desert (Chile), the Gobi Desert (China), the Sahara Desert (Egypt), and lastly An-bloody-tarctica. He is one of only 11 competitors in the world who have completed the ‘Desert Grand Slam’ in a calendar year.

Sandes was winner of the Sahara Race in 2008, the Gobi March in 2008, second in 2009 RacingThePlanet Namibia and winner of the Jungle Ultra Marathon in the Floresta Nacional do Tapajós, in Pará, Brazil, setting a new course record.

Sandes won the 2011 Leadville Trail 100 (miles), in a time of 16:46:54, more than half an hour ahead of runner-up Dylan Bowman. He won the 2012 North Face 100 (kilometres) in Australia in a time of 9:22:45 (that’s a blistering 5:37/km over 100km with 1,850m of vertical ascent….ouch).

In August 2012 Sandes crushed the record for the 90 km Fish River Canyon hiking trail from 10 hours 54 minutes to 6 hours 57 minutes.

I suppose I could learn a bit from this easy-going and humble bloke (you had to forcibly extract his achievements from him) and happily listened to his advice ranging from warm-up drills to technical downhill to race strategy.  Once we had all soaked this information up it was off for a nice 11km run around Studley Park. The weather was magic….25°C and not a breath of wind. Nice way to spend a Saturday morning.


So, with these pearls of wisdom under my belt, it was time to get organised for an early start Sunday morning for the Melbourne Mother’s Day Classic. With a record crowd of 40,000 expected to participate in the 8km run/walk and 4km run/walk it was a race in itself to get into town and parked in time to meet others from work.  We were treated to a magic sunrise, setting the Yarra River on fire. Typically, my ‘photo-on-the-go’ does not do it justice.

Mothers Day Classic

This was the first fun run I had participated in for a long time so I was keen to make it a little different and to use the nature of the event to pay a small tribute to my own mum. An unstoppable lady who has never failed to be there for me, or any of my siblings.  She is a master of many talents and is unconditionally selfless.

As with most mums out there, she has carried me through more dramas than I can count and I wanted to acknowledge that in some way today.  My parents are currently holidaying in Queensland with family and friends, so I included her on today’s 8km run in the form of a 20kg sandbag (there is no intention of an “old bag” metaphor here, mum 😉 ). Repeatedly swapping the bag from shoulder to shoulder on the run, “we” made reasonable time around the course and received some nice comments from strangers on the way.

Mum Sandbag



After meeting up with some of the troupe from work at the finish line, I had to bug out quickly so I was home in time to get Gus to his soccer match.  After a quick pick-me-up of frozen berries, mango cheeks, almond milk, water, protein powder, almonds, dried cranberries and spinach leaves all wizzed together the only things hurting were my feet and left achilles. Apparently I should be expecting my Asics emergency supply drop to land at the office around Tuesday or Wednesday….my feet can’t wait!!  

Mothers Day Classic Map

Distance 8.0km  |  Time 46:55  |  Pace 5:51/km  |  Energy 793kcal  |  Ascent 70m


Can’t beat the value of advice from one of the world’s best ultra-endurance athletes.

Please consider a donation to to ME/CFS Australia and help others who wish they could run for miles.

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