Tuesday, 9 February 2016
The first time (2012) Jon trained for the Overland Track Run he qualified by running the relatively tedious Bruny Island 64k ultra marathon. Due to the timing of the entry date, it's necessary to do that particular qualifying race 14 months before the Cradle Mountain Run. So through the following twelve months Jon did long run after long run after long run, right through the dark and cold winter. In fact there were days when I'd get up really early to go for a paddle, and as I left the house under still dark skies, I'd meet Jon returning from a run. Then in the November before the February race he injured himself running the Point to Pinnacle (Mt Wellington) 21k, and despite physio and various attempts at recovery, he just wasn't able to continue training at the level you need to for a 12 hour, 84k trail race. So he had to pull out.
The 2nd time (2014) Jon wanted to enter, he had to requalify. So somewhat under-prepared he ran the Bruny Island race again, and whilst he really suffered, he survived on nurofen (aka kidney-killers) and gels and made it within the time limit. It was an inauspicious start, but Jon followed that up with really solid training right up until November. when he got swept away crossing South Cape Rivulet, lost his wedding ring, and injured his hip. That put him out for nearly three weeks. Then just as he was able to do get back into some solid runs, in fact just days after a 43km training run on Kangaroo Island, he hurt his back playing backyard hockey.
But that didn't stop him - oh no. A back injury that kept him from driving, sitting, and sleeping comfortably, didn't stop Jon from carrying a 25kg pack on the overland track, and running almost every morning.
So despite a pretty motley preparation, with 2 weeks to go he was ready(ish). But that's when the bush fires came and the whole thing got cancelled. Sigh..
I'm not sure Jon can face running the Bruny Island Ultramarathon a 3rd time, but we'll see..