Race Recap: Nail Can Hill Fun Run (11.3km Trail run)
Four years ago I ran the Nail Can Hill fun run, and I knew that once I moved back to Victoria I would want to run it again. I knew it would be difficult with limited training, and thought that my Uncle (who beat me last time) may run it again too, but I just seemed to forget just how hard the course was!
The course is predominantly run along Nail Can Range ridge, and is made up mainly of fire access tracks which are rocky and unstable in spots. The start up until the 2km point is run along the road, and then you start the steep climb to the top of the range – you climb 405m in about 1.5km! From the 3.5km – 7km mark is a lot of ups and downs and is quite easy, except for one around the 5km mark named “Pete’s Pinch” – after one of the founders of the run. 7km – 9km you start to descend again and come to a saddle with great views (they were great!), after that there’s another incline then a steep decent again, dropping 100m in about 1km! From 9km onward it’s fairly flat, deceding to a creek bed, with a sharp rise out of it, and then onto the finish line!
There was little to no training for this run. I took two weeks off exercise at the start of April because of a cold, and my running has been pretty much non-existant lately! I knew I would be struggling with this run, and my mate Jayne would most likely smash it, but we took it as an opportunity to just take it as it comes and enjoy it! We made the drive up to Albury on the Saturday and collected our race bibs. We then spent the afternoon catching up with my family, watching my brother play local footy and see my grandparents. I showed her my parents farm (where I grew up) and we settled at my brothers house for some movies and take-away Indian for dinner with my sister-in-law.
The morning of, we got up and got ready, eating breakfast (toast and coconut water), taking our time, as the run itself didn’t start until 10am. We didn’t realise till we had left at about 8.30am that we hadn’t had our pre-race coffee (which we both usually have to get certain body parts going, if you know what I mean?) HAHA! We decided to leave it as is, and kept driving to where the run finishes to drop off our car and catch the bus to the start line.
It was a clear, sunny day – almost too warm actually, and Jayne and I set off quickly, a little too quickly for my liking, but I tried to keep up. We hit the start of the climb before we knew it, and it was then that I had to start walking, I knew I was in trouble and we were only 2km in!
With pretty much zero training, and the warm weather I really struggled. It sucked big time. But we decided to enjoy it and have fun despite not going to be able to get a decent time! Sometimes it’s not all about getting a PB. I had to accept that. The walk (not run) up the first incline/hill was super hard and my heart rate was ridiculous (it was crazy the whole way really), but the rolling undulations running along the ridge line once we were up high was really lovely actually and quite enjoyable at the slower pace we were running.
It was a great day, with a great atmosphere as we had a chat to a few people along the way and a couple of people asking if I was OK when I had to stop and catch my breath! (Eeek!)
There was another little incline, and more running downhill for a while and then it had flattened off again around the 8-9km mark. By this point I was starting to fatigue, it was hot (I ended up getting sunburnt/tan a little on my back), and I really needed to go to the toilet. Now my mate, Jayne will be laughing if she’s reading this (she said “Are you going to mention this on your blog?”). Well Jayneo, I am. It’s a runners worst nightmare, and I had to run as best as I could another 2-3km to the finish line before accessing a toilet.
The last km was horrible, I couldn’t even sprint to the finish line! So Jayne grabbed my arm and practically dragged me along! Yay! Such an incredible feeling to finish! We met my parents at the finish line, chowed down on some orange slices and water and then went out for breaky!
Position: 705/ 1156
Female 20-39: 126 /243
Gender position: 278
Crazy as it sounds, realising how much I can improve from this run, it’s spurred me on and motivated me to get my butt into gear! I’m now officially in training for my first half marathon in three years, and considering running the You Yangs trailblazer fun run on the 31st of May!
Have you ever run a trail run / hill run before? Has something that you’ve sucked at spurred you on to improve?