Tomorrow, Euan and I are going to do our first trial run of the Pyramid Race for 2012.
My best time in the race is 2hr 36 mins. This year I am aiming for 2hours. I’m feeling fitter and stronger than last year, but am really looking forward to seeing tomorrow whether I really am any better at this hill than before.
The start is a run around the town square in Gordonvale. This circuit is hard because it feels like you’re going nowhere – and on race day that’s where the crowds all are watching and cheering, and you can’t help but sprint off and go far too fast at the start! Then once you’ve got over this circuit – you run on to the base of the pyramid. The run there is only 3km, which I run regularly without difficulty – mostly I run 5 or 9 km, so this 3km shouldn’t be hard – yet it always feels tough! I don’t think carrying a full water bottle helps mind you!
Then you’re finally ready to start the climb. It’s those first 5 minutes that are the hardest. That’s when your legs get that first taste and shock of the non-stop uphill ahead of them. It’s when I wonder what on earth I think I’m doing and why I put myself through this so much!
But once you get past that and into the rhythm it does get much better. Having climbed the mountain lots of times now, at least it’s familiar, and I recognise various landmarks and know some rough breakdowns of expected times and distances.
The halfway up the mountain point – on race day you have to get there in under 1 hour or you get disqualified from the race. The first time I did the race I made it in 59.5 mins! JUST!! I’ve now got it down to 55 mins – better, but still lots of room for improvement.
I find the second half of the uphilll easier. Psychologically you’re past half way of the hard uphill – almost there! Then from the top down – in about 30mins. Euan can go faster, but I’m not quite as sure footed!
Once you get to the bottom of the mountain, you’ve then just got to run back to the town. Just under 3km, and I don’t think I’ve ever managed to run the whole way back….yet!!
So I wonder how tomorrow will go. We’re dropping the kids off with friends nice and early so we can make a start before it gets too hot!
I’m hoping I’ll be under 2hrs 30 mins – at the very least. Really I want to be faster than that, but having not been up the mountain in months…I just dont’ know!
All I can do is push hard and focus!
I’ll write again after we do it!!