December 30, 2005

Running The Cotter

Running the Cotter on a hot, supposedly maximum 35 degree day is not what any would call an easy run.

But it was John D's Birthday and we decided to join and acompany him on this "Annual" event.
Even though he and we run it on other occasions.

Friar, Nick, Ray and John set out just on 7 o'clock this morning, Friday 30th December.

Not a cloud in the sky, meant the heat was going to be on before we got back.

Two of us opted to carry water bottles, the other two opted to drink at Padovan's Crossing and Vanitys Crossing. We also splashed water over our bodies at both crossings, and, at Vanities we took shoes and socks off, had a paddle and a drink, and also had a few minutes rest.

We got back to the Cotter reserve, and had a rest and a drink and nibblies at one of the tables, accompanied by ducks and rosellas. The playground at the Cotter, at this time of day, was alive with children and their parents gambolling on the playground equipment.

John has now completed over 120 Cotter Runs, while Friar has notched up 203, and still counting on more. :-)

Peter Kallio wrote a story many years ago on Running The Cotter, and I followed his principles for many years. This was the venue for those in training for The Canberra Marathon, who would congregate at the Cotter at 7:00 am on Saturday mornings to be given a head count by Bryan T, before heading off to, and up and over the suspension bridge, then joining the Road for the climb to the top entry to the forest.

Times have changed nowadays, to smaller groups organising their own starting times etc.
And I can't end this post without a reference to "The Cotter Group", who set about demistifying The Cotter by organising runs, and drop offs to starting points which introduced people to running in the area, without having to run the entire "Cotter 15" or "Cotter 18."

"Until Next Time"

December 25, 2005

Bushfire Memorial Opening 18th January 10:30am.

With the opening being in the news, I thought I'd run over and have a closer look. The purple route is the one I took, and around Narrabundah Hill (yes it's near Duffy - despite the name).

There are several sections, but not yet an easy trail to get there.

There are bricks with inscriptions by various people embedded in a curved brick wall, and a few pillars with embedded photographs and captions.

There is aslo a seated area which I presume is around a small pool area, and perhaps where people can sit in silent contemplation.

It may become more apparent when the explanations are given at the official opening, or this site gives an explanation..

Until then.

December 24, 2005

Have a Happy and Merry Christmas

To all fellow runners, and Bloggers.

Have a Great Christmas and a Happy New Year. :-)

December 18, 2005

Tour De Mountain 2005

I don't think you want to see the course profile, because the first climb is to the top of Isaacs Ridge, the next is to the ttrig point on Wanniassa Hills, and the next id the top of Mt Taylor, up the concrete path to the trig point apex, and down the other side.

The run can be broken into three sections, the first drink station is at 6.8km, the second at 11.8km and then the final section ends at Mawson Shops.

About 30 runners were in the early start at 6:00 am, which meant getting up early in the morning, passed Alice and Maria on the way to Isaacs Ridge, and had a battle with Jane and Jenny the rest of the way. Scotty was at the first drink station at 6.8km. Stuey came past from the 6:30 am start, just near the Wanniassa Hills Trig, followed by Trevor and Adrian; to see them "motor" down from there was truly amazing, Norak didn't come past until nearer the road underpass. Then a stream of 6:30 start runners came past, and the drink station 2, manned by Paul, was a welcome sight, and there was virtually no traffic to avoid along Athllon drive crossing.
Mt Taylor climb was just as bad as previously, although a few new steps had been made on the concrete path.
Carol flew past and offered words of encouragement on the way down from Mt Taylor, which was a bit dicey, and almost took a tumble, but ended up in grass on the side of the track. Was motoring along here at less than 6 mins/km, and caught Nick just after the Water Tower. The drink station, manned by Carol and Heather, was the signal for about 2km remaining and we flew down there also at a fast pace, and then travelled along the side of the road, back to the start.

Until Next Year.

December 11, 2005

Black Mountain Challenge 11 December 2005

Yes, the profile is an accurate depiction of the course.
Starting from John Cardiff Close on Black Mountain Peninsula, the course follows bike paths beside the lake, and Clunies Ross Street to the commencement of Black Mountain Drive.
This first 2km is flattish, and then about 300 metres into the drive the road commences to climb more steeply, before becoming less steep.
From the entry to Black Mountain Drive, there follows 3km uphill; although cyclists use it early in the morning for their hill repeats, there are not so many runners who do hill repeats on the road. However some use it around their lunchtimes on occasions. This is not a busy road traffic-ways, but care is needed, for their are many unsighted bends.

A large field ran this event, about 146, and the Women's race record formerly held by Joy Terry was well and truly beaten by Jackie Fairweather who just got under 20 minutes, which may well be rounded up to 20 minutes in the official results. Dave Osmond took first placing for the males and overall.

Last Year, 2004, Scott McTaggart set a new men's Record, and this year, Jackie Fairweather set a new Women's record. What's left for next year?? Tom Van Gerwen, who had run most of the Black Mountain Challenges, ran again this year, just beating Friar, in a time just under 35 minutes.

Until Next Time

December 08, 2005

Stromlo Forest Run

This was at a rather slow pace, but it was better doing that, than mowing the lawn on a hottish, blustery day.

Even the little blowies, those pesky ones, were around on the way out, but on the way back into the wind, the wind was so strong that even the little blowies couldn't hang around, so that was welcome, but the wind was sooooo strong.

So many of the tracks around the forest area are now suffering from erosion, and have little to large gullies in them.

The old concrete crossing over the Molonglo, now has trees washed down alongside the eastern side of the crossing, and the track just north of there is badly eroded.

There is even an old car body just next to the crossing, what a bad place to dunp it.!!

I have now loaded a lot of CD's into the computer, so can play music while I batter away at the keyboard.

One day I might load them into an MP3 player (yet to be obtained). We got an MP3 player about 12 months ago, but gave it away to our daughter, thinking that we would never use it.

Now, while rummaging around in the cupboards today, I found a tape player, AM/FM Radio combined. After putting in new batteries, and pressing all the switches, found that it didn't work anymore, so that will go into the rubbish for collection next Monday.

Such is life.

December 03, 2005

Murrumbidgee River Trail Run

We gathered at Casuarina Sands from 6:30 am, had a bit of a talk and then organised our transport to either Pine Island or Kambah Pool.

Friar, Demetrios, Ray and Nick travelled by car to Kambah Pool, and on arrival, tried to find the start of the trail to Casuarina Sands.

We eventually found that it was close to the top gate, after the first road junction, it was on the western side.

So, we started off, expecting to find a 2 foot wide trail. Instead it was a single width (at best) track, suitable for walkers, just 1% suitable for runners/joggers, our first km took 11 minutes.

The trail was windy, up and down according to the valleys to traverse, plenty of rocks, plenty of bridges across the many small creeks, plenty of droppings from the wildlife, plenty of long grass, plenty of trail markers, each 200 metres, and distance markers every kilometre or so.

The sounds of the river, when we were close to it, proved a good accompaniment to a slow "run".
There were also parts of the river, where it flowed over rocks to form a series of rapids, and it was tempting to think how much quicker, swimming in the river would have made the trek.

After 6.2 km, we detoured slightly from the river and through grassland, where we took a right turn, but realised we were straying too far from the trail, and bashed through high grass to refind the trail. (Through that fence we should have continued in the same line.)

Then down by the river, there were shoulder high bushes to walk through, running was impossible in places. There were plenty of Wombat holes, but no Wombats, and we reached a milestone lookout with 4.5 km to go.

Here a book was encased in a metal cabinet, so we made an entry of our visit, and found an entry from Dave and Ken, who had run from the Casuarina Sands end of the track, and they had got to this point at 7:30am, according to the visitors book entry.
We got to this point at 9:00 am.

The remaining 4.5 km of the track was much easier, although many blackberries had started to grow in and over the track.

Arrived at Casuarina Sands in 2 hours 24 mins 56 seconds, an indication of how hard the trail run was.

We then travelled by car back to Kambah Pool to pick up the "left" Car, and then headed for home.

As an indication, I threw my socks into the rubbish, rather than spend many hours picking the grass-seeds out, and they were also very grotty from the mud and wet conditions.

The shoes are outside the backdoor, full of grass-seeds, on the outside and the inside.

I'll wait for them to dry before doing a restoration job on them.

The restoration was done in the following week and involved a combination of a scrubbing brush, and hand picking the grass seeds, outide in the back yard of course.

Until Next Time.