Charlottes Pass (9km from summit, 18km from finish):
This page was updated as frequently as possible (terrible mobile coverage) from 5:30am on Friday 10-12-2010 and tracked Sharon's progress at the 240km race Coast to Kosciuszko. This race started near Eden on the NSW Australia coast and finished after climbing to the top of Australia's highest mountain - Mt Kosciuszko.
- More details on official race website
- Photo's & a movie of the event can be found here
Results (provisional), a photo of Shaz running well early on and a photo of Shaz at
the summit of Mt Kosciuszko (2228m) just 9km before the finish:
Here is Sharon's Race Report:
Congratulations to every runner who started C2K. Any person who even entertains running this event needs to take a moment to think about the enormity of the challenge. Those that get to the line can be proud of the guts and determination they display simply by being there. Those that finish often feel a sense of achievement unlike anything else they will experience in their life, and fair enough too. It is a huge accomplishment.
There is no doubt that C2K is different. OK, it’s a race, but really I think from this experience I’ve learnt that it’s more about human spirit and personal achievement than putting in a fast time. The real heroes of this race aren’t those at the front that know they can finish, but those that see this as the culmination of a (in many cases) life-long journey, an opportunity to free their spirit and be at peace with themselves. For many it has been a journey that has given them focus and purpose, something to strive for in life, something that touches them deep inside and gives them confidence and worth. I believe that is the spirit of C2K.
So much thanks to Paul and Diane for the dedication and passion they show for every runner in the event. I believe they both genuinely care for each runner and I thank them for all the time and effort they put in. C2K is special because of you.
My crew, wow. I was totally spoilt. Three dedicated people doing everything in their power to help me achieve this result - Our goal! You are every bit a part of this achievement and I thank you. You all worked brilliantly as a team to ensure I was catered for.
Sabina - a complete stranger not that long ago. now a treasured friend.
Ken - again, thanks. This is not the first time you have helped me as a crew person. Your passion, dedication and willingness to do whatever it takes to help me definitely inspired me to keep running.
Justin - I love and respect you. You inspire me, nurture my ability and give me what I need just at the right time. Bonus of growing up together as well as your brilliant mind. I am so lucky to have your explicit dedication. You make me better than I am.
As far as the event progressed we are naturally proud of the result.
We gathered on Boydtown Beach just south of Eden NSW Friday morning. I was so excited and a bit nervous about the task ahead and raring to go. At 5:30am we were off and running, crossing the highway and then climbing the steep fire tracks I had walked the previous day. Once on the main road I trundled along at my targeted HR. Marie Doke and Meredith Quinlan were running together a little bit ahead as I settled into my own run pace.
At about 35k I changed my shoes because of a hot spot forming. In theory this was okay, because I was now in the shoes I intended to use for most of the run. At the creek crossing Ken was waiting for me with the garbage bags to put over my feet to keep them dry. The bags mostly worked, though I did get my left big toe area slightly wet. My foot remained comfortable in my Drymax sock despite the dousing though and eventually dried without causing any foot concerns (Go Drymax). This shoe and sock combination stayed with me until Perisher (210km) where I had to remove them to put warmer clothing on. Even then the sock change wasn't necessary but made sense, and I went back into the same shoes.
At the marathon point I was the leading female had run with Meredith for about 5 or 10km just prior to this point. I had found a comfortable partnership with my legs at this stage. I go by the theory of train hard, race easy. In a race I am in "partnership" with my legs and as such general leg comfort is paramount for later in the event, so I walked up Big Jack around 9 min pace. I'm a fairly powerful walker and no doubt this helps in races such as C2K where the hills are on the "large" side!
The next 8 hrs in the baking sun and strengthening head-wind saw my pace slow. I was no longer jogging at the pace required for a sub 30hr result, but again I had to remain disciplined and alter my expectations based on the conditions I faced. The ambient temperature wasn't that hot at 22 degrees, but the sun was somehow piercing. I could feel the heat. Then fighting the headwinds sapped my energy and took its toll on my concentration. Gordi and I were neck and neck basically much of the way and changed positions about 8 times before Gordi finally disappeared into the distance somewhere around Dalgety.
As the night progressed fatigue started to set in and I began wandering across the road instead of going forward. Justin paced me the last 16k into Dalgety (about 2hrs later than we had initially hoped) and Sabina took over pacing duties for the next 10k to allow Justin to partake in the awesome meal provided by the organisers.
Just after Dalgety Justin started trickling in some caffeine (all hail caffeine) and this made me more alert, but I didn't feel able to push the pace at that stage. Justin also gave me the yummiest chicken and corn soup in the world that he had smuggled from the Dalgety smorgasbord knowing that I'd appreciate it. Thanks, I love chicken and corn soup! With a tummy of hot soup and caffeine I moved OK and walked/jogged to the base of the Beloka Range.
The night ground on. Getting to Jindabyne seemed to take forever and I was relegated to a walk most of the way. I don't think I did any k's slower through here than 10:30pace, but being flat to downhill it was a section that prior to the race I'd targeted as a good (if slow) section to run. I probably lost the better part of 30 minutes here alone. I just could not get my legs to cooperate – the partnership was in danger.
Dizzy, disorientated, nauseous at times and grumpy that I would not make Pam's time I dragged my butt to Jindabyne. Justin again paced for a while here to get me through the path section and caravan park. Then as it started to grow lighter toward sunrise I picked up. The earlier slowed pace had allowed me some respite, the wind had dropped to nearly nothing (for now) and it was cool. My body is used to being awake at 4:30am and so I started to feel okay again - sure in need of new quads and calf muscles at this stage (I knew I should have packed them), but at least able to run the flats and downhills again at a modest pace all the way to the Guthega turnoff.
The head wind that had exhausted me overnight and most of the previous afternoon started to pick up again about Guthega. I made what felt like slow progress just keeping the pace under 10 min/k required to achieve the record. Pushing any harder at this stage was pointless according to Justin. There was no need as the sub 30 hour time was lost, but the record likely if I could maintain focus.
By Perisher it was blowing a gale and gusting so hard that I was knocked over on one occasion. Justin, Sabina and Ken took turns pacing the rest of the way to Charlottes Pass. Without their help, I'm not sure I could have made the pace required. There was no way that I would stop, but the record felt difficult to me, even at 10 min/k pace. Justin later told me that the record was "safe" from Guthega due to my improved pace from Jindabyne barring a catastrophe, but he didn't give me all the data at that point, instead just nurturing and encouraging a certain pace that he knew from his observations I could manage. He was right it seems.
Finally at Charlottes Pass we were sure that I had enough time up my sleeve to get up to the top and back down in time just by walking. With my awesome crew I trudged to the top, took a few moments to absorb the accomplishment and then walked down to the Charlottes Pass finish with 17 minutes to spare - Woo hoo!240k in 32:14:28 with about 4000m climb.
My glutes, quads and lower back were really sore at the end of the race as can be expected. Apart from a single small blister on the inside of my left foot and blackened big toe nail on the right my feet were perfect though. I was tired, but the adrenaline had kicked in and so the fatigue and pain were worn as badges of pride and accomplishment.
I've had a few days now to reflect on the race, go through the videos and photo’s that the crew took and talk with Justin about how the race went and about what the race is. Whilst we are proud of this record we are much more proud of the fact that we were just "there". Prior to doing this race it really wasn't a focus for me as my primary goals for now are around 24 hour track running. Having been a participant though I'm now looking for ways to ensure I can come back and spank the mammoth again.
Well done again to all entrants and please, please, share your story with us. The times may give C2K its race status, but the individual, and thus collective stories, are what gives it life.
Here are the live posts made during the race (scroll to bottom for first post):
2:00pm, Saturday 11 December 2010 - Game over. Shaz walked strongly to the summit of Mt Kosciuszko from the car park at Charlottes Pass. The wind was a howling gale and the temperature in the carpark just 1 degree. 100% cloud cover. Sabina, Ken and I walked with Shaz and collectively urged her on without pushing too hard. She responded well to the food and drink offered and made the summit averaging 9:30 for the 9.4km (by the Garmin). A few quick photo's and then she powered back down to break Pam Muston's 2009 record by nearly 17 minutes, finishing in 32:14:28. Shaz is obviously overwhelmed having completed the course in a record time under the circumstances and was full of praise for her crew, other competitors and the course generally. Photo's, video and a race report from Shaz will follow on this website in coming days / weeks.
10:30am (29 hours elapsed) - Shaz about 20 minutes from the Charlotte Park Carpark. STILL a chance. Hard to believe in this horrendous wind. Folks, as we all summit together there can be no update until it's over now. Hopefully that's in less than 3.5 hours. I'm feeling confident, but feeling anything else at this stage would be wrong. C'mon Shaz.
10:00am (28.5 hours elapsed) - Weather now is starting to show its hand. And it's stating emphatically that if you want to spank a Mammoth today you are going to have to seriously earn it. Wind is averaging 46k/h and gusting to 75k/h. Shaz is struggling to move her 52kg frame into it so we are now pacing her to the carpark in turns. She is STILL a chance at the womens record which is a true testament to her grit and determination. 6km to the carpark (we think, we hope!), 24km to go. Buffer growing!
9:00am (27.5 hours elapsed) - Headwinds again the issue, but this time icy cold. It's 1.2 degrees (minus 7 degrees with the wind chill) at Charlottes Pass and the winds are 26k/h average gusting to 45k/h. Not fun. But Shaz is determined, moving as well as she can and refusing to give up on the record at this stage. Even building a buffer still. She also knows she can blow it by running a single km too fast, but can't win it with a single fast km. So everything right now is based on careful haste and slow accumulation of a buffer! Come on Shaz.
8:00am (26.5 hours elapsed) - Passed Guthega turnoff a couple of km's back. ~206km done. Shaz has averaged 9:25 pace from Jindabyne to this point. That's better than target and she is looking better than she has for some time. Eating warm porridge and chicken soup amongst the serves of homemade goo. Long way to go still and this is going to be tight, but right now we're happy.
6:30am (25 hours elapsed) - 195km done. Determined. Ken and Sabina are awesome and providing great crew support for Shaz. We'll be knocking on their doors next time that's for sure! With every step now that record is getting closer, and Sharon's investment getting greater. She is just about at the point now where the refusal to concede will override the pain and fatigue. As her crew we plan to exploit that if necessary. We wish we knew where the other competitors were though. At Jindabyne as Shaz and I walked along the path and through the caravan park, Ken and Sabina drove about 12km back the way we came for a quick check and passed a couple of the male competitors, but no females. That makes Shaz reasonably safe for a female win except should some catastrophe occur. Would be nice to have more info, but not being like her usual 24 hour events around a track it's understandable that more detail isn't able to be provided.
5:30am (24 hours elapsed) - First day is done and Shaz is starting to move a little better. It's growing lighter, her body is used to being awake at this hour and she has just had a can of Blu Energy Drink (80mg caffeine). She is looking determined again and has been managing about 9:00 - 9:30km's in the last short while, though it is still pretty flat. Just moving into the steeper part now, so the next hour or two could be quite telling in regards the record one way or another. 188km done, 52km to go, time left for record = 8:31 (Pam Muston in 2009 managed 32:31). Still a solid chance.
4:00am (22.5 hours elapsed) - Approaching Jindabyne. 3km to go and then the 60km uphill grind begins. Strategy now is get to the end at a pace just enough to beat the record. She was much slower from Dalgety than we hoped, but the record is still a good chance, with consolidation at current levels. Possible when the morning breaks, but Shaz is looking pretty tired and deflated now. Shortly I'll walk with her through Jindabyne on the bike path to make sure she gets through that section OK and assess where she's at mentally and physically. Total distance covered about 178.5km
2:30am (21 hours elapsed) - Shaz has a bit of pain and stiffness now and is struggling at 8:30pace. But she's moving. And at 8:30 that plenty fast enough for the record. I'm about to give her another 50mg caffeine. She started to get a little cold so we have added a wind jacket as well. About 170km done.
1:30am (20 hours elapsed) - Moving. Moving well even. Not in high spirits, feeling a bit tired too, but is maintaining good form. Nearing the top of the Beloka Range and once this is out of the way it's reasonably easy going to Jindabyne. Then we get the serious power walking happening and hope for the for best.
12:30am (19 hours elapsed) - Shaz has gone 158km. She is moving very determinedly now having recently had a 50mg hit of caffeine. She has been doing the odd 7:30pace km and has been told that sub 9:00 to the finish (only 82km!!) will give her the female race record. No certainty, but right now she is moving like she wants it even though she is suffering a bit. That's a good sign. MQ at Dalgety was a minimum of 9km back. It's happy days at the moment but we won't get ahead of ourselves.
11:00pm (17.5 hours elapsed) - Dalgety. Shaz passed through here at 10:52pm. She is pretty much all walking now, a bit of running the downs. Struggling quite a bit. Tired and has had the odd bout of nausea. But when she's walking she is still walking determinedly and faster than 9:00pace. Right now we're happy enough. Beloka Range in about 14km or so will be a test and then hopefully she can get into a low 8's rhythm to Jindabyne. If she manages that then the women's record is well achievable but any hopes of a sub 30 hours are gone.
8:30pm (15 hours elapsed) - struggling. But the heat is gone and very shortly we will switch to warmer clothes. Running is very slow, but she is still running when she can. Shortly I'll run with her the final 15km to Dalgety as Ken and Sabina skip ahead to the crew checkpoint for a hot meal and a quick rest. A bit over 129km done.
7:30pm (14 hours elapsed) - Actually it was Andrew Vize that passed Shaz. And he's looking good. Shaz has had a bit of trouble that hour with some pain and suffering so we just changed her socks and pants, washed her feet and let her sit for about 2 minutes. At this stage we're happy enough with the progress still especially as this is Sharon's first attempt at the mammoth and she hates hills!
6:30pm (13 hours elapsed) - 115km done. Still bright sunshine but definitely not feeling as hot as it did. We're past the worst of the heat for sure. Shaz is walking strongly up the hills and running the flats and downs nicely. Eating and drinking well with calories going it at the rate we like. She is about to be passed by David Eadie who has been slowly catching her the last couple of hours, but whilst that's an interesting development it's immaterial to our strategy. We have no idea how far in front of MQ she is now, but we're lead to believe at least 2km and pulling away. Hopefully we can find out for sure at Dalgety.
5:00pm - Still too hot, but probably just 1 more hour to plough through before we should see some improvement. Shaz walking all hills and jogging about 6:30pace on the flats. Wind still fairly strong too but manageable. About 102.3km done.
4:00pm - 21 degrees, baking sun and wind averaging 26k/h direct head on and gusting to 39k/h. Shaz doing well considering those conditions. Next 2 hours still crucial and so discipline must be maintained. 94km done. "Only" 146km to go! Shaz leading female and seems to be pulling away from MQ at this stage. 4th overall we think - Jo Blake, David Baldwin & Nigel Waddington ahead we think but not 100% sure.
3:00pm - WiFi an issue so apologies for the delayed posts. Shaz now at the 86km point. It's getting hot under the sun so the next 3 hours are crucial. Shaz just needs to keep moving, keep eating, keep drinking and forget about the pace. A few minutes or couple of km lost now mean little in the greater context, so as a team we will help her to stay focused and move at the right pace.
1:30pm - Shaz just passed through Cathcart at 12:58pm. We are very happy with that. She is now about 5km further on and moving well. Clearly a little tired and has slowed, but it's also full sun now and wind about 20k/h directly into her. I (Justin) have just finished a 10k stint with her and she is doing well.
12:00pm - A bit over halfway up Big Jack. Walking very determinedly and looking strong. Keeping each km under 10:00pace. Nice!
11:00am - Just a couple of km to the Towamba River now which is the start of "Big Jack", and looking good. Sun behind the clouds again so we're happy. She will walk Big Jack probably and then find a rhythm through Cathcart in the early afternoon.
10:00am - Shaz has passed the marathon mark in about 4:17. Not bad considering she has gained 150m elevation and has climbed over 800m in total. Plus of course it's the first marathon of nearly 6! Just in the last few km Shaz has passed MQ and is now the female leader on the course. With 200km to go though we won't get ahead of ourselves. She looks good even though the sun is fully out right now. Maintaining discipline nicely.
9:00am - All's well. Shaz has just passed through 34km in about 3:30. Feeling strong and running well.
8:15am - Shaz has just come through the rendezvous point at 24km. She looks good and is feeling good. At this early stage she is 2nd female with Meredith Quinlan (MQ) about 4 minutes ahead. Conditions still ideal, although no mobile coverage which explains the lateness of these feeds getting to the website!
Friday 10 December 5:45am - A beautiful coastal morning at Boydtown Beach, Eden. About 14 degrees at the start, the gentlest of breezes and overcast. Ideal running conditions. Shaz was focused and ready to go at the start.
Thursday 9 December - We're settled in at Eden. Weather is getting cooler and tomorrow we should be set for a pleasant 14 degrees start. Shaz is typically calm and relaxed. Today we walked and jogged the first 4km which is on fire trails as a recon of the course. It's steep in parts and a bit muddy but not too bad. Yesterday we drove the course in reverse from Jindabyne, so we know what we're in for. Ken and Sabina as my crew helpers are here as well now and ready to go.