As an ultra runner who almost always seeks out the longest event on offer I was surprised to have so much fun running the newest and shortest event, The Honeyeater Challenge (10km) at the Run the Great Whitsunday Trail running festival in 2018. I ran the ultra 57.4km in its inaugural year and I loved the hospitality and beauty of the region and now take any opportunity to return. I was injured leading into the event in 2018 but felt 10km was manageable rather than the ultra. I started the race tentatively testing out the hamstring and thoroughly enjoyed the challenging climb up to the Honeyeater Lookout. I paused briefly to take in the view before charging back down the hill to the lagoon. My experience running technical trails in Lamington National Park, the Tarawera Ultra Marathon in New Zealand and that final descent into Jenolan Caves on the Six Foot Track a real asset on this occasion.
This then gave me the confidence to rebuild for a trip to China where I had the opportunity to compete amongst the World’s best over 100km. I was actually in Airlie Beach when the Chinese race organisers invitation came through and I promptly confirmed my attendance. I’ve travelled to China several times now and the experience is always enriching. In warm conditions on the road in regional China on the 26th October not far from the banks of the Yangtze River I had a great run finishing the 100km in 9 hours and 57 minutes and in 12th place.
In 2019 I took some time to lock in my goal events for the year. One of them was definitely the Great Whitsunday Trail. This year I decided to run the trail one way, signing up for the 28km. Now is the perfect time to start your preparations for this year’s event whatever distance you are thinking of. I had some fun preparing a challenging training program that will have you more than adequately prepared for your chosen event. I look forward to seeing you in Airlie Beach in September.