Black­all ready to turn up the heat

Multisport Mecca - - Front Page - Grant Ed­wards

RE­LENT­LESS hills and chal­leng­ing tracks are the hall­marks of the Black­all 100km and 50km races.

Fac­ing the bru­tal climbs and un­du­la­tions doesn’t phase Phoebe Nance. It’s the heat which gen­er­ates lin­ger­ing con­cerns for the 36-year-old.

Mov­ing to Warana from Bondi six months ago, the ul­tra run­ner has quickly found her feet on the Sun­shine Coast and is ex­cited ahead of her 50km Black­all de­but.

Run­ning since she was about 10 with her par­ents own­ing a gym, she would have no trou­ble knock­ing out 5km on a tread­mill as a young­ster. Now a mother of three, Phoebe has chased broader hori­zons.

“Since I have had chil­dren I have looked for some­thing more chal­leng­ing. In the last four years I have done trail run­ning...I dab­bled be­fore kids but my headspace wasn't the same,” she said.

“The hin­ter­land here is beau­ti­ful. It’s bru­tal though com­pared to road run­ning.

“The heat got me on the week­end. The heat is what’s go­ing to be tough and it’s go­ing to be harder dur­ing the race.”

Lov­ing the sea change, Phoebe has been em­braced by the Park­lands Goat Tribe and she loves the prox­im­ity to ac­cess some of the na­tion’s best trails.

Reg­u­larly run­ning at Park­lands and Maple­ton, the re­gion has un­ri­valled ac­cess com­pared to liv­ing in Syd­ney. All Phoebe’s train­ing was pre­vi­ously re­stricted to the road, and races of­ten meant be­ing away from home for three days.

No stranger to ul­tra events, at this year’s 45km Blue Moun­tains Six Foot Track Marathon she fin­ished 10th in her age group, com­plet­ing the course in 4:44:56. Last year she was fourth in her age group in the 50km Ul­tra-Trail Aus­tralia event, with a time of 6:17:33 that also saw her the 11th fe­male over­all.

Back in 2015 she com­pleted the gru­elling 42km Buf­falo Stam­pede Sky­marathon in 6:29:16.8.

Her prepa­ra­tions for Black­all have in­cluded long week­end runs up to 45km, while each week she does strength train­ing in the gym, a tempo run, fartlek run, easy run, with one or two days off.

Un­der the guid­ance of her coach, she man­ages be­tween 70-90km ev­ery week.

The most im­por­tant part of each week is the lo­gis­tics, working with part­ner Blake to look af­ter the kids.

“We split the week up,” the part-time teacher said.

“I get up early to get it done, it’s a con­stant jug­gle and you make it work.”

Wary of the heat, Phoebe will also have to keep a close eye on the di­rec­tions.

“With trail run­ning you know your big climbs as land­marks. When I go I'm just out for a run and I don't look around. I quite of­ten get lost,” she said.

“The Tribe call me Lost Goat.” This year’s Black­all events have at­tracted record en­tires.

Dou­bling as the Aus­tralian Long Course Trail Championship, it is also a qual­i­fier for the sought-af­ter West­ern States En­durance Run.

More than 420 run­ners are ex­pected to take part at Black­all, with about 170 in­trepid ath­letes tack­ling the 100km jour­ney.

Among them will be Moun­tain Creek’s Elise Van Dorssen who is look­ing to ring the il­lus­tri­ous 100km fin­isher bell for the first time. Last year she had to with­draw due to in­jury at the 62km mark.

“I am feel­ing re­ally good about it, I have im­proved my fit­ness greatly since I could run again ear­lier this year,” she said.

“I weigh seven kilo­grams less then I did at Black­all last year, so I’m hop­ing that makes it a lit­tle eas­ier as well. I have been go­ing out to Maple­ton of­ten and get­ting some de­cent runs in, which is good as I am get­ting to know that course re­ally well.”

Elise’s train­ing has in­cluded short week­day runs of 10-20km, as well as in­ter­val train­ing at the gym. On the week­ends she has been run­ning at Maple­ton for 30-50km.

“It's re­ally nice out at there, how­ever, the bluff is quite warm if you hit it around lunchtime to early af­ter­noon,” Elise said.

“I have been run­ning out at Maple­ton in the warmer parts of the day be­cause I think this years Black­all will be re­ally warm.”

Elise’s part­ner Paul McDon­ald, a 2016 Ul­tra­man Aus­tralia fin­isher, will also com­pete in the 100km epic.

Three-time 100km race win­ner Shona Stephen­son will be back to de­fend her ti­tle, while in the men’s event Char­lie Boyle is shap­ing as tough to beat af­ter he posted a speedy 2:25:23 at the Gold Coast Marathon in July.

Run Queens­land’s Brett Stan­dring said trail run­ning con­tin­ues to gain mo­men­tum and the Black­all 100 has quickly gained a rep­u­ta­tion as a Sun­shine Coast bucket-list event.

“It’s the test of en­durance and

the chal­lenge,” he said.

“We get a lot of first timers and a lot of re­peat com­pe­ti­tions, and some are back for their fourth in a row.

“We have a lot of lo­cal groups like the Noosa Ul­tra Trail Run­ners (NUTRs) man­ning the check­points, they dress up, and it’s just good fun.”

All the ac­tion gets un­der way from Maple­ton at 6am on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 21, with the 50km event start­ing at 7am.

PHOTO: GRANT ED­WARDS

Warana’s Phoebe Nance is pre­par­ing for her Black­all 50km race de­but.

PHOTO: WAR­REN LY­NAM

Elise Van Dorssen of Moun­tain Creek is primed for the 100km race.

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