Black­all trail runs wor­thy of the Coast’s bucket list events

Multisport Mecca - - Blackall 100 - Grant Edwards

THERE is some­thing in­tox­i­cat­ing about be­ing in the bush. Travers­ing moun­tain­ous tracks with vary­ing ter­rain among tow­er­ing trees com­bined with a sound­track of birdlife, it’s easy to see why many fall in love with trail run­ning.

Grow­ing in­ter­est in the sport has co­in­cided with the rapid rise of The Black­all 100, which has be­come the Sun­shine Coast’s iconic ul­tra-run­ning event.

Of­fer­ing 50km and 100km op­tions, it en­com­passes parts of the Great Walk. Us­ing a com­bi­na­tion of sin­gle­track through dense bush­land and open sec­tions of fire trail, the scenery is spec­tac­u­lar.

Var­i­ous as­pects are breath­tak­ing not just be­cause of the view, but the climb­ing re­quired to reach as­cents.

Those tack­ling the 100km event will climb more than 3300m of ver­ti­cal – those in the 50km as­cend 1500m – with near iden­ti­cal de­scend­ing.

Quads and calves get a work­out, while con­stant con­cen­tra­tion is needed to avoid the chal­lenges Mother Na­ture throws at you with ev­ery step.

There’s a dif­fer­ent at­mos­phere at off-road events.

Ca­ma­raderie lev­els es­ca­late. From vol­un­teers man­ning the check­points to all com­peti­tors, there is a con­stant pos­i­tive vibe with con­tin­ual en­cour­age­ment.

Tem­per­ing the ef­fort early is vi­tal as the ups and downs ul­ti­mately take their toll in the lat­ter stages.

For new­com­ers, the 50km is achiev­able with solid prepa­ra­tion. Walk­ing or hik­ing the tougher hills en­sures sav­ing the legs and mak­ing the dis­tance.

Start­ing with a small group, I had an en­joy­able run with even­tual women’s sec­ond place-get­ter Kate Child who I trailed for much of the mid­dle sec­tion post climb­ing Gheerulla Bluff.

Her course in­sights were bril­liant in pac­ing to make the jour­ney.

Prov­ing too strong with about 15km to run, she pushed ahead as the bat­tle with mind and body be­gan. Talk­ing to oth­ers post race, most strug­gled with sim­i­lar chal­lenges.

Child bat­tled back sore­ness, while oth­ers rode emo­tional roller-coast­ers which match the un­du­la­tions.

Small in­clines be­come moun­tains. Weav­ing past branches is a mas­sive ef­fort. The fi­nal foot­path trek to home base is seem­ingly end­less.

Col­lec­tively it’s what makes ring­ing the Black­all bell at the Maple­ton QCCC some­thing spe­cial.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.