Friday, 27 June 2014

My favourite race...Shoalhaven King of the Mountain

Time for some closure...
Coming up next weekend, Sunday 6th July is the running of the 40th Shoalhaven King of the Mountain 20 mile (32km) footrace from Cambewarra to Kangaroo Valley, taking in the challenging Mt. Scanzi and the beautiful finishing location of the Kangaroo Valley Showground. This is without doubt my favourite race, perfect length, undulating terrain and pristine location!

I have had mixed experiences at this event, coming away with wins in 2009, 2011 and a DNF in 2013 where I fractured my left proximal humerus attempting a water crossing at the 23km mark, falling off the stepping stones attempting to avoid wet feet (in my stupid trance-like state) into the causeway.

The race start from Cambewarra Public School...

From the race website:

"The "King" as it's known locally, travels from the quiet rural village of Cambewarra (10 minutes from the township of Nowra) via a series of bitumen and gravel roads to the historic township of Kangaroo Valley. A 32km journey that takes in the best sights and native sounds of the local area.
The "King" features several fresh water creek crossings (with concrete causeways), rolling hills through unspoilt bushland and glorious views of sheer cliff faces, valleys and ravines. The highest point of the race is Mount Scanzi - 24 kilometres from the start and approximately 360m above sea level. With breathtaking views at this point the course takes you down a steep descent and then on through the valley."

This is not how it was meant to end in 2013...I will need to return this year for some closure!

My race tips for a successful King of the Mountain:
1. Treat the race like a marathon, even though it is only 32km (owing to the course elevation, it feels like a marathon)
2. Wear comfortable road shoes (there is only minimal trail and mostly country firetrails and bitumen)
3. Don't overdress owing to the cold start at Cambewarra as you will regret it as you overhead throughout the race
4. Don't turn up to the start line overcooked as your legs will not thank you as you head up Mt Scanzi
5. Don't underestimate Mt Scanzi (a tester of a hill between 20 and 30km) as it is where all the hard training will pay dividends

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