Saturday, 19 July 2014

Redemption...Shoalhaven KOM 2014

The 2014 Shoalhaven King of the Mountain was certainly a must for me to run as I needed some personal closure after a disappointing race in 2013 where I fractured my L neck of humerus and ended up in RPA Hospital under the care of the orthopaedics team requiring titanium to hold arm together.

From the Nowra Athletics Club Webpage:

"Long distance runners love the Shoalhaven King of the Mountain! 
Whether you're a marathon specialist, a half marathon enthusiast or simply like running over mountains - then why not give it a go, you'll enjoy the experience. 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."  

I had run the 20 mile (32km) footrace previously in 2009 and 2011, coming away with a love of the race and being lucky enough to gain the win, finishing at Kangaroo Valley Showground. I was yet to run in an even year but I was motivated to turn the tables and conquer the mountain in what is my favourite race on the NSW calendar!

The weather was perfect, cool - just the way I like it!

Cambewarra Public School was again the event headquarters, providing a great atmosphere and with lots of distance runners in one place, it was buzzing and the scene was set for the perfect location for the start of the famous race.

The race was almost ready to start after a rendition of Advance Australia Fair and the race briefing. After stripping down to a singlet and a small jog with some strides and after a brief chat to Tony (Fats) Fattorini, we were off and the adrenaline kicked in!

After a brief tour of the suburban streets of Cambewarra, off into rural areas of Nowra.

After passing through some beautiful country roads, numerous deceivingly difficult climbs and the water crossing at the base of Mt.Scanzi (where I fractured my humerus last year) and I breathed a huge sigh of relief, I was running on adrenaline and excited to be feeling fit and strong. Once across the water, I was relaxed, with a huge weight lifted from my shoulders and could now focus on enjoying the amazing scenery and the race at hand!

I was ready for the 4km solid effort up Mt. Scanzi and a tough psychological battle, urged along by a bunch of great volunteers from the Nowra Athletics club every 5km at the aid stations, I reached Kangaroo Valley Showground!

What a relief I had finished unscathed without any broken bones - and with a win - but more so on a personal level, conquering the inner doubts I have developed after last year's dismal effort and poor decision making ability!

In a time of 1:58, a PB, time for a beer or two and a bacon and egg roll free for all runner! How could I possibly not return in 2015 for hopefully another amazing experience!

Inov-F-lite 195's (red)
Inov-8 branded singlet (designed by Kelly Gibson)
Zensah calf compressors
Zensag compression shorts
Injinji run 2.0 performance socks (light-weight)
Inov-8 race gloves
TomTom Cardio GPS watch

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