Wilson’s Prom 44km trail run – Race Report
After tearing my calf 8 weeks earlier, I wasn’t sure that I would get to the start line of the Wilson’s Prom 44km trail race – I’d already had to withdraw from the Murray Marathon a month earlier and was still dealing with some ongoing achilles issues. Despite this, I figured I would go out and give the race a crack with the main aim being just to enjoy running in a beautiful location and to spend a weekend away with friends.
The forecast wasn’t looking great in the lead up but the great thing about trails is that it doesn’t really matter – it can actually make it all a bit more fun! It absolutely poured down the night before and after huddling under a shelter for a pre race briefing at 6.45am while the rain pelted down it finally cleared by 7am and we headed off on the steady climb towards Telegraph Saddle and Mount Oberon.
The pack sorted itself out pretty quickly on the climb with myself and my good friend Trish finding ourselves reaching the saddle as the first couple of females. I didn’t think too much of it as 44km on trails and beaches is a lot of ground to cover and it was going to be a long day out there. My friend Dan and I had decided to run the race together for as long as it suited both of us and as a result we weren’t even looking at our pace and just chatting away as the k’s ticked by. On the way down to Sealers Cove, we were overtaken on a technical section by another female runner who has a lot of ultra running experience and podiums to her name – we wished her well and continued cruising along enjoying the trails.
Once we hit Sealers, we had to do the dreaded river crossing which didn’t end up being as bad as we had anticipated – the water only came up to our thighs, not our necks! After that, we enjoyed some beautiful coastal trails and beach sections (with only minor navigational issues!) before we started to head back across the Prom on an inland trail. We cruised through this section at a good pace and I was surprised to come across the lead female runner just before we hit Oberon Bay. I’m not comfortable or used to leading a race so I was a bit unsure of overtaking but I was feeling good so took the opportunity to kick it up a gear and move into the lead.
The last 10km of beach, trail and soft sand passed really quickly – I was lucky to be having a good day out there and even though my achilles was giving me a lot of grief, it was still manageable. Running along Norman Beach for the last 2km towards Tidal river was awesome, there were so many supportive people and hikers out there and running towards the finish after such an enjoyable race is something I’ll never forget. My friend Andre (who had taken out the overall win in the 44km race) ran me in through the campground to the finish line where I was able to collect the traditional Caramello Koala finishers reward. I finished the race as the first female and sixth finisher overall in a field of about 100 which is more than I ever could have dreamed of – a huge thanks to Sean for getting me fit and ready to tackle amazing events such as this one.