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First of all I just want to say that my family are champions, my wife and kids got up at 2:00 and supported me all day long. I couldn't have achieved this without them.

Well, here is the story.
We got up at 2:00 and were left for Woodford at 2:40, where we arrived at 4:00. This was great timing as we could just see the 4:00 start and we had plenty of time to get ready. I had my noodles with sugar for breakfast, a couple of cups of coffee for good measure, got weighed in and I was bursting with excitement. Glen was already there when we arrived. Glen is a great bloke who has already done ultras for a long time. He gave me some great advice and wished me good luck (I started to think that I will need it).

This is what I was in for:

Total elevation: total gain 1551 meters
Total distance: 51.5km

Start to checkpoint 6 distance 12.6km

The 5:00 start was perfect; my camelbak weighed in at about 3kg with two litres of water, GPS, some band aids, gels and mobile phone. I used a head torch for the first hour. We set off in a group of about 12, but soon there was a split and I pushed myself to go slow, although I felt like sprinting (that soon changed). The track was good and pretty flat and I arrived at checkpoint 6 in good time and feeling great. My spirits were high, especially when seeing my crew. Kerrie looked after me and gave me some apple muffins for the way, that she and the master prepared the day before.

Checkpoint 6 to checkpoint 8 distance 10.0km

As I left little Tash ran with me for a short time, which I thought was great. The apple muffins did the trick. I knew that this section contained the infamous power line section, but I thought that this was just hype. OMG was I wrong. The power line section is about 5km long, up and down like a seismogram and so rugged that you have troubles walking it. But it was great fun to navigate this ankle twisting, thigh crushing section. Once I got through it I felt on top of the world. I still felt great when I arrived at checkpoint 8. After I was weighed, I had some coke and enduro. All the people at this race are great. They are so friendly (organisers and runners), everybody says hello and cheers each other on.

Checkpoint 8 to checkpoint 8 via 8a distance 10.8km

This was a good section with a nice flat section along a rail trail. At the end of it I was starting to feel it a bit with a pretty steep uphill.

Checkpoint 8 to checkpoint 8 via 8b distance 5.0km

This section was the killer. On the downhill all my body hurt like hell and it kept on going down and down. This was not good. What goes down must come up!!! And it did. The up was so steep that I was forced to walk most of it. I was yearning for the power line. It seemed like it was never ending, after each turn it just kept on going. When I finally made it to the top, my legs where on fire. Little Tash was up the hill waiting for me and that made all the difference. Master Luke and Kerrie gave me a big welcome, I guzzled more enduro and coke and had some food and Kerrie gave me a cramping tablet (she just knows what I need).

Checkpoint 8 to checkpoint 7 distances 8km

I set off and for the first time I found the going extremely hard. The trail was now flat, but I was cramping up and was forced to walk for a bit. I started to alternate between running and walking, but found that I was cramping more on the walk, so I hooked in behind a 30km runner and just pushed myself to keep up with him. This got me going again, but unfortunately he started to walk, so I just kept on pushing and continued running. I knew that if I stopped that would be the end. This seemed like the longest 8km that I have ever run.

Checkpoint 7 to finish distance 5.1km

At this checkpoint I just grabbed a cup of enduro and kept going. I don't know whether I caught up with a couple or they caught up with me. It was all just a blur. They were doing the 30km and encouraged me a lot. I was actually starting to feel better again and when I saw my family at the finish line I can't explain the feeling that I had. It was one of the best feelings in my life.

I am still on a high while I am writing this, and it is nearly 24 hours later. Thank you to my family, the organisers and other contestants. This was one of my most memorable days.

I will post results as they come along.

Well done to everybody, especially the 80km racers.

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