#TEAMO2FIT member Alex Sheehan shares his experience at the Mt Solitary Ultra Marathon on 19 April.
"I had always wanted to run an ultra marathon and after finding out there was one coming up in 3 weeks, which was only about an hour's drive away from where I live I thought why not give it a go. I hadn't done any race as long or as hard as this before so my goal was just to finish.
Race day standing on the starting line, not really knowing what to expect but know I had at least 6:30 of running ahead of me. When the race started we quickly headed down a steep 10k road to the base of Mt solitary.
Ascending the Eastern Col of Solitary, the first climb on the course has an elevation change of 650m in around 3km. Hiking my way up the mountain trying to take in the awesome views through the pain of the climb I remember thinking, well it can't get much harder than this, 4 hours and 2 killer climbs later I reached the last water aid station I remember the lady volunteering at the station saying "don't worry there is only 8k left but it's all uphill".
Thinking she was joking, I set off running, but within 200m I was hiking again. That last 8k of the race was without a doubt the hardest 8k of my life, but well worth the feeling of seeing the finish line at the top of the hill."
We asked Alex a few questions after the marathon..
"What, if anything, would you do differently in preparation for next time?"
Next year to prepare I will write an 8 week program with the focus on running at least one long slow run for more then 3 hours pre week.
"What goals would you set yourself to do the same event next year"
My goals I would set would be to take at least a hour of my time I got this year.
"What was the first thoughtto cross your mind as you passed the finish line?" (be honest!)
My thoughts through the race had been on a family member who has been going though some hard times lately but to be honest all I could think about was getting one of the sausage sandwiches I could see cooking in the background!
To find out more about the gruelling Mt Solitary Ultra Marathon head to http://www.runningwildnsw.com/mt-solitary-ultra/