<excerpt><fontfamily><param>Times</param>I have been trail running and
bushwalking pretty much all my life. I am quite comfortable in the
bush with a map and compass. I have backcountry hiked solo for many
years. While I enjoy most trail running my preference is for technical
alpine trail. When I started running ultras I looked at Hardrock as
the ultimate goal but for many years felt it was beyond my
capabilities. Over the last two years I have completed three 100 mile
trail ultras. While the opportunity to run 100 milers (yet alone
mountainous 100 milers) in Australia is obviously very limited, last
November I completed the Great North Walk 100 miler. This is a 108
mile trail race with a 36 hour cut-off. There are only 6 checkpoints
and the course is only minimally marked. This years race was held in
very hot conditions (high 30’s degree Centigrade) necessitating
runners carry up to 3 litres of water, plus food and emergency gear
between checkpoints, which could be up to 5 hours apart. While not run
at altitude, there are 6,200 metres (20,000 ft) of elevation gain and
loss. Of the 28 starters only 10 finished. In those pulling out there
were some very experienced runners including a multiple finisher of
Hardrock (5th place 2001) and several other 100 mile veterans,
including 2 Western States finishers.
When I broke 24 hours at the Glasshouse 100 last September it gave me
great confidence that I could complete Great North Walk 100. When I
completed the Great North Walk 100 miler last November it gave me
great confidence that I could complete Hardrock 100. I feel I have
served my apprenticeship and now want the opportunity to graduate.
Completing Hardrock would for me, be that graduation.
Along with some personal groveling that I have edited, this forms the
basis of my Hardrock application. Posted today. Where are those dice?