I have run enough really long stuff that I generally don't get too
stressed about approaching ultras these days. I can still get a
little grumpy (very unusual for me normally) in the week before,
especially if I am carrying an injury and it is one of the big ones.
But I have to say that running Bogong to Hotham still scares the crap
out of me. I have been there 4 times for 1 complete distance finish.
2 of those failures were caused by bad ITB injuries forcing me out at
Langford's Gap. The third was bad pacing on a day when I reckon I was
as fit as I've been for this one. But this week I have been so
stressed about Bogong. Maybe it is knowing that C2K is in my legs
still? Maybe it is the extra pressure of so many people running it?
Maybe because it is so open on CR these days? Nah, that doesn't
usually worry me. I think it is just the enormity of it. Not the
distance or the time. Just the sheer intensity of the terrain,
challenged by the time cut-offs. I would hate to be chasing the old
5:30 cut-off. I reckon I could do it but I would be totally flogged
for the back half. I guess that's what's disappointing about the
extra time allowance. It was a real test to get through the first
half inside the cut but then you still had to get out and finish it.
And I still rate Swindler's Spur as the toughest climb of the day.
Now with all the extra gear and weight it will be worse.
But when you punch through the bushes approaching the summit of
Bogong and the endless panoramic vista of the alps unfolds before
you, it is all worth while. I really want to finish this one. And get
back in one piece.