Next: Surfcoast Century

I've hinted at it for a little while. I tested things a bit at the Maroondah Dam 50. The thoughts and inspiration from many sources have been building over a couple of years. Now I've made the commitment. On 22nd September this year I will be racing my first 100km trail ultramarathon. The event I've picked is the Surfcoast Century in Anglesea.

The course description sounds perfect for me. It appears to be runnable the whole distance if you get things right. I've already seen a few comments in the negative that it isn't as tough as a race like TNF100 or the GNW, but to me that is a style of snobbery. It simply is a different event. It should have faster times, but that doesn't make it easier. Running 100km on an athletics track is definitely not easy, so throwing in sand, cliffs, wind and various other terrain doesn't lesson the event either. It is still a massive challenge. Rant over.

So why the Surfcoast Century?

First up I am sticking with running. For various reasons triathlon has lost its appeal to me. Plus I am just better at running. Not to mention I love getting out for a run, whether it be training, racing or just for the sake of enjoying a run.

I have a need to pursue difficult goals that also have an extra element to them. For example, running sub-3hour for the marathon was a big challenge and had that bit extra. At the moment aiming to take a few minutes off my 2:58:44 pb is difficult, but just doesn't capture my passion. Taking on 100km does.

Getting off the road and onto a variety of trails all with their different challenges is fueling my enjoyment of running. Hence a trail ultra is the obvious choice.

Timing was also important. Something from late September to November would give enough preparation time (hopefully) and not impose on other important things in my world. In a similar vein travel and accommodation requirements played a role.

All the above brought it down to two choices.
The Great Ocean Walk (GOW100)
The Surfcoast Century (SC100)
The GOW100 certainly hits all the marks. I came very close to choosing it. There wasn't a negative to put on the list. It is a race I expect to compete in some time. There were two points tipping the scales in favour of the SC100.

The first point, this year is the inaugural race. That fact really adds a good dose of extra appeal. Back in my Ironman days, I got a kick out of racing the inaugural IMOZ when it moved to Port Macquarie and also IMWA. I enjoy being part of something new. The likelihood of teething problems is quite small based of the experience and style or the race organisers Rapid Ascent.

Point number 2 was the release of some course photos (Check them out here). Maybe just good marketing. When I saw these photos of the terrain and scenery I had that overwhelming desire of, I have to run this race.

Now the fun begins. I have race that is increasing my passion for running. Something that will no doubt be important as the training gets longer and harder. It is new territory for me. There is a lot I can draw from in my life to direct the training and race plan, but it is still my first attempt at racing an 100km trail ultramarathon. It's a long way and a lot can go wrong. Plenty of potential to put my ability and boundaries through some genuine tests.

Training start date is 12th May. A bit over a week away. Before then I have the Great Train Race this Sunday. Other than that I will just do whatever exercise I feel like. Based on the last week and a bit, that isn't very much at all.


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