True Grit Enduro: Race Report by Alex Burns

Australian Obstacle Racing News   |   Jun 21, 2017

TRUE GRIT ENDURO: Race Report by Alex Burns

Again massive thankyou to James Witika & Amy Reynolds for being the most amazing pit crew. Amy was able to pass on a whole lot of lessons we learnt at The Compound 12 Hour a few weeks back to James and help me throw him in the deep end getting ready for Worlds Toughest Mudder in November.

Last year I volunteered to help run the event, This year it was time to mix it up with the big kids. The plan being learning all that I could for Worlds Toughest (without going too hard or for the whole event burning out for WTM). This ended up with 6 laps laps in 14.5 hours, 63 official & almost 70 Garmin KMs and 180 obstacles.

Torrential rain and the resulting flash flooding 20 minutes prior to step off made for a interesting start to the race. Apparently in my race focus (read: nerves) I forgot camp craft rule 1 avoid low ground and washouts, whoops. I had to leave Amy and James to try rescue our pit and tackle all the 20+ funnel web spiders that decided to try save themselves from the flood by climbing up the tent walls. Thanks James for bringing the @obstacleracers tent for the pit.

And just like that we were off. As a warm runner I love running in the rain and was all smiles. Trying to keep my enthusiasm in check and my pace casual was MUCH harder than I thought.

For those that haven't done the Sydney True Grit course, it is truly spectacular. The TG team make the most of the valleys and hills. Thanks to the rain everything was inundated, new water crossings everywhere, some waterfalls, and so much mud :).

Laps 1 & 2

Were probably still a touch too fast with the big picture in mind, but very enjoyable. The lights went down on the Mud Mile on lap two, at which point I bumped into @Interaction Fitness' Dave Garvin and we enjoyed watching the headlamps run through the hills as we completed that lap together. Only a couple hours in we agreed that it's hard to put into words just how special this crazy stuff is.

Laps 3 & 4

To be honest these laps were not the most enjoyable hours. I was completely surprised to start hearing that voice of doubt at the 4 hour point, it made no sense, this is what I had been training for 6 months, a 12 hour race the other day was awesome the whole way through. So how/why was it hurting so bad so early? I think that training, a solid dose of stubbornness and telling myself I had people who had gone out of their way to help me get there that were for me in the pit kept me moving. The waist deep mud mile was killing my hip flexors/quads, and some solid cramping. That, and large periods of time without seeing anyone around me got me a bit down.

Lap 5 & 6

Richard Williams (Endurance Boot Camp) and his awesome pit crew had set up next to us. I think he could see that I wasn't having the best time and suggested we run a couple laps together. I don't think I would have stopped, but, I would have stayed in that dark place and I wouldn't have had the blast I did with ya mate, thank you. With some company and ibuprofen I felt a whole lot better and really enjoyed it. Rich went on to have a nap then nail another 2 laps for a total of 8, what a warrior !

At 3.5 ish hours a lap I would have blown past my 16 hour target a fair bit trying for another lap, so that was enough for me.

Overall a freaking epic experience, with many lessons learned for WTM :)

Most of all it was awesome as always bumping into what has over the last 18 month gone from a group of crazy strangers to a second family. The intensity of this kind of event really cements how much everyone in the community cares for each other and wants them all to succeed. These races are a race against self more than each other. Can't wait to see you all at the next one!

Time for some solid recovery, redraw some training plans, to work on my weaknesses and keep #gettingafterit.

Burnsie, out.

What the full True Grit 24HR Enduro Race Recap video below:

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