Lorne Mountain to Surf

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What a great event!!!!

Having been held up by a stream of runners crossing the Great Ocean Road driving into Lorne early one summer evening in January 2000, we were became aware of the Lorne Mountain to Surf fun run. After an unseasonally cold and windy day spent cycling from Queenscliffe to Geelong on the Bellarine Rail Trail for an expresso and return, the drive to Lorne was unexpectedly lengthy (90km) and time consuming .

Nevertheless we arrived in one piece, found a rare legal parking spot, and had time to register and collect our t-shirts, and have an excellent coffee from the Greek milk bar on the beach front. With 2,227 registered entrants on a course which narrowed to single track, the start was divided into three waves, with our wave not starting until 6:30 pm. I made the mistake of thinking that people would self seed at the start, and crammed around some like-looking souls. It was all too apparent however when the gun went that the bulk of 'fitness walkers' regarded this as a keystone event and had ensured that waited patiently at the front. A short, sharp hill near the start weeded out a lot of people who stopped in their tracks or walked, although dodging the crowds was difficult and uncomfortable. The sealed road gave way to gravel and a long sweeping downhill which, while crowded, enabled some overtaking. This led to the first drink station and the forest proper.

Here the run becames breath takingly beautiful, and the 'fell' style running on the trails suited me perfectly. It was impossible to settle into a stride however as one was constrained by the pace of those in front and to the rear, with those slower from earlier waves walking to the side. I overtook a few blokes where it was safe to do so, although I knew that there were women up ahead it was hard to sight them.

Too soon, we too were crossing the Great Ocean Road with the police holding up an impatient snake of vehicles for a seemingly endless procession of runners. A line of orange witches hats led up and over the crest of the hill to direct us on the run, and here I could see a few other females in front of me. The salt on the sea air was wonderful and I kept churning away over the final few kms.

Although unable to catch one woman in my sight near the end, I had a wonderful time and compared it to the amazing 10km I did in Fos in the French Pyranees in 2001, inwhich we crossed into Spain (or more correctly Euskei) and had border police holding up the traffic on our return.

I finished the 8k in 37:06 (my watch starting when I crossed the start line). We were wearing timing chips, however these were only for the finish (Doh!) I felt wonderful, quite elated, although rather annoyed with myself that I hadn't been more pushy and had a better start.

In the end, my official time was 37:56, 69th female (out of 800 finishers, 72 dnf); 6th Masters Woman (165 finishers); and 515th (1953 finishers).

Bob suceeded in scoring 2nd place and a pair of shoes, and we headed back up the coast happy, and too late to do anything but shower and fall into bed.

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