Cyberspace had been buzzing with excitement for weeks. The Razorback Run with 5 course options was looming and people were frantically chatting on facebook and Coolrunning, trying to find out which course distance they should do. Should they do the classic 38 km or the challenging 58 km Alpine Challenge leg with its quad busting descent of Bon Accord Spur, or have a day out and just enjoy themselves on the 64 or 68 km courses—too many choices—but such magnificent country to run through. The poor race director suffered with a flood of last minute entries, cancellations and distance changes as runners jockeyed for position even before the start.
At the pre run briefing a record field of over 70 runners and their families turned up to go over final details—mainly in relation to weather—it was going to be hot, water—where to find it, getting lost—how not to—it became apparent that no one was listening as sightings of runners going in all the wrong spots came in during race day, and then it was off for a fitful night’s sleep.
In the pre-dawn gloom runners sauntered to the start, old friendships were renewed and new ones made as people talked quietly about the big climb up Mt Feathertop, Victoria’s second highest peak, about the snow that they might encounter on the top, of the chance of seeing brumbies around Pole 333 and how they would cope with the expected heat.
Lining up behind the La Sportiva banners, fluttering in the wind, the RD said “have a great day, run safe—GO”, and like greyhounds they surged off up the road and out of sight. The start line was quickly dismantled and taken up to Mt Hotham/Diamantina Hut for the start of the 22 km run. Water and supplies were dropped off at Bon Accord junction and then the calls started coming in, a bunch of the lead runners had gone the wrong way in Harrietville itself—it was going to be a long day!
The 22 km start was up on the mountain in brilliant sunshine with a cool breeze, many first time trail runners were going to earn their stripes on one of Victoria’s classic trail runs, an out and back along the Razorback Ridge and cameras in hand, they disappeared into the distance.
The event crew moved to Bon Accord Junction and Mt Loch Carpark to await the first runners in the 38 km and 68 km distances. There they were met by strong blustery winds that would continue all day as the temperature continued to rise and requests for more water came with increasing frequency as tired runners struggled up the track to the car park.
By 4 P.M. everyone was either back at Harrietville or had at least got through the checkpoint at Mt Loch and only had another 20 km to go! The temperatures were still warm for the Alps as the support crews packed up and headed down off the mountain to join the party in Harrietville.
Returned runners lolled around the finishing line eating, drinking and chatting until the call went up—“Runner coming”, then everyone was up shouting, cheering, clapping and inspiring those who had been out the longest on to the finishing line a victory.
Presentations and dinner were held when most, but not all runners had returned—the last runners finishing after 9.30 at night—a long day given the 6 A.M. start.
Special thanks to Bogongs, La Sportiva, Hammer and Fox Creek wines for the great prizes.