Mt Buller Sky Run - Reports

Race Report by Babi Szolosi

Otto and I drove up on Saturday, checked into Merrijig Motel (overpriced for what you get, but the people were super nice), then headed off to Mt Buller for the briefing and gear check. We got there too early, so we went for a walk in the village. Saw Jaqui and then a few more runners.

At the Alberg I met Rich Bowles, Lou Clifton, saw Carole, Warren, Jo Noesgaard, the ASAR team, sat at the table with Nick, Levi, Steven and three MTB riders. It was nice sharing trail experiences. Otto and I shared a soup and a pizza — we didn’t want to eat too much. The briefing happened in the Running Wild spirit — low key and fun.

Didn’t sleep much, the people in the motel were returning from a wedding — after midnight, of course — and woke us up.

Next morning we gathered at the Village Square. Saw many familiar faces from previous trail runs and met Blake Hose at the start line — lovely young man (I must be getting old ). Paul has gone through the briefing one more time, then roll call, count down and off we went.

Race Report by Heather Krug

I’ve been staring at this picture for 30 minutes. The resolution isn’t high but if you look close you can see my running sticks and thermal in the back pocket of my hydration pack. My vest is fully loaded and I’m wearing my new seam sealed Ultimate Direction jacket. I look like an ultra runner—but the climb to Mt Stirling summit wasn’t easy—and looks can be deceiving.

If you could press play you would hear, “Let me run up ahead and have you take a photo with the backdrop.” I said this to the sweeper but didn’t realize he took a picture of me running to the photo spot. Making him take this photo could have cost me the five minutes I needed to make the 2 PM cut-off.

The morning started off perfect with a beautiful sunrise on Mt. Buller. I found another runner and we made our way to the start from our hotel. There were only 100 runners combined for the 45 k / 36 k and 22 K.

To read the full article please visit Heather’s blog

Race Report by Tom Brazier

The first Oceania Skyrunning race on Aussie turf — 45/36/22km options. The field looked relatively small due to being just 2 weeks before Buffalo—I assume most sensible people are tapering up for that. However, there were still enough of us out there to give the course and each other a good smashing. They changed the start/finish from the valley to the summit village this year, so the course basically consists of 15km undulations (Mt Stirling, Craig’s Hut, etc.), 15km descent (down to Mirimbah), 15km climb (up to Buller summit and village).

Mick Donges pulled out, still injured from Six Foot Track, and Coops wasn’t feeling it so he dropped to the 36km. I figured this left Dave Byrne and John Winsbury as the main competition and didn’t really rate my chances against them, but there was still a podium spot up for grabs! On the Saturday arvo I had a couple of MTB stacks while attempting the Bike Buller Epic trail—one of which involved stabbing my handlebar end into my rib cage—thankfully no major harm done, and I made it to the shuttle bus with a whole 3 minutes to spare. Phew!

To read the whole article, please visit Tom’s Blog.

Race report by Doug Richards

I was in the Victorian Alps last weekend for the Mount Buller Skyrun (22k). For anyone interested in trying alpine trail running, this is part of the Running Wild program for 2014. The Skyrun has 3 options (22k, 36k, 45k) and includes two major summit ascents, Mount Buller (1805m) and Mount Sterling (1749m). Lars and I picked out the 22k event as part of a training plan leading up to the Six Foot Track (45k) in March, but as Lars is still recovering from injury he volunteered and helped out the race organisers and I ran the 22k event.

The best way I can describe this run is… survival with a view! I suffered and enjoyed 3:26hrs of grueling and spectacular trail running. My average moving pace of 8:38 min/km tells the story, the ascents/descents were very tough and the weather hot. The total elevation gain of 947m is roughly the same as our own Lightning Strike (30k) event at Stromlo, but squashed into 22km. The Mt Buller climb was fine, it’s first up while you’re still strong and the shorter of the two major climbs. However, the second climb up to Mt Sterling was very hard, this was the meat of the 22km event, as you can see from the Garmin elevation graph it was almost double the vertical ascent of the Mt Buller climb. What the Garmin does not show you is how treacherous some of the descents were around Mt Sterling, very steep with sliding scree that gave way under your feet on the way down and made it very tough to find good solid footing on the way up. Unfortunately one guy broke his ankle on a descent. For all your hard work on the climbs you are rewarded handsomely with some surreal mountain trails and truly spectacular views from the top of the world (see photos below).

Race Report by Margaretha Fortmann

The first Sunday in February saw a bunch of runners assemble in the shadow of Mt Buller. The sun had not yet cleared the mountain and the air still fresh from the chilly Delatite River. Without much fanfare, a simple “go” from the race director, the runners set off.

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