Razorback Run - Reports

After the fun at this event last year I was happy I managed to get back here in 2017, a really nice day in the Victorian Alps enjoying the scenery and terrain. Also after competing in the Alpine Challenge 160km event in November I was keen to get onto sections of this course feeling fresh and lively again to enjoy the terrain rather than be near tears down descents such as Bon Accord Spur or Diamantina Spur (we do not descend Bon Accord in the 64km event but the idea is defintiely there to get into the terrain in a fresher state).

I had run here in 2016 (photos and words) and it was a fantastic day out. Still only a week after doing the Six Foot Track but I mostly just wanted to enjoy the day out in the moountains again. I admit I messed up my food twice (going up swindlers became a crawl as I ate and crawled my way up) then after hitting the bitumen in the final 2 km I had to walk into the finish line for 2km on wobbly legs (gels or other sugary food take about 15 minutes to come in to play for diabetics—and probably everyone else).

I did however have a great run along the Razorback Ridge nad passed many people there so pacing worked pretty well for me I think. I ran 9h12m in the end so 12 min faster than last year so not too shabby.

I once again will point out this is a fantastic day out in the mountains and I would put it on top of any list of must do trail races in Australia. Thanks Paul and running Wild Victoria for the Razorback Run.

Ticked some firsts on this run:

  1. First time over 3000 m
  2. First time didn’t do a detour in the Alps
  3. First time the very last in a race

Exciting start at 6 A.M. Saw Gabor Jakus, Ben Clark, Dan Nunan, Jackie Hansen, Lucy Stabb and Coral Bayley at the start line… it was dark, hard to recognise people with the head gear.

Everything was OK on the first climb until we reached Federation Hut — it was so cold, such a chilly wind, many of us stopped there to put on the waterproof gear. Saw Paul Monks in a pretty bad shape in the hut, he said he’d pull out. We offered him to go back with Otto, but he said he’ll be fine. I didn’t plug in properly the tube into the bladder in the morning — so Otto tried to do it.  It’s very hard to do this with frozen fingers (he wasn't happy). Moved the race number onto the pack (which came off promptly on my way back from Mt Feathertop. Glad I could catch it and tucked it into my pocket).

On Saturday 24 November 2012, 6 months of hard work culminated in my running at the Razorback Run.

Run throughout the gorgeous Victorian High Country, the Razorback Run consists of various distances ranging between 22 and 68 km. The run is fully self-supported, meaning you have to carry your own food, water and mandatory safety gear.

Of course, being slightly crazy, I elected to run the 68k! I should also point out that I have done the 64k and 22k versions over the past 2 years, so had some idea of what I was getting myself into.

A motley crew of more than 60 runners assembled in Harrietville at 6 AM on Saturday to tackle the 38, 58, 64 and 68k events. Another 10-15 22k runners would start later from up near Mt Hotham—around 50 competitors in all.

My first task in this event was to run a mere 11k from Harrietville to Mt Feathertop via the Bungalow Spur. Did I mention this climbs from 500 m above sea level to over 1920 m? Yep, 2 hrs 20 mins later and I was soaking up the glorious vista provided from the top of the still-snow-capped Mt Feathertop. From here, there’s a gentle trot along the Razorback to Diamantina Hut (the start/finish of the 22k event), and then up to the summit of Mt Hotham for more scenic views.

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.