Archive for September, 2009

100 Mile Race at Dwellingup

Athlete: Rob Donkersloot

Well I thought I had let you all know how I went in my 100 mile race at Dwellingup this weekend.

The first 80km were pretty uneventful, it was a beautiful day, running along a superb trail. Life was great. All was going pretty well to plan, though the pace was slightly off on what I had hoped for.

At the 80k aid station I gave my little pouch of Succeed electrolyte capsules to my wife Sue to refill. About a minute after leaving the aid station I went to grab a capsule, as I was due to take one, and couldn’t find the pouch. I looked back at the aid station, but Sue had gone. The next time I was due to see her was 20km further on, and it would take me about three hours to get there. I take a Succeed cap every hour, so I knew there was likely to be some negative effects from missing taking three of them. Two hours later as the sun was setting I started to feel nauseous, which would ease if I walked rather than ran.

Got into the 100km aid station and saw Sue there, as well as Bernadette who was going to run as my pacer for the last 60km. Bernadette is far more experienced at trail running then I am, and when I told her of what had happened with the electrolytes she quickly gave me a couple of caps to take, I just hoped they would put things back in balance for me.

The next stage was 10km, and I felt a bit better just because I was running with someone to talk to. The nausea side of things wasn’t improving much though.

At the 110km aid station I refilled my back pack with food and water to tackle the next 15k stage. Half an hour later things were still manageable when Bernadette suggested I have another Gu gel…the effect of taking this was to make the nausea a lot worse, with now no let off during the walking breaks.

I was also getting quite woozy, and had a fall as I tripped on a rock. Things degenerated quite quickly from here, with me having difficulty walking in a straight line, let alone run in a straight line.

We walked in the last 12km or so to the 125km aid station, getting extremely cold in the process. Luckily we carried space blankets, and these definitely helped a lot.

At 2am, 21 hours and 125km into my 100 mile run I knew that was as far as I was going to go, and I decided to call it a day.

Bernadette agreed, and I knew if there was any chance of my going any further she would have squeezed it out of me. Not this time, race over.

I’m happy achieving the 125k, 22km further than ever before, however I know I will be back to have another shot at 100 miles some time next year.

The frustrating thing is not being 100% sure of what caused the problems. The electrolytes are a likely suspect, but it could be one of many more things, like not fuelling properly, my preparation not being 100% etc.

I don’t think it was the training though as now a day and a half later the legs feel pretty ok, and I could run if I had to.

Next time.

Perth City to Surf 2009

Athlete: Melissa Tyler

Hi all

I competed in the half marathon C2S yesterday. My 2nd half. (my first was the Perth Half 1hr 42mins) Having that in mind and knowing the C2S route my goal was to crack 1hr 45mins.
Too my disbelief I did a PB of 1hr & 38mins. I was stoked! I ran hard and was very focused, so very happy with my result!

Thank goodness the weather held out for us as I dont think I have run a city to surf that hasnt poured down with rain.

The only hiccup that I incurred was my timing chip came off my shoelace as I entered Kings Park, so I stopped, picked it up and didnt bother tying it back on, just ran with it in my hand. The rest of the way I was wondering if it would pick it up at the finish line. So I just held it close to the ground in my hand as I crossed. Checking the results on the website today, I realised it has not picked up my time, I can not even find my name on the website. :-( Ohh well…that will teach me to tie it on better next time. Just annoyed though as I have missed out on finding out what place I came etc.

All in all, I had a great run and felt good. I have pulled up very well today too! I think the organisation of the finish line and oval was a lot better this year, more people at the drink stations and it was a nice treat to get ushered into the skins tent to get a FREE masage!
I would like to see toilet paper in the toilets at Esplanade Oval next year and more KM signs. I think I saw one at 4km and then the next one was at 20km!!!!

Love to hear all your stories as the only person I bumped into was Bob.


Perth City to Surf 2009

Athlete: Andy Lane

What a fantastic inspiring group we are in. I loved reading all of your reports. I’ll try to keep mine quick.

Being my 1st ‘Big City’ Marathon this was my 3rd after Bunbury last & this year but I knew it would be slower than my 3.15PB. I planned to have fun and enjoy it and be quicker than 3.30.

– 0kms – Planned to run with Coops and Rob. Lost them at the start line. Doh.

– 9kms- Caught up with Mark. Chatted away. It was great to see everyone when we looped back on ourselves. Heaps of cheers and encouragement from NSRGroupies. Those singlets are a great promo tool.

– 19km – Needed to have a wee! So ran hard for a km or so to make up the lost time. (Oops, Didn’t wash my hands!)

– 21.1km- Running past all the 12k’ers was good, getting cheered. Nice scenery but bit hard to keep my mind on the job! 1.39.19 split

– 29km – Caught up with Rob. Said a quick G’day and told him of my plan to catch Coops.

-36km- Thought I must have been in Post Xmas Shop Sale as suddenly I was amongst thousands of people. “Get out of my way”

-38km- Finally saw Coops a few hundred metres up ahead when the ‘Shoppers’ turned right.

-39km- Phil on his bike pulled up next to me. Had a quick yarn while I was waiting for my legs to start to cramp – not yet.

-40km- Ran hard. My watch says I was running at 4min 17 pace. Still waiting for my legs to cramp.

-41km- Coops only a couple of hundred metres in front. Where is the finish?????

-42km- Wow, what a reception. Thousands of people cheering for me to catch Coops! Go Andy! (Well I needed something extra). It was fantastic to see so many friends, NSRGroupies and families of Groupies. That was the highlight of my City to Surf Marathon. Thanks to you all.

-42.2km- Finished 3.18.58. Wow. I must have run those hills quick. (Nearly the same split). 17 secs behind Coops and about that much in front of Mark. (I only wanted to catch Coops to run with him)

-42.2+-Recovery time, got a massage and caught up with many of you. Great to hear of your tales and times.

Well done to all especially the 1st timers and PB’ers.

What’s Next? Freo Half and then I’m on 3.5 months Long Service Leave travelling Australia, leaving October 1.

I’ll be running where I can and be wearing my NSRG singlet because I love to Run and I love our group.


Perth City to Surf 2009

Athlete: Julie Carnelley

Hi All,

It has been fantastic reading all these emails, so I thought I would let you know how I went on.

This was my first marathon and I must agree with you all that told me beforehand that I picked a tough one to do as my first. I wasn’t really 100% confident at the start, but deep down knew my determination would get me to the finish line.

My plan was to go out steady and forget about everyone else, which I managed to stick with. I wanted to beat the 4 hour mark, but thought maybe 4h 10m was a more realistic time. I let Alli go off in the distance, knowing that I would be pushing it if I tried to keep up. I had put together my playlist for my ipod the night before and plugged myself in and away I went. I strategically placed on my ipod Vangelis Chariots of Fire around the 4h 10m mark as I knew this would inspire me if needed, but I finished well before, so didn’t need it. I did get The only way is up by Yazz conveniently on one of the many hills, so that made me chuckle a bit. The first hour was going well, I decided at the 1hour mark to take in a gel which I have practiced in training before, but just my luck in that I got a stitch immediately and had to run through it for about 15-20 minutes, and was very relieved when it finally went. I decided then to only take in powerade so I didn’t get another. As I was turning the corner onto st george’s terrace at the half way point, the gun went for the 12km race, so I suddenly had all these speedy runners flying past me. I tried to look out for some of our buddies, but only managed to see Louise, who wonderfully told me how great I was looking and what a fantastic job I was doing.

The second half of the course was tough, but I dug in and knew there was no way I was giving in. It was hard work dodging the walkers along underwood avenue, which as Rob said, wasn’t great planning by the organisers. The last 3 kms was very hard and my legs were starting to fade, but then seeing the big crowds I knew I was virtually there. As I am nearing the finish line, Fiona excitedly jumps out from the side to congratulate me and then I heard my husband shout me with the camera in hand and unusually managed to get a picture of me smiling. I didn’t quite beat 4 hours, but still came in at a respectable 4:00:43. I was so proud of myself that I got over the finish line and the achievements that I have made in the 2 years of being part of this amazing group of people. I did the half ironman in May this year and can honestly say, that the marathon was definitely harder. It was fantastic to see you all in the recovery area afterwards with all the hugs and proud smiling faces. I’m looking forward to many more years of running with the group.

Kind regards
Julie Carnelley

Perth City to Surf 2009 – A Day to Remember

Athlete: Peter Pritchard


I’ve enjoyed reading all the emails resulting from the NSRG crew, and I wanted to take the opportunity to share my personal experience with everyone. The Marathon is depicted as the ultimate accomplishment for the majority of the population, although for those of us lucky enough to be part of this club, we know that it’s the tip of the iceberg. There comes a moment in our minds were we transition from would like to to am going to. That point came for me on meeting you all on our Saturday and Sunday runs. Rob D and Ali (and many others) just made it seem like it was an achievable goal.

Personally for me, I’ve be thinking about it for some time (many years like 20 J). I’d run most of my life, but never to a program, so making it to the race day was my biggest accomplishment. I had a personal driver for this one and I wasn’t going to let it go without giving it my best. My father only ran one marathon before he was sadly taken. I intentionally didn’t look at his time, until only yesterday afternoon to see he ran a 3:39; 13min faster than me. I ran for him; every step of it, enduring the pain of the last 10kms, and the relief of seeing the final finishing line.

All of us have something special to take us to a new level. For a big chunk of my life it’s been my memories of dad. This one was for him.

A special thanks to you all for helping me through the journey, especially the friendly faces and encouragement from Mick, Chris, Phil (on the bike thanks mate), and Loui (taking photos at the end).


Perth City to Surf 2009

Athlete: Lee Holland

Morning all

I competed in my first ever marathon at City to Surf, after weeks of training and 1 week of absolutely freaking out, i had a strange sense of calm come over me the day before, following my last training run with the group on Saturday. In the lead up to the run i was dodging anyone that looked remotely unwell including my youngest who was unwell in the week leading up to the big day. My pre race meal was… pasta?… a ton of pizza from Santa Lucia!!

On the drive in with Rob and Chris i was actually looking forward to getting on with it all, as this day had consumed the last few months of my life and to be honest i was ready to take a break from the training.

The plan was to pace, keep the heart rate comfortable, focus on the crowd, the other runners, the boats on the water, the cars passing by, the white lines on the road, basically anything other than think about how long i was going to be on the road for . I didn’t want to get too caught up in my time with the aim being just to make it to the finish line. I hadn’t monitored my pace during the training runs but figured i should be able to complete the run between 4 and 4.5 hours, i find that if i look at the watch too hard and try to figure out splits i start to lose the plot so it was a case of just listen to the body and adjust pace as required.

I could not have asked for a better day, the weather was perfect, i felt good physically and mentally and i enjoyed the loops in the run which allowed me to cheer on the front runners and those behind me on the way round, this all aided pass the time. I was so glad that there were so many drink stations, i think i hit all of them bar one, and towards the end i was having one of everything they were offering.

The first half of the marathon was dead flat and quite pleasant i remember one of the marshal’s shouting “half way” i looked at the watch which was showing 1.55min, i also noted that my legs were starting to feel a little heavy but not sore. The second half was tougher but i knew what to expect and paced myself accordingly, exiting Kings Park i could smell the finish line and hit a bit of a high that lasted until i reached the hill at Selby Street!! I had to do a bit of weaving past some of the 12k walkers but still felt good, i remember reaching the 39k mark looking at my watch and thinking hell i could break 4hrs so i put the head down and just kept going, i knew Teresa and my 2 little girls were waiting at the finish line and it gave me that last burst of energy, i almost had an emotional melt down when i saw their cheering faces and was a little overwhelmed with emotion, combination of achievement relief, pride my god i felt so alive.

I ended up finishing in 3.50.52 which i was absolutely ecstatic with for the remainder of the day and even all day yesterday and today i have been on a high, i feel like a million bucks and the legs don’t feel too bad.

Big thanks go out to all member of this wonderful group of runners, being a non runner 18months ago and only being an NSRG member for the last 8 months or so there is no way on earth i would ever have completed a marathon without the support i have received. To find such a group is a rare pleasure, i have been made feel welcome at all times by all member, always encouraged and supported so thank you. I have been inspired by so many of you and have a great deal of respect for all no matter what distance you run although special mention must go to you ultra runners, still can’t quite get my head around that. Although twelve months ago i would have said to anyone who ran a marathon that they were mad, but i know understand that special feeling you all referred to. The sense of achievement is like nothing else i have experienced.

In particular big thanks to the big chief Chris for all his support and advise.

Will i do another one not sure, think i may retire from marathon running as i don’t think i can feel any better than i do right now.

Please share your story with us, i do enjoy reading them, Well done to Melissa 1.38 is a great time hopefully your running buddy (my wifey) Teresa will be there next year to chase you round that 21k course and give you a run for your money!! Well done to Darren i noted he broke the 55min barrier, obviously both training hard congrats again.

Lee Holland

Perth City to Surf 2009

Athelete: Rob Fowler

Well done all fellow NSRG on some great achievements.

The inaugural City to surf marathon is done and dusted, I thought I would add the lows and work to the highs. No kilometer markers were not nice, for people without GPS technology. Running into the 12k runners/walkers at 34-35k mark was frustrating, fighting people for a drink of water at the drink station, not really individuals fault but organizers should have looked a little harder at this part. Last ***** was no water at the end, got a wonderful goodies bag, nice medal free this free that, but not a drop of water in the marathon recovery area.

So many from NSRG had wonderful runs, Sean Cooper Coops took line honors for the club in the marathon. His time of 3h18m30s was a great 12minute plus PB he ran virtually the whole race at 4m40 pace and was so focused from the word go. He was in good company with Andy Land and Mark O’Gara not much more than a minute or so behind and all finishing in the top 100 of one of the tougher marathons I’ve done. Mark also got a 6 minute PB and had put into practice what he learnt at the WAMC marathon 8 weeks previous. Andy our favorite jogger (runner) just a couple of minutes outside his own PB and is improving with every marathon.

Mr. Chris Kowalski the back bone of most of our training locations and motivation was on target with another quality marathon also backing up from Perth. He may not give himself any pats on the back but for mine he is as strong as he was when I first met him, his legs are 10 years older than they were back then but I’ll be happy to have his times when I’m his age. I am always amazed at his passion for seeing other people do well but his congratulations always makes me feel good no matter how I’ve done. How good were Lee and Julie both finishing their first marathon and what a tough one to choose many of us can relate to the feeling of our first but not on such a hilly course? Bruce again took on the marathon only to disappoint himself after such a good preparation, but a few weeks of a rotten flu/cold which didn’t help his cause slowed him in the last half but he has had a good year with the 2 oceans and done more than he has done in a few years. Graeme Uren, my running idol, proved how well he knows his own body so well, not pushing himself to much in training as it would have only given him an extra 10 minutes off what was a respectable time.

Always liking to prove experts wrong he wore his new shoe’s first time on the day, only to show me his gorgeous crimson blood blister on his toe, but the shoes are well and truly broken in. Our other NSRG motivator and coordinator Allie again ploughed thru another marathon in respectable time and only some 10 weeks after completing her second Comrades and as with Chris just at home seeing all of us do well as we are with each other. Mick form Mindarie managed his second backing up from the Perth and another respectable effort.

Our long distance ultra man Rob D enjoyed the moment even if some poor soul wanted Rob to drag him under 4hours, Rob sent him on his way and got on with his own race. Also I managed to pry from him he had done 20k’s the day before while the rest of us stayed on the couch conserving energy. I didn’t see any ½ marathoners and 12k runners at the finish but I hope they all had good runs. I reflected with a few of my fellow runners at the Break water on Sunday afternoon.

The group has motivated a lot of people in the past 12 months or so and I really enjoy the individuals achieving goals they either set out to get or didn’t think they were capable of. To some up my day out was a good one another consistent marathon and made all better by the achievements around me, thanks for the laughs during training and the people who turned up when they said they would. Bring on the heat, midges, extra daylight and hot sweaty runs, ohh and all the good looking girls and boys.

Rob F

My C2S Marathon 2009

Athlete: Sean Cooper

This is my not so quick story, you can distribute it if you feel it is worthy

At Easter this year I was running from near Margaret River to a camp site and was on a dirt track in the middle of nowhere. It was hot, I had nothing with me except the clothes I was wearing and was running in a place I didn’t know. Quite suddenly, my left calf went from a oh no that’s not right to a loud explosion which popped. I fell and couldn’t move. Luckily I fell near a small stream and thought ok, I’m in trouble here but someone will be along soon. If not, I should still be OK, the campers I’m staying with will miss me and come and find me, maybe. Unable to move I was lucky as a 4wd came along and took me to the campsite. Lesson learnt!

I was soon to discover that I had done my gastro nemus and it took several days for an expensive surgeon to decide he didn’t want to operate, and would let my calf re attach itself to my leg all by itself. On crutches I was frustrated, but this became a lot worse when one week later I developed a 5cm blood clot near the calf due to the trauma from it. Another week on crutches and I threw them away after that in frustration. We had booked a family holiday in Singapore and Malaysia and I was booked in to run the Sundown Midnight Marathon at Singapore. This looked out the window now.

I went from walking to slow jogging to running again in a painfully slow process. We went to Singapore and the longest I had after injury run was 5k. It sounds stupid but I went in the Sundown Marathon, managed to jog the first 30’s then walked the rest. My training kicked off from there to get back up to where I wanted to be.

I learnt valuable lessons when I hurt my leg and had the opportunity to study and learn how to prevent injuries like that, and become stronger. For the first time I also followed a running program leading up to the C2S. Magically, this fitted in perfectly with the NSRG running timetables. I was able to set a goal of beating my marathon pb of 3.31.55, and was confident that I would be just under the magical 3.30.

My training with Rob, Bruce, Bob, Andy, Mark, Mick, Eulalia (who unfortunately also suffered an injury after blowing out a couple of 1.30 halfs) Chris, Rob D and everyone else at NSRG and Kevin’s pancake mob went well. I just tried to keep up with them all, listened to them and learnt a lot. I couldn’t stick it with Rob, he is just too powerful, so come race day I thought I would try and stick with him for as long as I could.

C2S race day and I met up with my mate Gunner, his mate Geoffa and together with Rob we formed our 4.40 pace bus. We had a few good laughs before the start but I lost Andy and Mark in the crowd. We were not far behind the Kenyans, Ethiopians and Epi who was to run his first sub 3. About 900 m in, we went past TB, and I shook his hand as he had the faster runners covered for the first 3 metres of that 900. You have got to wonder, don’t you.

We kept our 4.40’s up but I was worried about what had happened to Andy and Mark. I believed they would catch up if they were behind, but maybe they were in front, I couldn’t tell. At the first turn around I saw them on the way back, not far behind. They looked like they were doing it easy and I felt comforted that they would be with us soon.

One of the great things about our group is we are so easy to recognise on the road. It impresses other runners, as i know later on i had a runner ask me how many of us there was, he thought there was 50!

We saw the leaders returning through the Uni and estimated that at the pace they were at, they would finish 1 hour ahead of us. Incredible to see. On the way back to the city Rob and I ducked into the bushes for a quick splash of the trees. This almost turned to tragedy as i went to take off out of the trees and tripped as my shoelace was wrapped around a branch. Rob and i ran at around 4 minute k pace to catch up with Gunner and Geoffa. We shared the lead into town as there was a slight head wind. Was great to see all the people in the city as we turned, Dullsville wasn’t so dull after all.

Rob hung with me till the bottom of Kings Park. From there I was on my own till Gunner caught me at where the Marathon was overpowered by the 12k walkers. Stayed strong till about the 39 k mark when I slowed considerably. A few words of encouragement and I was back up to near 4.40’s again, but struggling. Once the finish line was in view I was right and it was great to see people I knew just prior to the finish to cheer me on.

Through the finish where i was a bit emotional and gave Gunner a hug. Unclasped my arms from Gunners smelly sweaty body to find Andy right behind me and Mark just behind him. What a great sight it would have been for all the spectators to see some of the NSRG guys together through the finish. 3.18.39 for me, a pb by over 13 minutes. I honestly never thought I could do that, now guys like Andy and Mark are pushing for us all to go quicker.

The highlight of the race for me was every time someone recognised us in our NSRG tops, or we recognised them. Clearly other runners were impressed by this. The work that Alli and Chris and others do for our group is outstanding. This group is dear to my heart and fast becoming my second family. The journey to this point has been long, had a few hurdles, but worth every step.

As for what’s next, I’m keen to help Andy qualify for Boston and London and he’s really close to it. He’s on holidays soon so Rotto is next on the calendar. Its a great weekend, very social and friendly, just like our great group of runners.

See you out there,