How to run Wonderland Mount Rosea Radness
Worry about the pain when the race is over
This is what I had to tell myself 12.65km into the Wonderland 36km race when I suddenly hit the deck smack down onto my outer right hip scrapping my left leg, right hand & elbow in the process. One moment I was upright navigating the technical ascent and next THUD I was down. As quick as I fell, I got myself up only to feel a little shell shocked and bewildered. A fellow trail runner asked if I was OK and I simply said ‘I just need a moment to gather myself.’
This fall hurt, it hurt a lot. I had to use all my will power to not burst into tears I just needed to move slowly, make sure everything was in working order and continue worrying about the injury when the race was over. And with that I let the blood drip down my leg and elbow and now with an added hobble continue the ascent then sweeping descent to the next checkpoint; 21km near the Borough Huts Campground. Up until this point I was feeling good, I was being mindful, appreciating and showing gratitude to my surroundings and marvelling at how much stronger I felt this year in comparison to last year.
A lot happens in a year
At the 8km mark which sees the split from the 20km participants I recall in 2017 being very disheartened about my race and ready to chuck in the towel calling the race before it had really begun; but this year I had more races in my legs including GSER, experience was greater (& this counts for lots) and I was feeling every bit of the powerhouse I had been training to become.
Wonderland, Halls Gap is the pinnacle of what it means to race in Australia; the landscape, the native plants and the wild animals; if someone said describe what it is like to explore Australia by foot I would say; Wonderland. The Mount Rosea 36km, Rosea Radness course is less brutal and more beautiful. Sure, it has two BIG climbs, a few stairs and a canyon which the organisers signage reads ‘does my bum look big in this canyon’ humour which dotted along the course always makes you smile when you need it the most.
There are some technical parts of the course; some of which almost ended my race and seeing as you have to ‘qualify’ this is not a course suitable for everyone but it’s a course that has everything; challenging uphills, sweeping single tracks, runnable descents and super-fast trails where you can put your speed work training to the test.
As legend has it this race is 37km not 36km but who’s counting? Well me but with most of the trail runs that I do there seems to be an asterix (*) at the end of the distance which loosely means the race is thereabouts what you think you are going to run. This is part of the charm of trail running.
My mantra for this race was ‘Run Mindful, Run Free’ I had this on repeat in my head from the start to finish. I wasn’t sure where I was going to place for this run but I had set myself a goal of finishing quicker than I did the previous year. Unfortunately, my fall took away that goal but what it didn’t take away was my desire to push until the very end. It’s not over until it’s over. I must and will always believe that.
During the course of the race there were mutterings about my placing, 4thor 5thbut I wasn’t really sure what the volunteers & organisers were saying so it went in one ear and out the other. I had a few women pass me on the technical descents after my fall when I was struggling but when the trails opened up and the terrain was nice and undulating, I gave it my all – just putting one foot in front of the other eventually noticing that I was now passing people; this is always a good feeling.
I passed two women in the last 10km and really had no idea who was ahead of me but what I did know was, there were a few strong women behind me and I didn’t want to get caught, I wanted to hold onto my position or make gains. As I made my way to the finish line, I smiled and congratulated myself on running a strong race despite the hurt still being very present. As I ran down the main street there was so much support especially from my family and as I turned the corner; it was announced ‘3rdplace female goes to Amanda Meggison’ I almost cried. After the mandatory gear check, it was confirmed – third.
Grit & Determination
This race felt good. I was proud of not giving up, executing true grit and trusting in the gains I have made through consistent training. I am learning more about myself with each race, training no doubt teaches me many disciplines & lessons but racing is where I get to put it all into practice. I am trained under a world class athlete/coach, someone who knows how to push my buttons and see me comfortable in the uncomfortable zone and for that, I am forever grateful and thankful.
This race as always was run with appreciation, determination and a smile and hobbling away with 3rdplace made my smile that much bigger. Until the next race in 2 weeks time…..I will keep training the house down and run within myself.
To learn more about the Wonderland rum and how you can sign up in 2019, click here.