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Six Foot Track report

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Well I knew I was going into this race severely underdone but as it's a local event and I knew the track I decided to give it a go.


Race morning dawned with not a cloud in the sky. Uh-oh I thought. It's going to be warm. The explorers tree area was chockers with nervous looking runners and some confident old beards all drinking tea and eating damper provided by the Bush Fire Brigade volunteers. Met up with Spud, Baggie and Mr G.


The gun went and we were off, shuffling down the steep incline before the 300 stairs into Nellies Glen canyon. The stairs and waterfall crossing meant that it took us nearly 30 mins before we could really start running but once out in the open it was lovely running hrough the farmland with the sandstone cliffs towering above.


My race plan was to hold as much back as I could for the 15km down to Cox's River. I managed this no probs and actually felt that I hadn't done much yet which was good. By the time the 5km climb up to Mini Mini saddle started the sun was out in force and runners started dropping. The track had no shade and nobody was running this bit. Several people dropped out at this stage as the heat began taking it's toll.


Over Mini Mini and down to the 4 water crossings of Alum Creek and Little River. I ran all of this and actually felt very comfortable at this stage. Then we hit Pluviometer which is a 5km climb of approx 10% once again with no shade. I decided to down a power bar as I walked up here but this proved to be a mistake as it was too much for my stomach which refused to take any further part in the proceedings.


I got to the top of Pluvi fairly buggered. I knew I was in trouble because Black range is a 10km gradual uphill. It's one of those mentally draining hills that you should be running but if you aren't it really gets you down. By this stage I was running with an American girl called Sam. We were suprised to find that we were the last runners because we hadn't actually been past by anyone, rather there had been a number of fire brigade 4wds go past that were full of runners that had dropped out. We also saw 3 ambulances go in, one to collect a woman who had collapsed and was in a bad way.


At the 35km mark we got caught by the sweepers and were retired from the race, numbers removed and timing chip removed. It was a pity because apart from my stomach I felt OK. There was plenty left in the legs. Sam had been collected by her husband and kids so I climbed into the 4wd for the trip down to the caves. However the driver had other ideas and he kept saying things like "Gee, it's only 5k to run from her but it's 12 by the road." I took the hint and got him to drop me 5ks from the finish and I ran the rest of the way. I must admit that I felt a bit of a fraud as I ran down the finish chute, but hey, what else could I do in the circumstances? At least I didn't accept my finishers medal.


So despite not truly finishing there were some definate positives. My legs were stronger than I thought and I did manage to run 40km on very minimal training. I really have to figure out how to manage my food and drink intake for the longer events.


Plenty of work to in the off season I guess.

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Bad luck mate......


My second 6 foot Track was the scene of my only DNF as well. Twisted my ankle at the bottom of Nellie's Glen at the 3km mark. Hobbled to the top of the Pluviometer and as soon as it flattened out I cramped severely fom running on the ball of my foot.


4wd out from Pluvio.


Well done for having a go.

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Sorry to hear about the DNF Yurtie, but it was a tough day out there.

I finished in 5 hr 26 for a struggling 12th finish to pick up my belt, but I'll sure have to do more specific hill training for next year's 6ft, legs are complaining quite a bit this morning, as we cycled home on Sunday morning from Mt Victoria (long bike ride for IM!). See you at Forster.

Green Machine :lol::D

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shuffling down the steep incline




Okay I am stumped - were you going backwards Yurts'?

No. The start is a bit of a bottleneck.



Steve, I didn't see Spud at the end but Mr G was looking fine as usual. I believe he missed out on a pb by about 5 mins.


GM, you should have pulled into our place for coffee at Mt Vic.



Thanks for the kind words guys. Really though, I knew I was underdone going into the race so I'm happy to have done 40k. I'm sure I would have finished the distance eventually had I been allowed. I just need to figure out a few things like why I was getting stomach pains just under my rib cage. I actually thought I'd done everything right, but obviously not. It'll give me something to work on through the winter eh?

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Nothing like a dnf to stir up a bit of extra motivation, hey?


Yurtie, I couldn't go out and run 40km on little training... and especially on that track! You did amazingly well and I take my hat off to you.


Well done, I say!



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A lot of our Club members spent the night at the Imperial post race, drinks are lot cheaper now with new owners, so we had a great time!

Green Machine, we (Uncle Dave and a couple of friends) stopped off at the Imperial on Sunday morning to drop off the bag of a runner who DNFd early on. We must have been within a few metres of each other.


I'll write a long report later, but here's the summary I posted on Coolrunning.


Six Foot Track number 8 down.... no matter how many times I do this race, it never fails to beat the shit out of me. Quite the mental challenge trying to pick the puzzle of the fast 6FT. I manged to fall a few seconds short of my PB (4.50) in a somewhat ugly-feeling performance.


I'd spoken quietly to four or five people before the race about my plans to run 4.40 this year. I'd not run over 25km since early December (Coast-Kosci) or a week over 90K in that time but had years of ultras and mileage in the legs so it didn't seem likely to be a problem and I hoped my recent focus on speedwork would prove to my advantage.


On the day I never actually felt I was running well. Had a great start- hit the sign at the bottom of Nellies Glen in 12 minutes, having never got there quicker than 18 minutes before. This translated to a 1.24 at the River, having never gotten there faster than 1.31 before. From the bottom of Nellies to the top of Pinnacle Hill we were running through fog- very pleasant, although it was soon burnt off by the usual March heat.


All the way down to the river I was telling whoever was with me (RMC for a while, and others included Spud, Coaster, Barry Rutter and Steve Bodnar) that I didn't feel too great and wanted to be conservative.


As a result, I walked almost all of Mini Mini Saddle (except for the flat stretch through the Cattle Yards) yet still caught a lot of people on this hill- Barry, Steve, Phil Hugill, Jim Cryer, O Runner, a wonky-looking MPHaz and others. Hit the Alum Creek Reserve in 2.10, a little behind my time from my PB year(2.08 in 2002) and caught Tim Austin.


Still wasn't feeling too good so walked almost all of Pluvi, dumping Tim, passing Vat_man (big surprise) and Sawdust and catching Spud, hitting the Pluvi aid station in 2.48 (2.51 in 2002- by contrast I ran almost all of Mini Mini and about half of Pluvi that year). I told Spud the 4.40 was still on and we set out to run all of Black Range. Even an easy jog would be enough to make up time.


At about the 29K point I hit a bad patch, feeling flat and with cramps threatening. I let Spud go, stopped, had a leak, then started walking. Sawdust came past while I was walking. I drank some water at the next aid station (felt a bit too queasy for anything else) and started to feel better. At 32K I started running again and ran all the way to Deviation (3.50 vs 3.39 in 2002- lost a quarter of an hour while I was in my funk).


Caught Mohammed between Deviation and Caves Rd crossing, he cramping and looking in real trouble. My legs still felt sensitive and a cramp threatened whenever I took a rough step but doing the maths it seemed a PB was possible still- very marginal, there would be a few seconds in it.


A big surprise was passing Blue Dog just before Caves Rd, also cramping. I urged him to come with me if he could and hit the crossing in 4.11 (vs 4.06 in 2002). Ran almost all the way to Binda Cabins, passing Sawdust back, and arrived at that aid station just as Spud was leaving it.


I stalked the Irishman for the next K or so and ran up to his shoulder just before the last big downhill. 4.50 seemed out of reach but 4.52 was still feasible. I told him to come with me and bombed the last 3K downhill in 11 minutes- unfortunately (for him) dropping Spud in the process. Hit the sealed section opposite Carlotta Arch and my legs screamed with cramp, but after a few staggering steps they snapped out of it and I was able to run under the banner in 4.51, about 40 seconds short of my PB.


had to sit down for about 20 minutes, seeing Blue Dog and others come in and digesting Emma Murray's amazing course record (and who was the first to nominate her as a contender on CR? Me!  ), Greeny's win and the fact that, unknown to me, I'd missed nailing Action by only a few seconds.


There were some other gutsy and sterling performances today, most of them already mentioned. A big thumbs up to Kevin and co, Uncle Dave for his portage skills and loaning me use of his floor, Miss Skarmel (chauffeur extraordinaire, who comitted to 6FT next year in front of witnesses) and the dinner crowd last night.


Given I never really felt "on" and did so much walking I suppose 4.51 was okay, but I'm still getting over that missed 15 minutes on Black Range. Not sure why that happened to me, but it cost me a sub 4.40.


Although given I beat Sue Kelly (fantastic run which no one picked) at the February Striders 10K, should I shoot for 4.15 next year....? Not likely!


Well done all. Full report to follow.

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Nice meeting you Yurtie, give it a real bash next year mate!


Hey Kanangra,


Nice race at Port Stephens well done,


Here's mt report FYI.



My fourth Six Foot and the plan was to go one better than last year and break 5hrs.

I knew I would have to run a very good race to do this, as last year I felt I ran quite well to finish in 5:02. Training in the past few months was good and my speed was definitely better than this time last year so I was pretty confident.


Stayed the night before at Chez Greenhill, again this year, and shared a beer with Mister G and Uncle Dave. Got to race start at 7am to a bustling Catalina Park, the aroma of sunscreen and deep heat wafting through the early morning air. It was nice to meet up with so many Coolrunners and Sydney Striders here, and definitely an improvement on registration at Explorers Tree.


When we arrived at Explorers Tree and the start you could feel the tension in the air amongst the virgin 6 footers. Come to think of it there were a few experienced guys looking decidedly nervous too, all good. The first wave were let go at 8am to a rapturous applause and roar from the rest of us. This is a sight worth waiting a year for! I was in wave two and 5 mins later we were on our way.


My plan was to stay ahead of last year’s splits by at least 5mins to give myself a shot at sub 5.

I ran down Nellies alongside pal Jan Herrmann and we reached the Nellies sign in 13mins. I felt we were moving along quite nicely and was happy when we reached Megalong Rd in 43:16 (2004 split 49:30). Caught up with Colin as we crossed and slapped him a high five.


Running up Pinnacle Hill was wonderful as the sun melted the early morning mist away. It was along here that we started to pass some familiar faces. Mister G who had gone out like a bull out of a gate down Nellies was reeled in here, as was RMC. Jan and I both run at a similar pace (except for hills that is) so we stayed together to the Cox’s. We were lucky to fall in behind Striders Steve Bodnar and Barry Rutter who were making good progress to the river. The pace (as Jan commented) was just right. I had originally planned on just wading through the river but everyone seemed to just take the rock-hopping alternative instead. In fact it was so easy this year we lost no time at all. A quick stop at the aid station, one cup of water and Hi 5 and a gu on the hour was the plan for the day.

Our split to the Cox was 1:23:45 (2004-1:30:25), so far so good.


And so to the climbs. I ran the first section of Mini with Jan but it wasn’t long before I let him go do his thing and began to power walk. I felt superb on this climb and managed to stay within sight of Jan as he jogged up. The sun was starting to take its toll on some runners who were not looking too good. I passed ORunner here who had a great run to the river. A short while later I would pass MPHaz who was not looking too comfortable but dogged determined to finish. Lemon Tree Pass split was 1:48:09 and then some nice running to Alum Creek in 2:10:26 (2004-2:18:52). The track was in the worst condition I have seen through this section and right up to Pluvi. I love the section around Little River and ambled along here feeling very relaxed. The climb up Pluvi was tougher for me than Mini, usually the other way around! I still made good progress passing numerous runners who had just gone out too hard. Shortly before the top I hear a call from Mister G. We reached the aid station in 2:48:11 (2004-2:55:53) so I was still a good 7 mins ahead.


The next section along the Black Range is for my money the start of the race in terms of getting your shit together the difference in running a good 6 Foot or not. Unfortunately for me I managed to lose some time here each of the last 3 years I’ve ran this race. I was improving every year but this year I was determined not to walk at all. Mister G commented as we trotted along “no stopping here, run the lot” to which I nodded. We passed heaps of runners and it was so uplifting to be finally running this monkey off my back. The Black Range devil was in my ear every now and again saying, “hey slow down and walk a little” but I was having none of it. I mentioned to Sean, just keep moving even if it is a slow jog, it beats breaking into a walk. We stayed together for a while until I started pulling away. I didn’t see Mister G again until 3km from the finish.


As I pulled into Deviation 3:47:01 (2004-3:54:03) I was rapt to have finally ran the whole of Black Range. I poured some coke and water into me and grabbed some fruit and was outta there.


This next section up to Caves Rd however is a real bastard. I ran strongly on the flats and downhills but only managed a fairly decent walk up that shitty goat track to Caves Rd. I passed Blue Dog here and was still way ahead of splits reaching Caves Rd in 4:10:05 (2004-4:17:32). The crowd support was fantastic, giving us a great cheer as we crossed. Feeling pretty stuffed (as you should) I thought sub 5 is definitely on, just gotta hold it together. I was thinking about the finish line as I made my way along Caves Rd but wasn’t getting too carried away as my left calf was showing signs of not wanting to participate any more. These little twinges of cramp were more noticeable on the steps up and down the Caves Rd section. Binda Cabins was reached in 4:26:16 and I knew I had it in the bag barring a fall or massive cramp up. Still needed to concentrate and bring it home. I was moving along nicely trying to do mental arithmetic but that wasn’t happening for me. I figured somewhere between 4:50-4:55 was on. Just then MisterG turns up after having a good run from Deviation. I wasn’t too surprised as he’s an excellent judge of pace and a strong bastard to boot. We chatted for a bit and then he suggested sprinting down Mt George fire trail. I was up for it, so agreed. Only thing was I couldn’t keep with him, maybe if I had an extra 10 kg, gravity would of lent more of a hand.

Still I ran a faster split down the last 3km than I have ever ran. Just as I hit the bitumen for the last 50 mtrs I cramped in both calves and wonkily ran through the finish chute. I was elated to cross the line in 4:52:02! YES! Sub 5hrs and a 10-minute PB was mine. ;-)


Hung around at the finish line for a while cheering fellow runners in. One of the best things about 6 Foot is that welcome at the finish line.


Congratulations to Emma Murray (mind blowing time) and Dan Green for their wins. Also well done to Kevin for another seamless 6 Foot track organisation. The firies and all volunteers were fantastic as usual.


Upon reflection breaking 5hrs and finishing 92nd overall was very satisfying to achieve. However from a tactical point of view the most pleasing thing about this years run was the fact that I managed to run every step of Black Range, very encouraging for next year. I don’t think I could of ran this race any better than I did on the day and am finding it hard to see where I can make up time next year. It will probably just involve the usual getting faster and stronger but tactically I hope to run the same race.


Roll on 2006!

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Well done to all that finished.


Unlucky to yurtie, sounds like you had fun! :D


I have thought about doing this race for quite some tme now, but it sounds a bit hard.


I have walked it but never ran it, are the Hills a lot worse than the Bilpin Run?


I have walked it from Jenolan caves not Katoomba.


Another question did Paul Every do it this year?




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As Spud mentioned Black range is the killer in this race. Mentally you get yourself up Pluvi any way you can and in your mind you should be able to run along Black Range. But, Black Range is a 10k gradual uphill that is really draining. This is where I lost all my time. If you chuck the heat into the mix it becomes a very difficult day.


I would recommend this race to anyone even though it is so hard. As mentioned the finish line is good, though nothing like an IM. However the competitors are all very friendly and chatty so it's a good one to enter.

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Sorry to hear the DNF Yurts. My story isn't much better, horrible day. Easily the worst run I've ever had, very disappointing, but I'll be back next year to make amends.


Six Foot 1 - Baggie 0

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