Lake Manchester Trail Run

The start

There are four of us from Brisbane Bayside Runners and Walkers (or is that Talkers?) who have come to the 22km Lake Manchester Trail Run. For C, it’s his third half marathon in as many weeks. For R, who is an experienced road runner, it’s her first trail running event. And for L, this will be her first run at a distance further than 14km. My goal for this race is to enjoy the experience by running with R and L.

The hills were plentiful, steep and long

Yep, another hill

The race material said that there were seven hills that the race director called ‘seven dwarfs’ at the start of the trail and that the middle section was flat around the lake. Well, that will teach me for believing event material; the course was a string of hills all tacked after each other for 22km. There were almost no flat sections and the downhills were covered in loose scree-like gravel that made it feel like we were skiing on ball bearings. So, for us, it was not a fast course. But we did get a hard core glute workout.

There were creek crossings galore

The course crossed a number of very pretty creeks. Some were ankle-deep and wide, while others could be crossed by walking on rocks. We walked through some creeks, enjoying the cool water on our feet. However, where possible, we crossed over the rocks to try to keep our feet moderately dry. The water was clear and the vegetation around the creeks was lush.

The course was lovely

Despite the challenging hills, the course was lovely. It took us through tall gum trees that reached high into the sky and through rain forested areas. At the top of the ridges we could see the mountain ranges of Brisbane Forest Park and D’Aigular National Park stretching out into the distance. The bell birds’ song rang through the bush and the crack of the whip bird call punctuated the tune. There was a light breeze that kept the temperature mild but not cold. It was a perfect day for running.

Heading for home around the lake

As we ran around the course, we talked about running and events we might like to enter. I thoroughly enjoyed R and L’s company. M didn’t run with us because he was flying the flag for our club out in the front of the field. But I enjoyed his company during the pre- and post-race periods. R and I decided to enter the 2013 Oxfam Trailwalker in Brisbane. We decided to do it in the same style as the Lake Manchester Trail Run: a relaxed style.

Mmmm … soft grass with 500m to go

We had a glorious run out on the course. While my time was a lot slower than I had intended when I first entered the event, it doesn’t matter because R, L and I all were able to finish together. We ran as a team, ensuring that L completed her first half-marathon distance event. It was a huge achievement on such a tough course for a runner who had previously never run more than 14km. For me, personally, the event was a huge confidence boost because I learned that I can just cruise around a 22km course without experiencing any distress.

Total: 22km in 3hrs 14 minutes

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5 responses to “Lake Manchester Trail Run

  1. Wow, you are not kidding this is a beautiful course! 🙂 And what a sweet thing to run with your friends, R and L! So important for confidence in a first race!! Sure hope someone does that for me during my first long race.

    • It was brilliant to run with my friends 🙂 I also hope someone runs with you for your first long race. I think it’s an important part of being in a community; to give something positive back. The club I run with is huge on creating an atmosphere in which everyone’s goals are equally important, whether the goal is finishing, improving a PB or trying to win. And the club places high emphasis on helping each other achieve those goals. For some people, it’s having someone to push you in training, for others it’s having someone to run with at an event, and for people like me it’s having someone tell you ‘go for it, I reckon you can do it’. For me, yesterday was just a fun run. It wasn’t part of my 12 in 12 goal so I decided to enjoy the run with my friends … because they constantly encourage me to achieve my goals too 🙂

  2. Well Done! Great effort and a good day out by the looks of it! 😀

  3. Pingback: 2012 in review « Transventure

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