Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Two Bays 2014 - The epic run

2:38:01 was my target time, the time to beat from last year. 2:34:28 was the time that ticked over on the clock as I passed over the line.
I had set myself the goal of running under 2:30 and I fell just shy. Was I disappointed, yes I was. Was I stoked to beat last years’ time? Yes I was.

This year I had set out to conquer the 28km ‘Short Course’ of the Two Bays Trail run. I had trained under the guidance of last year’s  3rd placing female – Bec from Staying Power Fitness and went into the race feeling confident. Since February last year I have been running with the Dandenong Trail Runners up and down Mt Dandenong and along the surrounding trails. I was fitter, faster and stronger. Or so I thought…

The night before I'd prepped my gear and all that was missing was the race bib. At 4:40 I was picked up by Peter, 5:05 We met Ben and hit the road for the drive down to Dromana for the start. 

This fish is alive!
If you’ve read last year’s recap you’ll know that this is a tough run. The big challenge is the 1000ft climb in the first 3kms (sorry about the ft/km thing). My race strategy was to go out easy but be within the top 100 through the first checkpoint and then come home strong.  So, at 7:00am we set off. I took off with the field and settled into a 4:40km pace and felt good. Others were shooting past me, I rolled on past a few. The field settled and we started the climb just after the first km ticked over. I tried to drop back the pace and according to the HR was doing about 150 – 160 BPM. This was a comfortable pace and I felt comfortable as we hit ‘the hill’. I dropped into a slower jog and began the climb. I felt strong and was picking up places in the field. I had to hold myself back and allowed a few short walks to try and keep the HR from spiking to highly. 
Locals were long gone before I got here...

Enjoying the descent - l really like the POSE form in front of me

As we hit the top of the climb the trail became the free flowing single track that I was looking forward to and we were able to move along at a fun pace.  With all the training under my belt, it seemed a lot easier and far more enjoyable than last year. It was over too quickly. It was as I started the descent down the trail via the fire tracks that I think I made my mistake. I got talking (as you do/if you can call it that) with a couple of other runners and got sucked into running quicker than I should. I also think it was here that I also tried to hold back a little with my technique and took some early impact through my hips that would come to haunt me later.

The amazing volunteers!
Upon reaching the bottom we headed out through one of the first check points and were eagerly greeted by the ‘vollies’ who are what makes this race what it is. Each check point was manned by the most amazing crews – clowns, beach goers, top hats and more. The cheers and encouragement they gave lifted your spirits and reminded you why you were here. Yes, this race is a challenging one but the people behind it are one of a kind.

Roads became trails, trails became bush and boardwalks which became short sections on roads which ultimately lead us out onto the beach track to Bushrangers Bay and the fabled lighthouse (or the Lighthouse at the end of the tunnel as reminded at the 25km marker).

I really enjoyed the first 19 – 20 kms of the run. I was able to run freely through the bush single tracks, pushed up a few of the roads and loved trailing people on the gradual downhill segments. My increased fitness and form really allowed me to enjoy the scenery that was on offer and camaraderie of this event.

At 20 – 21km it again went pear shaped, and memories of last year came back to haunt me…  I’m not sure why, fatigue most likely but I started to struggle with my hips. At first it was a niggle, but it steadily grew stronger or more persistent as the run drew on. FRUSTRATING!! Cramps I could deal with, but this put me into preservation mode. So, once again the last 5km were a combination of the walk/run/scream/shuffle that I finished with last year. I did manage to run more of the final components of the race a little more strongly than last year and seeing the wife and kids at the finishing line made it all worth it.

Finding some form as the end is in sight...
And done!

Some of the Dandy Runners
Will I do it again? I’m pretty sure I have some unfinished business with this event, and Mrs Fish is fairly keen to run it for herself.

2015 is looking like a goer! 

Finally, a huge thank you to Steve at fstop 5 @ for allowing me to use their photographs. Amazing work guys!

And last of all, if you like what you've read, keep up with the training, the little bits of inspiration and the community chat via the ThisFishCanRun Facebook page.


  1. Great race and race report as usual Lachie! Pictures were awesome...didn't look like you were struggling much :) Glad to read that you're keeping up your if you only updated your blog more often :D

    1. Thanks Stan, though I can't take credit for the photos. I've fallen in the holiday slum with the blog, but I've been putting regular posts and updates through my Facebook. You should check in :) I'm still hoping for that lotto win so I can come and run with you in Canada!

    2. Works both ways...waiting to hit our lotto here so I can visit you! You will also receive a lifetime supply of Inov8 shoes :) Liked your FB page.