Puddle Jumper Classic Report
The Puddle Jumper Classic 50 km Race Report
Saturday, June 9th I woke up to something I was not expecting...sunshine! After travelling to the Sunshine Coast in the pouring rain I was expecting a wet race day, thankfully Mother Nature had a mind of her own. Thank you Mother Nature! Conditions were perfect.
The race start was at a Cliff Gilker Park, a lovely little spot tucked into the woods off the Sunshine Coast Highway. Truth be told I thought I heard it was called Cliff Licker Park...but that is another story. There was coffee and lots of chatter race morning, it was a welcoming place to be. The race started on time and with little fanfare off we went!
The course was beautiful with incredible single track trails through lush green forests. There were mountain bike bridges of all kinds across creeks and rivers, I lost count they were so plentiful. The downhills were fun and fast and the many of the uphills kind and gentle. There were also a couple of real ass kicker climbs that were long and steep, the kind that make you wonder "will this ever end?" A fantastic challenge for sure and welcome, though perhaps I did whine just a little at the time, not that I'm going to admit it or anything.
Volunteers were friendly and helpful throughout the day, and you just can't thank them enough for being out there to support us all. The race directors were helpful, chatty and put on what I felt was a well organized event. I can't say enough about the excellent course marking, it was clear and well flagged end to end. I did miss one turn but I can say without a doubt that was my own lack of attention, when I spotted the turn I'd had missed it was extremely obvious.
My run went pretty well considering I'd missed so much training in May with a cold followed by a chest infection. I was only able to finish this event with the aid of an asthma inhaler, without it I'd never have been able to get up those hills with limited lung capacity. I ran with my doctors permission, the infection was gone but it had left my lungs irritated and airways not as open as they should be. The inhaler really made a huge difference, next time I'll be less stubborn about visiting the doctor. My legs were strong, my mind was willing but I felt my endurance was a little compromised. I hit an energy slump about mid way but some gentle self talk such as "make friends with pain and you'll never be lonely" helped pick me up for a pretty solid run from the 35 - 50 km finish. I was thrilled to get it done as there were times in May I thought I'd never see the start line let alone the finish line.
I recommend the Puddle Jumper Classic 25 km or 50 km to runners looking for a fun course with just enough of a challenge to keep things interesting from start to finish. There was something for everyone out there, long flowing downhills, soft trails that were not overly technical for much of the distance, cool bridges and mountain bike obstacles, bear poo (no kidding) and some hill climbs that will make your muscles quiver.
Running with event with many friends on course only made the day more enjoyable, and for a road trip weekend it was just perfect. Big thumbs up to the Puddle Jumper Classic.
Puddle Jumper Classic - Website