2019 GOW 80 km Race

19 October 2019



At the start

Started out well – maybe too well. Enjoyed the muddy downhills – maybe too much.
Ran with Dylan [MacLean] for a while, lost him somewhere after Cape Otway. Found out later I’ve missed Otto at Shelly Beach (he got there too late). A few of us got a tad confused at the Blanket Bay beach exit, but got back on the track within a few minutes.

Had a pleasant surprise at the Blanket Bay check point, which made my day.
Then the weather got nice and warm. Beautiful, but struggle for me. The views and the huge waves were just stunning. Also frightening at times. Otto meeting me at every possible point and the cheer squad were just a fantastic touch to this event.

After passing Cape Otway the first time, I was looking out for the fast ones coming towards me. As I was passing the first guy (sorry, didn’t recognise the name) and congratulating him, I tripped and fell with a cramp. He turned around and wanted to help me. Told him that I’ll be OK, just keep going. He did ask me a few times if I was sure, until he finally continued. This is trail running – people so nice to each other out there.
Then the other fasties were coming, Jo [Nevin] leading the ladies. There were lots of hi fives on that section and I was so happy for them.

Closer to Aire River runners warned me of a snake on the trail, so I slowed down [even more]. Saw the guy in front of me took a few shots of the snake, I just got out of its way and then paid more attention to the track, just in case that snake had some relatives visiting…

As I was descending the sandy track towards the inlet, I was already dreading the way back. Aire River is stunning by the way.

My bib being punched at the Aire River turnaround
At the Aire River check point

I had my bib punched at the check point, my gear checked for the map and overpants, then asked if I wanted something. Told the lovely gentleman that a beer would be nice… he said at the finish line. Said hi to Jared, he didn’t seem too cheerful this day.
Otto gave me a small can of ginger beer, which felt really nice, then ushered me towards the car to change my shoes and socks, filled in my soft flasks with sweet water, gave me the food I packed for the return leg and opened another bottle of ginger beer – could only drink half of it, though. Then I said good bye, kiss and started the journey back among the cheering of the two ladies – they were so nice!!

The hike up on the soft sandy trail was a bit of a struggle in the warm weather. I was contemplating taking off my jacket… should’ve. I kept looking out for the snake, but thankfully it was gone. Said hello to the oncoming runners, the Scotts were in great shape and then I saw Oliver. I wish I knew it was his birthday, would’ve made it so much special for him.

I’ve been trying to eat, but struggling with that part. Decided to have a piece of pineapple at every km to Cape Otway – sometimes it worked, other times not so much. Then I had the little can of ginger beer, which helped a little. The view was spectacular from above, those huge waves just astonishing.

Approaching the Lighthouse for the second time
Approaching the Lighthouse for the second time

Otto came to take pictures of me before I got to the Lighthouse and the cheering squad was happy and lovely as all the other times I’ve passed through a checkpoint/meeting point. Went through the car park and got onto the trail, but then turned around and went to the toilet – I made this mistake in Italy, haven’t emptied my bladder for >14 hrs and remembered what Andy said about kidneys and stuff…

Those 10 kms between Cape Otway and Blanket Bay seemed sooooo long. At Parker Inlet I was happy to see Julie and Karen, gave them a sticky hug, then got down on the sand and headed towards the beach exit, stopping in the middle of the creek to cool down my feet a little. Asked Julie if I can stay here, she said yes, of course 😊
I was looking forward to the Blanket Bay check point, imagining how I’d have 1, 2 or 3 cups of Coke. I craved Coke.


Smile for your husband
Smile for your husband

In the forest I bumped into my friend, who promised to let Otto know where I was and in what shape. He told me I looked a million dollars even though I felt like crap a few moments before. Otto couldn’t follow me on Strava and that really stuffed up his plan so he was very happy to get the message and the picture.

There was a party at Blanket Bay – the Moxhams really know how to do support. “Love Shack” was playing and Ali was dancing – loved it!! Asked her to dig out my plastic cup from the pack, then sculled down about 200 ml of Coke. Had my number checked, then I had a piece of boiled potato and got going (later on I wished I’d taken some chips or another piece of that potato).


Before the Shelly Beach cheering area
Before the Shelly Beach cheering area

After the few kms of lovely rolling single track, the muddy part was a real struggle. Tried to run (more of a jog) as much as I could and hiked the uphills, even though they weren’t really that steep. I slipped in the mud a few times and fell on my left side with a cramp once. I laid there in the thick, wet mud until the damn cramp went away, then slowly got up on my fours and stood up somehow. If someone would’ve recorded the whole thing, it would’ve been a great Australia’s Funniest Video Show material.

Otto messaged me that he is at Shelly Beach, so I was really looking forward to seeing him. I could hear lots of voices cheering as I approached the corner where I saw Otto and the cheering squad that popped up at different points along the course. Otto wasn’t sure if he’s supposed to feel sorry for me or laugh when he saw me, it was quite funny actually. He gave me a hug and a kiss, then said see you at the finish line.

Later on I saw George, he was adding more signs… I thought yeah, navigation seemed much easier on the way back. Walked with him for a little while, then took off. I just wanted this to end.

Getting up on the hill just before Marengo was a real struggle. It reminded me of Mt San Primo in Italy, where I had to stop every few meters to breathe. Once I was on the flattish grass a little girl from a house up on the left yelled to keep going, then I saw the finish line, Otto waving… when I got closer, I just couldn’t help myself, stepped on it and sprinted into the finish. I was very sick for a few minutes after this stint but it was worth it.

With the beer after the finish
…and the beer

Otto handed me the beer, someone said I ran as I was finishing a Parkrun and everyone was really nice. Brett gave me a hug, then Andy congratulated me and gave me the buckle.

Huge thanks to Andy, Brett, the EMS team and to all the awesome volunteers who made this event happen. It’s a great feeling being part of it and if everything goes well, I’ll be back next year for the 100.


  • Lululemon top and crop
  • iOMerino thermal top and socks
  • Salomon Sense Ride 2 on the outbound half
  • Salomon Sense Pro Max on the way back (not the best choice, no grip)
  • Salomon AdvancedSkin jacket


  • Clif Bloks – black cherry and strawberry
  • pineapple pieces
  • dextrose monohydrate in water
  • electrolyte – orange
  • ginger beer
  • coke
  • boiled potato – 1 piece at the check point
  • dates
Total distance: 81.68 km
Max elevation: 227 m
Min elevation: -38 m
Total climbing: 2835 m
Total descent: -2878 m
Total time: 12:35:09
Download file: GOW_80_km.gpx