Monday, September 6, 2010

Hawkesbury to the Harbour.

Moi, Tracey, Babette and Sue.

Eye, yai, yai, yai, yai, The 100km.trail run from the Hawkesbury to the Harbour in Sydney was definitely not what we were expecting. NO FRIGGIN WAY!! The advertising write ups told of a pleasant trail run through the bushland of Sydney. The grid maps we studied showed elevations of only 300 metres and as we have been training on elevations of 700-8oo metres we were confident. So you can imagine our concern when soon after the start of the event we were confronted with little more than narrow goat trails full of rubble, steep drops on one side, and a significant amount of rock climbing to be done. OMG.

Our wonderful support team; Kevin, Dianne, Daryl and Mike.

Kevin made this banner for our support vehicle.

Tracey and Moi early on in the race.

The hills were quite piddly compared to what we are used to, but we were definitely not prepared for this rugged terrain.

Twisted Sister Babette dislocated both her hips early on in the race falling on rubble but in an act of truly astonishing bravery was able to click them both back in by herself.

I experienced unanticipated night blindness on the rugged terrain in the dark and my reduced vision together with a chronic balance disorder meant that I struggled badly on the rocks and boulders at night. Tracey and Sue became my guide doggies and DH also joined in to give me extra support.

The night temperature dropped below zero and many runners needed treatment for hypothermia. One runner needed retrieval by helicopter and several others were stretchered off the course with various fractures and injuries.

Despite the rugged terrain the scenery was amazingly beautiful, the Hawkesbury River provided some spectacular views as it meandered around the Sydney coastline.

A Twisted Sister Team finally crossed the finish line in 27 hours and 13 minutes. That was a placing of 212 out of 497 teams. The fastest team finished in 12 hours 7 and the slowest in 46 hours 25.

Seriously who would put this in just before the finishing line?

Our support team were truly wonderful and nothing was too much trouble, even when we were feeling somewhat grumpy.
The official checkpoints were also brilliant with plenty of food supplies plus access to medical, physiotherapy and podiatry services.

Twisted Sisters Sue and Tracey are now keen to tackle the 100km. North Face Adventure race next year. I say they can have it to themselves. DH and I plan to do the 100km. in Melbourne or Sydney again next year, but take down time during the night hours to avoid me needing to run at night . Interestingly many teams stopped and camped over night in Sydney and resumed running in daylight, which I think is a pretty smart move.

All in all the event was a brilliant experience and I was very proud with what I was able to achieve and that we raised over $4000 for Oxfam.

Our next events coming up are;

September 12 : sea to Summit. 33km.

September 19. City to bay. 12km.

October 3. Yurrebilla. 56km.

Thanks for dropping by. Please leave a comment if you visit as I value your comments.

Cheers Karen.


  1. Wow karen glad it is you and not me, it will never be me doing that sort of thing. Glad you are back semi in one piece. Hope to see you soon at Sewing but other duties keep getting in the way lately maybe next week.

  2. What a tough event! Andrew was pretty shattered this week. He'd said it was challenging and they'd had to go down some of the hills backwards because their quads were trashed. Congratulations on completing it and raising all that money.

  3. You crazy people! Glad you had fun though and had a successful run despite it being not quite what you expected. I can't get over Babette and the dislocated hips!!! Youch!!!!! (Eeeuuuuwwwww!)

  4. The Twisted Sisters are legend now. Great performance and unbealivable adventure. Congrats, congrats, congrats.

  5. Well done you I am so impressed I get exhausted go for the mail. Hope to see you soon.

  6. Hi Karen

    Love your stories. Next year will be even better!!~ if that is possible. It's been a great year of adventures, pain and laughter. Thanks for the memories.

    Susie no bum