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Sometimes Lightning Does Strike Twice

19 February 2012

19 February 2012

Sometimes Lightning Does Strike Twice

This year the shorter of the two Lightning Strike runs (you didn’t expect the Cyborg to do the long run, did you?) had changed markedly from previously years. For starters, they’d knocked a kilometre off the course, which was nice; unfortunately the change also included a full kilometre of steady climbing! The elevation profile on display rivalled that of the Mountain Run (though, admittedly, it was a longer run squeezed into a shorter scale, so looked steeper). Another advantage of the new course was that it changed to an out and back course - starting and finishing around the pavilion and event hub. So there was no need to organise buses and the like.

The run started at the leisurely time of eight in the morning, with a brief explanation from Deeks as to the naming of the events. The Lightning Strike name (and, in the case of the 30km event, starting in the Brindabellas) is symbolic of the 2003 bushfires, which were started by four lightning strikes in the Brindabellas. Then they were off and racing, with the Cyborg settling happily into the mid-pack, running less like greased lightning than runny oil.

The course wound north through Stromlo Forest Park, then turned north-west to run an undulating firetrail parallel to Uriarra Road; before the turn to the south-west. One of the benefits, or downsides (depending on your point of view) to being in the middle of the pack is that you can see the fleeter runners out front on the course. So it was, Cyborg in the middle could now see the front runners winding their way up the hill; the one-kilometre of climbing that awaited the Cyborg! Fortunately it was preceded by a drop, during which he could lengthen his stride, punish his cork, and gain a few places.

Then it was up. And up. And up. The drink station marked around the halfway point of the run, provided thirst-relief, and a chance for a quick break from the climbing. But this break was short lived, and in no time at all the Cyborg was under way once more. Climbing, climbing, climbing up firetrails he recognised from riding. Then, just to add a tad more torture to the event, they ran past Party Line - one of the Cyborg’s favourite mountain bike tracks at Stromlo! Fortunately, the temptation was much reduced due to the fact there were no bikes around (or riders for that matter!)

What goes up must come down, and from that point, the run was by and large all downhill again! Back to the firetrail parallel to Uriarra Road, then parallel to the entry road once more, and into the hub. It was all over in under an hour! More importantly, the Cyborg had now earned the right to wear his 2010 Stromlo Running Festival shirt (he bought the shirt, but had to drop out of the festival!)

Race Stats

Date: 19 February 2012
Location: Mount Stromlo, ACT
Result: 54:15 (36/87))
Rating: Reasonable Adventure
TriHards: Cyborg
Event website: Stromlo Running Festival Site