RACE: Dirtopia Youth Day Trail Run

Dirtopia Youth Day Trail Run happens every year on Youth Day and it promised to be a packed one with entries already sold out even before the entries closed. This year it was being hosted at Delvera with Sportsmanswarehouse as the sponsor.
Delvera Trail Run is the bigger one with regards to the amount of distances to choose from. 5km, 7.5km, 12.5km and a 15km. So there is a distance for everyone from beginner to much fitter people. I usually run the 15km but this time around I decided to tone it down to the 12.5km. The only difference is that the 15km has an extra steep ass climb which I just was not in the mood to do.

It was a pretty chilly morning when my alarm went off and I think I snoozed it about 10 times. Being a sold out event, I wanted to be there as soon as registrations opened up which was around 7:15am because I know how limited parking was at Delvera. I managed to only leave home at around 7:15am because I could not decide on what to wear and if I should take my hydration pack. With it being winter, a 12.5km run and there is usually 2 water points I knew it would be fine to leave it behind then.
25 minutes later it was already packed. Managed to get a parking spot event hough the car guards got their calculations incorrect for one section way on the other side of where the usual parking is, that only 3 of us managed to get parking while the others who all followed had to turn around and go get parking somewhere else.

Picked up my race number and headed back to the car to eat a banana and put on final items on before the start. Not sure if it has become a habit but I tend to not eat breakfast or anything really before a run or race these days. Maybe a banana or 2 eggs at most. Bad thing?

Sunrise over Delvera
Sunrise over Delvera
The dam at Delvera looking very empty :(
The dam at Delvera looking very empty 🙁

The start of Delvera was moved from where it usually started to higher up on the farm which meant that the end was going to be a much bigger climb to the finish than previously! I made sure I was right in front, as I mentioned before, I hate to go past walkers!
9:15am we were off and I planned to take it quiet chilled in the beginning to conserve some energy for the climbs but of course that never happens to me. I felt really good going up the long slow stretch of uphill, which is called Heartbreak Hill, and I usually start to walk at the end of it but my legs were really strong this time around and managed till about 4km when I hit a very short uphill and walked a bit. I had my headphones on and the part just before the short uphill there were one or two runners coming up behind me and I let them through and lost a bit of my momentum. Music was really helping me! After the short uphill, it started to get very wet and muddy and I lost my footing a few times so I was being more cautious to not fall. When the R44 climb hit, the uphill singletrack, I made sure I was on a rhythm pace and thank goodness I never lost it until the top! PRs for both Heartbreak Hill and R44 climb, yay! Selfie time!

Managed to take a silly selfie after the R44 climb.
Managed to take a silly selfie after the R44 climb.

There were a few times I had to stop and clean my glasses. It gets so annoying when it mists up and you can’t see anything. ggrrrr! The single track down was very annoying. It was way more muddier and slippery than on the other side of the hill. I was lucky to not fall flat on my face or ass a number of times! If it was not for these conditions, I would have been flying down this single track, but safety first! The view though was magnificent! The 15km people were also now part of the trail as their route joined up now until the finish, so there was a lot more traffic now!

The water point finally came at 9km! I needed it badly! I thought to myself, did I miss the first water point earlier? Turned out there was only one this time around! I hydrated up and it was literally downhill all the way but still very muddy, so no speeding 🙁 The 5km and 7.5km people also joined the fray so now it was really traffic out on the trails. Thank goodness it was all jeep track until the end otherwise I would have been very frustrated!

I managed to finish quiet strong up that last hill, probably due to the fact that the announcer mentioned my name as I was coming up and people watching and cheers, how could I even think of walking? 6 minutes faster than a year ago, but that was when it was dry and not as muddy so I won’t read into that too much! I am happy with it and enjoyed it a lot!

Only thing I got concerned about was my knees. About 7km in I felt them. Not sure from what. I have not hit the gym or run this week. Will see how it feels after parkrun this weekend.

Next weekend is the Dirtopia Mid Year Trail Run at Mauratie on Sunday as well as Spook Hill Road run in Somerset West on Saturday. Will see how I feel on Wednesday, but I really want to do both!