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Cbr day

Drinking notes:

  • deep amber colour, good carbonation.
  • drinks with deep malt and restrained bitterness and aroma. good strength. seems true to style.
CBR day | Brewer's Friend

CBR day

Method:BIAB Style:Belgian Golden Strong Ale
Boil Time:60 min Batch Size:21 liters (fermentor volume)
Boil Size:28.5 liters Efficiency:57% (brew house)
Boil Gravity:1.045 (recipe based estimate)     
Original Gravity: 1.061
Final Gravity: 1.014
ABV (standard): 6.07%
IBU (tinseth): 19.02
SRM (morey): 26.18
Amount Fermentable PPG °L Bill %
2 kgGerman - CaraHell341127%
1 kgNew Zealand - American Ale Malt37.32.5380713.5%
1 kgNew Zealand - Pilsner Malt37.31.9289313.5%
0.4 kgBest Malz Rye383.75.4%
2 kgJWM Traditional Ale Malt37.3327%
1 kgBriess Extra Special Malt3513013.5%
Amount Variety Type AA Use Time IBU
15 gAustralian Super PridePellet10Boil60 min19.02
40 gAustralian Super PridePellet10Boil0 min
Mash Guidelines
Amount Description Type Temp Time
34 LInfusion68 C60 min
Danstar - Nottingham Ale Yeast
Attenuation (avg): 77% Flocculation: High
Optimum Temp: 13.9 - 21.1 °C Starter: No
Fermentation Temp: 18 °C Pitch Rate: -

This recipe has been published online at:

Generated by Brewer's Friend - https://www.brewersfriend.com/
Date: 2018-03-10 08:44 UTC
Recipe Last Updated: 2018-03-10 08:43 UTC
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Straight outta Europe

Straight outta Europe

Method:All Grain Style:American IPA
Boil Time:60 min Batch Size:20.8 liters (fermentor volume)
Boil Size:28.4 liters Efficiency:60% (brew house)
Boil Gravity:1.040 (recipe based estimate)     
Original Gravity: 1.054
Final Gravity: 1.009
ABV (standard): 5.94%
IBU (tinseth): 24.26
SRM (morey): 9.61
Amount Fermentable PPG °L Bill %
2 kgNew Zealand - Vienna Malt39.13.4517833.3%
2 kgGerman - Munich Light37633.3%
1 kgAmerican - Pale 2-Row371.816.7%
0.5 kgGerman - Wheat Malt3728.3%
0.5 kgNew Zealand - Light Crystal Malt35.431.97978.3%
Amount Variety Type AA Use Time IBU
20 gUS ChinookPellet11.8Boil30 min24.26
26 gGerman HallertauPellet3Boil0 min
26 gUS ChinookPellet11.8Boil0 min
75 gAmerican SimcoePellet13.1Dry Hop3 days
Mash Guidelines
Amount Description Type Temp Time
34 LInfusion65 C60 min
Fermentis / Safale - American Ale Yeast US-05
Attenuation (avg): 81% Flocculation: Medium
Optimum Temp: 12.2 - 25 °C Starter: No
Fermentation Temp: 21 °C Pitch Rate: -
strike in 70 . start mash at 68. Finish at 65.

Generated by Brewer's Friend - https://www.brewersfriend.com/
Date: 2018-03-08 08:49 UTC
Recipe Last Updated: 2018-02-10 02:06 UTC
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UK Holiday report

After 9 days back at work in 2018 it was time for another holiday. This trip was designed to spend time with the in-laws rather than visit and explore places we wanted to see. So really a friends and family visit in the depth of a UK winter.

The flights worked best travelling out via Adelaide, so we left on Sunday evening from Canberra, through Adelaide, then Dubai arriving into London Gatwick mid-morning a day later. The flights were all very easy - as we had paid for business class and I’d snatched a standard 7 hours of good sleep onboard, and a refreshing shower on our layover in Dubai winning. To complete the ‘easy-as-it-gets’ trip halfway around the world we met our chauffeur driver soon after landing for a door to door drive the 60 miles out to our base in Pamber Heath.

Pamber Heath

Up early the next morning I waited until it was light (about 7:30am) and took my legs out for a stretch around the forest and common that Denise’ parents house backs onto. Crisp and boggy but with some lovely trails and enough space to lose yourself in.

We then visited the Tadley shops to stockup on our vegetarian-and-low-sodium dietary needs, and visited the local cafe for a couple of strong coffees to help reset our body clocks. Over the next few days at we set into a ryhthm, I would awake pre-dawn and spend an hour or two tinkering on the laptop, then go for a run, then return for second breakfast and wait for the house to be awake, before a lunchtime or afternoon excursion out somewhere. I managed to:

  • visit Watership Down
  • visit Windsor castle
  • visit the locals; Calleva Arms pub for dinner, and the Pelican for a pint
  • get in a few more trail and footpath runs
  • re-establish the node js application running api.adamrumbold.com on AWS after redhat openshift decomissioned the existing free VM and their platform wouldn’t support custom domains anymore.
  • continue to tinker on migrating our Wybalena Grove website onto the static open source Grav platform

blue sky!

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On the Friday we headed over to Reading to spend the night with Nicola, and have a night out in Reading. We only made it to a single coctail bar, and then a local pub for a drink on the way home. Our bodies weren’t quite adapted enough for a wild night out. The weekend had us heading into London to visit friends in Highgate for drinks, and catchup with an old school friend of mine.

It was a cold and wet day in London so we wandered through the Burrough markets and then visited the Tate modern for a couple of hours. That night we wandered up the hill to the Dukes Head and rather than a pub crawl spent the evening catching up with Sarah, Andrew, Susan and Ian.

On Sunday we attempted to meetup with Denise’ older sister and visit the Natural History Museum, unfortunately there was a massive queue outside in the snow and cold, so we instead wandered through the Victoria and Albert museum. Later that afternoon we met up with Will and his fiancé Bernie at the Royal Art Academy for a cup of tea, followed by a quick beer at a local free house before the slow train back to Reading.

To get ourselves back to Pamber Heath on Monday we opted for the convenience of an uber, which for just £18 was well worth it. Once back I decided to quickly head off for a long run - as with darkness descending before 5pm, time was of the essence. The run was lovely, through a few forests, old Bucklebury, then back along the canal for a sneaky 43k run.

Denise in this time had come down with the flu and was bed bound for a few days. Tuesday I had an easy recovery day walking into the village and buying supplies for a poorly Denise (and a few English ales for me), then making a nice soup. Thursday morning with Denise still feeling rotten, we were picked up by Nicola for the 4 hour drive north to Manchester. This was so I could experience a CAMRA real ale festival - and this one didn’t dissappoint. There were literally hundreds of beers, with over half true English cask ales, and the remainder kegged beers of all flavours and styles. Nicola and I put in a good solid 7 hours of sampling and slowly drinking our way through the beers of interest.

might be boozing it up on 100’s of craft beers...

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Friday morning we explored Manchesters Northern quarter to see what had changed in the 15 years since living there.


We took a short KLM flight over to Schipol and then headed to Delft to catchup and stay with Mishka and her family. Since we last visited, they have moved and are living in a nice, (relatively) big house in a village (or more like a suburb) just outside of Delft. On Saturday we travelled back into Amsterdam to stay with our friends Martin and Sonja. We took a short bike ride to Oude Pijp to see the place where Denise, Martin and Sonja used to live, and spent some time strolling through the markets. That evening we Sonja drove out of Amsterdam to have a lovely dinner at Wendy, Roland and Polo’s new house.

Sunday was an early start, with a drive to Den Helder, followed by a short ferry trip over to the island of Texel. This is where Martin grew up, and his family has a history reaching back a few hundred years. Denise and I spent a bit of time by the wind swept north sea at De Koog. I fortunately could use this opportunity to get a run in :)

A late lunch at Martin’s parents house in the Oosterend village. This was a beautiful old house, with so much character, which his parents have built upon over time. Martins parents house is next door to the a church, with surrounding gravestones, many with the Vlaming surname etched on them.

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There is also the communal barometer that the fishermen of the village would consult before heading out into the fierce north sea. It was lovely to spend time in this nice little village, with a nice family, and with such a lovely house. We even got magical sunset colours as we left.


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Martin kindly dropped us at the airport - and we timed it perfectly, through the standard security and immigration ho-ha, to the gate, and boarding straight away. Only to sit on the plane delayed for about 30 minutes. Such is life.

UK pt. 2

We got back still feeling the last traces of the UK cold we picked up. So we unfortunately had to scotch our plans for a catchup with a friend for a meal in London. We headed back to Nicola’s place in Reading for a bite to eat, a shower and coffee. From their I decided to mission home on foot, slightly longer than first thought, but a really nice run

On Tuesday we took a nice drive along back roads up the Thames up to a nice waterfront cafe in Benson. Wednesday was spent catching up with Denises oldest uncle Brian down in Southhampton, and a dinner with the family out at the Old Mill pub in Old Basing.

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That brought us up to the end of our trip - with a slog across the M25 to Gatwick and schlepping across the globe to get back home in time for work on Monday.

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2017 in review

Last year ended with a hike up to the Bendora arboretum in the Brindabella mountains that frame Canberra.

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As the sun went down, the excursion was a relatively cool and calm way to see out a 2016 that had a few rough edges. This year I’m pleased to say has been smoother sailing.


Our major improvement to our home this year was to replace all our aged windows and draughty sliding doors with new double glazed windows. We paid a lot for high quality German engineered doors and windows which are extremely solid and of high quality. Of course, given our location the installation was a challenge, and required the destruction of parts of our garden to get a machine in to lift and move the windows. Unfortunately due to a manufacturing error - we had to wait until September to have the final sliding door fitted and the installation complete.

This year I joined the Executive Committee that represents the Owners Corporation for Wybalena Grove. This has been a good experience so far, building networks with members and residents of the Grove, dealing with a wide range of issues coming up for discussion and decisions (including some curly situations that threaten legal action) and the perenial ‘difficult’ residents to manage.

We sadly bid farewell to our little compnion Roger in November. He arrived in our life about 12 years ago as a rescue dog from the pound, and lived to a good old age of about 17. For the past couple of years the old man had got increasingly frail and unaware of his surroundings. He was costing us a fortune in absorbent towel, not to mention the disturbed nights sleep. The decision came quickly after he turned off his food and was ill over a weekend. On that Monday afternoon we took him in for his final vet visit, and a few days later had a well sealed box of his cremated remains. Farewell Roger and thanks for being part of our family.

night folks

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Trail Running

I set myself a goal of increasing my yearly mileage from just over 2000km in 2016 to over 2500 this year. That was going to require a pretty consistant 50+ km / week. As you can see below I’ve hit my target with a very consistant year.

I bought 3 shoes this year*, and with each pair averaging about 1000km before they are retired, my current stock on rotation is looking pretty good:

  • Inov-8 Trailroc 285* (238.0 km)
  • Inov-8 Trailroc 245 (1,157.4 km)
  • Inov-8 Trailroc 245 #2 (635.5 km)
  • Pearl Izumi N1 trail v2 (708.4 km)
  • La Sportiva Bushido (880.3 km)
  • La Sportiva Arkasha* (496.7 km)
  • La Sportiva Mutant* (161.4 km0

The one glitch to my otherwise injury free year occured a few weeks ago when I tripped onto a sharp pointed rock that punctured my knee. No lasting injury - but with a lot of bruising and a single stitch on my kneecap it laid me low for a good few weeks.

Unplanned running break :(

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I only entered two big events this year. I would have liked to have capped off the year with another Deep Space Mt marathon run - but my bruised knee ruled that out. What I lacked in quantity however I sure made up for in quality - with two superb runs in amazing locations.

Mt Solitary 45k had a false start this year - with the remains of the tropical cyclone leaving too much rain and danger across NSW. The race was rescheduled for July and David and I returned to the Blue Mountains to run it out. You can read my race report here.

The highlight of the year however would have to be the multi-day stage race, Run Larapinta. This was 130km over 4 days across the spectacular Larapinta trail in the West McDonald ranges outside of Alice Springs. Travelling on my own, and exploring central Australia was a real treat. Unfortunately having unseasonably-searing-heat in late August, with averages of 31 degrees, made it a far bigger challenge - and one that I’m keen to return to. My race report for Run Larapinta is here.

Next year I have a goal to run more +50k runs, starting with the 65K Razorback run in mid March, and all being well followed by UTA100 in May! As always the main aim is to maintain consistancy and the pleasure of running, exploring new places with great views, and meeting great people out on the trails.


Denise and I took the opportunity in March to sneak away for a short city break to Singapore. It was my first time over there, and we stayed in the beautiful Hotel Fort Canning nestled amongst the green and relative cool Fort Canning park. This was a lovely break with some time spent running, relaxing with a good book by the pool and heading out for short excursions in the heat. Fortuitously our mate from Melbourne, Sandy, was visiting friends in Singapore over the same period - which meant we all headed out to the local coctail bars and restaurants to catch up.

This year my work sent me to a few peer National Statistical Organisations to review their IT solutions that support the Census in their country. This meant I had some time in Washington DC, followed by Ottowa Canada, then Titchfield in the UK. Being in late July the days were long and the weather pretty good - until the UK at least! In late November myself and my boss travelled to Christchurch and Wellington in New Zealand to review the Stats NZ preparations for their Census in March.

In mid-September Denise’ sister Nicola travelled out from the UK to visit. She wanted to see Quokka’s so we quickly obliged

Quokka fun #noanimalswereharmed

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We then spent the next two weeks road-tripping north up as far north as Shark Bay and Hammelin Pools, before returning south down to the Stirling and Porongurup ranges, and via Margaret River back up to Perth. A really good mix of scenery, food, wine and company.


This year we also got in a few trips up to the Tate Lodge in Guthega and down to our friends lovely holiday home in Lilli Pilli on the beautiful south coast.


A steady stream of good books this year - including finally reading War and Peace on my kindle about a decade after receiving a hard copy version.


I continued to refine my all-grain BiaB setup this year - purchasing a nice Ss brew kettle, a Ph meter and a 5l demijohn.

I captured my brewing setup here

This year I brewed the following batches:

  • Aus BitsaPride
  • Tiny Bottom Pale Ale (take 2)
  • Who’s your daddy porter
  • English Bitter - I’m not bitter I’m thirsty
  • Tiny bottom my arse
  • Make it up as you go Red IPA
  • nearly SMASH
  • Blueberry Berliner Weiss
  • Gammy Knee Pale Ale

I also developed a taste for the sour/funky beer styles. These styles can be challenging to create - often taking over a year to develop and requiring some advanced methods to blend and balance the flavours. I brewed my first batch using the simpler, kettle souring method - which used a lactobaccilus starter from natural yoghurt to innoculate the wort and sour it within 48 hours. Whilst not to everyone’s taste - this light beer is fresh and carries a nice tartness and blueberry hue and has been brilliant over summer. More sour beers to be created in my home brewery soon.


Back in April I rebuilt this website using GitHub hosted pages, and the static site generator Jekyll. So much simpler than a traditional wCMS for such a simple purpose. I wanted to use this as the impetus to blog more, and whilst not proficient I certainly have posted more this year than any other.

We’ve now effectively ditched the old home theatre PC setup in favour of a single Chromecast. So much simpler to stream everything, including ‘live’ TV (when we occassionaly watch it). Works a treat using any iDevice or computer to cast to the TV. We continue to use NordVPN for security and cough geo-blocking reasons, and it continues to work pretty well despite Netflix playing whack-a-mole with the IP ranges they use every now and again.

I found myself subject to the recent Apple CPU throttling on my old iPhone 6plus which was starting to drive me nuts. I also cracked my phone screen during our WA holiday. It was only when the screen went on the fritz properly and wouldn’t work at all that I decided to fork out for the new iPhone X. Again another well engineered phone, brilliant camera and screen, and the face ID works really well.

To close out the year - a new Suunto sports watch that I’d been eyeing off showed up online for 40% off. Denise kindly offered to buy it for my Xmas present. So hopefully next week I’ll have the Suunto Spartan with wrist HR monitor on my arm during all my runs.


So that was a flavour of 2017. Denise and I feel a bit more like free-agents despite frequently seeing shadows of Roger. We think 2018 will involve a few small holidays, starting with a trip back to the UK to see the Maddens. However 2019 is shaping up as a year of travel and adventures as we think we might avail ourselves of our long service leave and spend some time OS.

I don’t make new years resolutions - but in 2018 I hope to run over 3000km including my first 100km ultra run.

Here’s some other awesome things I discovered in 2017:


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Run Larapinta

Back on new years day - when work was still nuts - I committed to Run Larapinta. A four day stage race out across the Larapinta trail in outback central Australia. The escape and challenge was something to look forward to.

I decided to get into Alice Springs a day early so as to not be rushed and have a bit of time to check out the town. The first afternoon I grabbed some supplies from the supermarket and shuddered at the hot 27 degree heat and forecast 30 degree race days. This was going to hurt as I’ve always run hot and needed some cooler air to stop me forming into a hot dripping mess above a massive puddle. That night I checked out the recommended Monty’s which indeed was a nice venue - and early the next day wandered out to the nicer cafés in the Todd mall. I’d been told if I had time to do one thing in Alice to head to the Desert Park - which I did and was indeed a great few hours to learn about the flora and fauna in central australia and view an impressive native bird show.

Cruisy day - now time to Run Larapinta

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Friday afternoon was registration and briefing time - before a 5:30 dusk run around the trails behind Alice Sprngs. The organisers quite rightly impressed the need to manage yourself and forget about your time for the next few days. It was an environment where you would be asked to take a concrete pill. Bail out points were few and far between - so being highly reslient, self supporting and able to self rescue yourself out of a bad situation was crucial. As reality set in we all sat out our nerves and made our way to the late afternoon start line for day 1.

Day 1 - 19km from Alice Springs to the Old Telegraph Station

Starting on a sandy river bed - we followed a dusty fire trail behind the suburbs of Alice for a few k’s before turning off into the flowing single trail used by the moutain bikers around Alice. With beautifully framed ranges, the setting sun and fresh legs it was a delightful spin. Before long I was tucked behind a group not far off the lead, and enjoying the evening so much I decided to keep the tempo pace for the night. It was a fast pace but not uncomfortable - and as always I was spurred on by the fading light and fun trails.

When the light was so low I was at risk of triping - I stopped to strap on my Ayups and used the opportunity for a quick photo opportunity

As I slung my pack back on out flew my phone and smashed it’s screen on the ground. Ooops.

Back cruising I rejoined the gang I’d been running with, a couple of mates - Nathan and Shagger - from Portsea in southern Victoria. It wasn’t long and we were intermingled with the Namitjera (short course) stage runners. Most were pretty aware and quickly parted to allow us to bomb on through - others needed a friendly “passing” call, and a few were oblivious as we kept the buners on and flew past.

Before too long we were down to the Telegraph Station with cowbells, cheering and a finishing chute. Home in 6th place, and a snappy 5:07/k pace - fully aware this would not last through the next few days.

Day 2 - 41km from Simpsons Gap to Standley Chasm

In the pre-dawn chill we rolled out of Alice Springs for the start of a big day 2. It was forecast to be unseasonaly hot - 30 degrees. Since there was only two aid stations (at 16k and at 28k) and as the final stretch from 28k was hard the organisers had set expectations that all runners had to leave that second aid station with a minimum of 3L of water. This seemed at the time like it was being overly cautious - 3L to run out the final 11ks - how naive many of us were!

The start line was in front of Simpsons Gap. It was beautful albeit freezing at dawn - with a huddled crew of about 40-50 runners eager to have our first big day out - and start warming up. From the start an easy pace was set and there was some beautiful undulating single track as we moved out along the trail. I soon again picked my natural spot tucked in behind Nathan and Shagger from day 1 and Aaron. Aaron a young bloke who hadn’t run before starting his adventure - was out raising money and awareness for mental health. Travelling around outback Australia solo and running 18 marathons in 8 months. He’d toed the line at the Townsville marathon only the weekend previous and after four hard days and two marathons in the Malbunka couse of the Run Larapinta race he was due to back up with the Alice Springs marathon the next weekend! A humble and natural runner - and one of the many quiet legends you meet out on the trails.

The day started heating up soon after the sun was out - and by the first checkpoint at the 18k mark it was already feeling pretty warm. I was still feeling great - so grabbed a water top up and quickly pressed on to the 28k station. By about 25k mark it was getting hot and the legs were starting to feel a bit heavy, then we turned the corner to the ‘Fishing Hole’ which was nothing but a dry river bed of sand and stones that needed to be walked through. The 28k station was a few ks up the river bed - and just when it was in view we had a pinchy climb up over and down a ridge to get to it. By now it was hot!

I took my time at the aid station - some water on the head, some refills and making sure I had 3 litres, and a quick nigari roll with soy sauce that hit the spot. Just as I was leaving I saw some folks I’d droped at the 16k station - so pressed on. 13k to go - this shouldn’t be too bad - oh how wrong was!

The climb started soon after, but was mostly gently for a few kilometers. Then we started the real climb. It was here that I started to see others reel me in - first Nathan and Shagger were past. Then came a few more. By this stage I was feeling it - a power hike up with this steepness and the heat was getting too much and I had to take a few pit stops to bring the heartrate back down. There was a breeze flowing as we rose higher which was delightful and helped contain the body temperature somewhat.

The climb up the ridge was only a few km’s but took me over an hour! For me a power hike should be 12-15 km/hour but up here I was taking over 30 minutes per hour - and I’d realised now the day was baking hot that the aim was to complete and not to kill myself. Once finally over the peak the top of the ridge was highly technical which meant little running was possible. The bit that was runnable I kicked a stone that didn’t move and couldn’t correct myself soon enough, biting the dust hard. After the quick check to find what was injured and how bad - I saw it was mostly my pride and some decent skin off my elbow and hand. Luckily I could still run - I just had to work out how to get up again without cramping. Something that was becoming increasingly present - but mostly manageable. I rolled up - and found a million spinifex grass needless poking out of my skin, clothes and pack. It took a good 20 minutes to pick them all out - and in doing so I realised a few had pierced my 2L Platypus bladder and my 500ml body bottle. Fortunately they were not leaking and only did so if squeezed. That could have been a lot worse.

As I came down off the ridge the descent was into a beautiful green gully with a nice variety of trees and plants - and best of all some shade and relative cool. It was at this stage the trail started to get a bit indistinct and you had to keep your wits to ensure you stayed on the trail. I took the opportunity to take a 5 minute rest in the shade and keep hydrating. Something like 5ks to go - again thinking that’s a doddle to walk out - but again not recognising the fun the trail had yet in store.

Soon after there was an indistinct and unmarked junction. The ‘natural’ direction straight on led to a river bank.. I stayed straight for about 10 metres, but my watch and the map I’d just re-read when taking a break indicated a right direction was required. I corrected one runner who was pretty sure I was on the right path to go right, and then 3 more who came up to the junction. Later that night I found out that a number of runners made the same mistake a few of us almost did. Some carrying on for another hour and half to the same junction marking the split between the high pass we’d just gone over and the short pass they’d incorrectly taken. This mistake turning a 41k epic day into a 50k monster.

From this turning point there was some climbing up over boulders and ledges to rise up and out of the river bed, crest another small ridge, and descend into what looked like the final 1 or 2 kms out through a gorge in the mountain lines. Unfortunately the course kept on giving and as myself and another runner made our way up another dry river bed we saw the blue triangle signs that mark the Larapinta trail pointing straight up a steep face. I think every competitor cursed out loud as another bit of their soul got wrenched out of their spent bodies. Up we went - again slowly hiking and resting.

Near the top - we saw some of the organisers on their way down. They had some water to help out some competitors who it was believed were off course and out of water. At this stage I was feeling pretty rotten - my stomach which had only been a bit nauseous during the later stages of the run (something not too uncommon in myself and others) decided to pull up stumps. I vommitted a few times - collected myself in the shade - and committed to getting the last km done.

There was one more steep ridge to climb then downhill to home. I gingerly and slowly made the final climb, and equally gingerly the steps down. Then I hit a managed trail, and a gentle downward incline - where I could slowly run out the last 500 metres to the finish. At the end I felt pretty weak but was delighted to have just got out of the heat and the generally un-runable final 11kms. What and epic day out.

Later that afternoon and evening, as my skin crawled, my head ran a constant headache and I couldn’t keep any food or fluids down - I realised that the heat on the course had taken a proper toll on me. I definately had mild heatstroke - and as I lay miserable in bed at 8pm was pretty sure depending on how I felt in the morning - it was either the short course or nothing the next day.

Day 3 - DNS

Day 3 was meant to be an easy day. 30kms from the Ochre Pits to Ormiston Gorge. However from 5am the next morning when I awoke I knew I was too weak to toe the line. Not only that I couldn’t face being in the searing heat again. I was glad I did pull the pin - as I watched the crew take of at 8:15 in the morning with the day already starting to warm up.

I then carried on with our bags and a few other supporters onto the Glen Helen homestead. Nestled in front of a beautiful cliff wall with the only remaining water in the Todd River since it last rained 6 months ago the homestead was just that, a proper bush retreat from the harsh outback.

Took a rest day today - because heat and heatstroke from yesterday left my spent. Not a bad spot to be.

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I grabbed a much needed breakfast and caught a lift with an organiser onto the finish point of the short and long course. Myself and a few others then sat and chatted under a large shelter as the short course runners ran through 13ks into their 21k course, with a loop around Ormiston gorge to complete their day. It was getting hot and I was still slowly regaining strength after yesterday - so I had no regrets from siting the day out - except the beautiful parts of the trail I’d be missing out on.

Day 4 - Mount Sonder to Glen Helen homestead

The organisers the previous night had made the sensible call to start everyone off an hour earlier as it was going to be another 32 degree day. Whilst I was reasonably rested, eating again, and pretty sure I could push through the longest day (45km) - I couldn’t bear the thought of a few hours out in the raging heat again. I decided to step down to do the 30km shorter leg instead. This meant starting at 7:15 and not running up the stunning Mount Sonder.

I deliberately kept it conservative and ticked along very easily on the generally flowing single trail. At around the 15k mark we had a 400-500m hill to climb, and whilst it was warming up the breeze and still coolish air kept it pretty comfortable. The views back to Mount Sonder was stunning - and whilst on any other day I’d have loved to run up it - today I was pleased to just be soaking in it’s presence.

Mt Sonder framing the last days run.

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As I came down of the hill - with around 10kms to go I felt that today was going to be comfortable and a great way to finish out the challenging Run Larapinta event. Unfortunately by around the 23km mark the heat was so strong again and my core body temperature was getting too high that I had to temper the pace down to a jog/walk. Whilst frustrating as I had the legs and energy to run home - the heat meant I had to slowly slog it out to the finish. Crossing the finish line at just over 4 hours - and immediately plunging into the cool and refreshing river.

The remaining afternoon everyone could relax, and cheer in the back end of the field - some of who were out in the baking heat for 12 hours. The evening saw the final presentations - and a big feast, with the homestead again catering really well for a hoard of hungry runners.

The next morning a bunch of tired but immensely satisified trail runners jumped the bus to the airport and back to our normal lives.

An incredible event in an incredible place. Thanks to the organisers, Rapid Ascent, for not only putting on such a challenging and great event in a wonderful place, but also being flexible and sensible in dealing with the extreme conditions that raised the risk out there significantly.

A few days ago with heatstroke and an absolutely spent body I could curse this stunning race - but now back at home I feel I have unfinished business on the trail and a desire to be out in those amazing and remote mountains again. Run Larapinta 2018 anyone?

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