Two Bays is held in PTR’s back garden and it is no surprise that we have a great PTR presence at the event with 1/3rd of our members running the 28km or 56km and a large number volunteering along the course.
PTR also took out 1st place in the Combo Team (fastest 2 runners in 28km and fastest 2 runners in 56km).
Two Bays is a tough course and not for everybody, but here are some of our member’s reviews of the day, stories of how they got to run it and pics from the day- enjoy.
Seagull (Johnny-PTR president)
So there was no secret that this race was going to start ‘poorly’. Saturday night prior to the race Justine and I were at Lake Nagambie at the ‘Day On The Green’ concern watching Bryan Adams smash out a few old classics (Summer of 69 is obligatory), and some pretty cool new stuff. Leaving the concert at around 10:30pm had us arrive at home at around 1am only to be up and out at 5am to get to Cape Shanck for 5:45am as Justine was a set up vollie. Sleep was restricted, 4hrs max (thankfully it was not in the back of the car as we initially planned).
Sleep deprived and wanting to beat a previous best of 6h:15m, my hopes were fading but in true ‘Jonathon Livingston Seagull’ fashion (that’s were I get the nickname Seagull from) I set off telling myself anything is possible. I might add at this point, just prior to the start Ron Tait performed a very important task; he woke me up! Yep, he found me fast asleep in the car and had he not done that I would have missed the start of the race.
So with a 6hr race time in mind off I set, slow at first knowing I needed to;
1) wake up,
2) realise I was actually in a race, and
3) think on my feet how I was going to approach this race (I like to plan as I race, pre race planning is ‘sooo yesterday’…).
I found my ‘groove’ real early and things flowed real well. I was lucky to hook up with a guy called Lachlan Wakeling (Physio from Hastings); why lucky you may ask? Because he told me he had a ‘cunning plan’ and it sort of suited my sub 6hr ‘on the fly plan’, so I stuck with him even if he didn’t like it. By Dromana we were at a 5hr30m finish time and feeling great – this was working – but experience has taught me well, the second half of Two Bays can mercifully smash any/all expectations you may foolishly hold at Dromana. But not this year, as I said I felt good, the weather was good, the trails were perfect, the leaves on the trees were swaying to the rhythm of a Seagull in full flight, sub 6 was ‘ON’. Lachlan pushed hard to drop me and my constant chatter but his tow was enough to keep me on target and although I slowed a little towards then end I felt in awesome shape, my feathers were still plump! I climbed, I descended, I single tracked with a constant flow of energy and in Green Bush were the ‘trail race world’ normally goes into a deep dark hole, where it normally chews me up and spits me out on Boneo Road a broken runner; not this time. I was flying like an Eagle (Seagull Eagle at that). The last 10k was a blast, no cramps, no ‘Hell Stairs’, no ‘efffing undulations, just a truly amazing finish to Two Bays 2018… and my time… 5hrs 51m … BOOYARRRRRRRR, my first sub 6hrs.
Finally, PTR crew/vollies/runners, I can’t finish this storey without mentioning you guys. I have never been part of a ‘family’ of like minded, crazy trail runners like ‘PTR’ … there is something totally unique about PTR that just works. Yes, there are other groups/teams out there. Yes, they may be bigger. Yes, they may be faster, but PTR seems to have some special formula that sets it aside from the rest… PTR truly embraces what the sport is about and that EVERYONE is entitled to experience trail running with a great friend or buddy to enjoy the journey. AND, you guys are bloody noisy – the encouragement and support as PTR (and others) crossed the line was sensational. I know PTR will be THE trail running club of 2018 if this is anything to go by – lets rock this place you crazy #trailrebels.
Well that was a bit of a hoot. Had a fabulous day volunteering at the start/finish line at Cape Schanck today.
So many people did so many great things today. Congratulations to each and every one of you, runners, volunteers and supporters included.
You are all amazing. ❤
I did my first Two Bays 28 and first trail run ever 6 years ago and hated it.
I saw the bell in Dromana and thought how amazing those runners are who could complete a 56km run let alone under 8hrs.
Jan 2018 I did my forth Two Bays but first 56 and loved it.
It was the toughest run I have ever run. Two Bays 56 journey did not start yesterday. It started back in June when I managed to talk the judgenjury into letting me into Wonderland 36 using my Wilsons Prom ultra time with a response of 'don't you even think of using that time to get into Two Bays'. I managed to sneak the Two Bays qualifier at Wonderland by 2 minutes. I however signed up for the 28, but after much dilemma upgraded to the 56. Yesterday I chased the cutoffs getting closer and closer to being disqualified at each cutoff. Finally getting to ring that bell in Dromana was an amazing experience. After running my little heart out, but feeling like I was getting nowhere I finally made it to the end. OMG the crowd, I felt like I had won not come last. With 2 minutes ahead of cutoff I made it, 6 years in the making. I don't consider that I came last, I more think of it as I am the lucky one who got to maximise my time out on the awesome Two Bays trail.
Thank you to all the amazing vollies and organisers, couldn't have done it without you guys and of course my amazingly amazing running club PTR. See you all next year ... maybe will stick to the 28 though.
Joanna (aka The Flying Brick).
Two Bays is a special place for me. It is my backyard, my playground. I know every inch of it inside out, back to front and in some areas at very close quarters due to the number of times I have stacked on it.
It wasn’t always like this. 4 years ago, when I had just started running, I sat on the roundabout near my place on race day and chatted with Eric. I watched all these amazing athletes run past. 'How do they ever do that?' I thought. Where is this ‘Greens Bush’ people talk about?
3 years ago, I did the same. I knew a bit more about it then, and I knew a few more people. I thought the same though, especially knowing there was a 4 hour cutoff. Something I would like to do, but totally unrealistic.
2 years ago I was the vollie on the roundabout, directing people and yelling excitedly to all the people I knew from other runs. It was still beyond my ability, but there was also a desire to own my trail 365 days of the year not just the current 364. I am able to plod along covering solid distances, but speed is not my thing.
1 year ago, I was again on the roundabout as vollie. I had actually qualified for the race, an effort in itself, but I had not really trained since the SCC100 and it was beyond my ability to complete the race within cutoff. Again, speed was the issue. 4 hours just seemed impossible. I usually took about 4 hours 20 to 4 hours 30 when running it with other people.
This year, the day after the Pier to Pub swimming race, I lined up in Dromana for the 7am start. I hoped I would be able to do ok, maybe get a PB which would be anything less than 4:08. But breaking the 4 hour cutoff? I hoped, but honestly thought it was unlikely.
I did it. 3 hours and 57 minutes. It was hard. I had to push myself with everything I had. But I made it. I worked hard for it, and it was as hard if not harder than the 100k. I didn’t do it by myself though. Rohan Day, Kate Ablett, Mark and Jayne Carmody, all the runners, vollies and supporters along the way. The atmosphere was magic. My PTR family were there at the end waiting and yelling for me as I crossed the finish line, and it is now my trail every day of the year. But I'm willing to share.
Two Bays. It is a 28 km trail run from Dromana to Cape Schanck. It has ridiculous elevation, beautiful views, stunning trails and a fantastic vibe. Some REALLY crazy people run it both ways for 56 km. RESPECT. And....those who embrace the theme and dress up in hawaiian shirts or hula skirts get a preferred start, all adding to the colourful atmosphere.
The event has a qualifying time and although this was my third year of qualifying, it was the first time I was running it. Three years of FOMO was causing a lot of nerves! I don't really even know what I was nervous about. I had a lei for decoration, my personalised bib said #BELIKEMEL (might have been drinking when I signed up??) and after a peaceful 45 minute drive I arrived at the start line, already spotting familiar faces and exchanging hello's. Everywhere I turned I found friends.
So are you curious about 'running naked'? To explain, the term refers to running without technology. Not something I had been planning to do. I was wearing my beloved Garmin watch that I had set to a fancy setting to allow me to gauge my progress and give me an estimated finish time, and quite frankly, I was feeling rather clever! Hmmmm. Fate stepped in. At the 2km point my watch beeped for the second kilometre and then froze. I looked down and realised, frantically pushing buttons in a vain attempt to fix it. Nothing. Horror filled me, how could I finally run this event and not have it recorded? In a flash I whipped out my iphone and hit record on Strava. I'd lost 2 kilometers but at least I'd have something to prove where I'd ran. It wouldn't provide me the stats I was used to but it was better than nothing. Then I messaged Paul with a remote tech support SOS, which would prove to be to no avail.
So I was running naked. Surging along with the crowd. It was feeling hard but I thought it was just going to be an off day. One of those runs that you struggle through without really knowing why. It happens. I concentrated on my footing and left my phone in my pocket. Too risky to do my usual run/phone/text/selfie in case I miss a tree root and trip, only checking my phone when the elevation demanded a walk break. Around the area of the now infamous dam (7kms??) the gravel track widens and the trail heads downhill. I fly down thinking it will help to make up time and I am glad for all the training down Lyrebird Track which has helped strengthen whatever it is that you need to run fast downhill. It was a welcome relief after all the climbing in the first few kms. Tash comes bouncing past me and we take selfies with my phone and her go-pro.
The trail really is beautiful and we were blessed with cool conditions. As I pass the 10km marker I manage a quick text to Paul with the distance and time so he has an idea of my progress. I play leapfrog with other runners on the trail as we all take walk breaks and at each drink station I get a little lift from the people cheering the runners along. I have a fair idea that my friends Cathy, Sandi and Amanda are close by and every now and again I hear Sandi and Amanda's chatter. It's nice to know they are around
Cathy appears beside me and we check how each other is doing. I try to keep her in my sights while still catching the occasional sound of the other girls close by. Then those stairs appear. And they are hard. So hard. My legs don't want to lift and all around me people are groaning as they haul themselves up and up. And then the finish feels imminent as we know the worst is done. I keep pushing myself because I am feeling slow, my legs heavy. The view of Bushrangers Bay is breathtaking but I tell myself I can return another time for photo's, too scared to lose valuable minutes 'just in case'. Sandi appears by my side. She is happy because with 2 kms to go we are 3 hrs 17 minutes in and she thinks she might get a PB. This is the first I know of my time and I get a surprise. I wonder if I could manage sub 3:30 mins?
I run through the last car park and there are people lining the trail offering encouragement to all the runners. I spot Rohan (the event organiser) and give him a salute. He smiles his acknowledgement as I head upward again. I can now see the inflatable finish line and I find some extra energy to finish strong.
I see familiar faces handing out medals but all I can do is smile and nod as one is placed around my neck (thank's Karen!). Still in the finish shoot I spot Cathy again and we hug, then Sandi and Amanda appear too.
Sandi tells me her time so I have a fair idea of mine (3:25:53 official - no wonder it felt hard!) as I wander off to look at the merch tent and retrieve my bag. A long wait purchasing my 2018 tech singlet meant I lost the girls, so I headed for the coach back to Dromana, eagerly awaiting mobile reception to update Paul on my surprising result. At Dromana the ocean was so inviting that I took some time to stand in the lovely cold water and take some more photos.
Last but not least I joined my friends at the local Jet Cafe for a coffee and to exchange stories of the days events. I am taken with how wonderful this running community that I am a part of is. I had so many friendly faces out on the trail today, from groups such as Raring2Run, Westerfoldians, Slow Burners and PTR, as well as parkrunners and Running Diva's. And, I managed to capture most of my run on my phone (albeit without the usual data) to upload to Strava. Today's lesson was that although you don't self-combust when running naked, you may end up pushing yourself harder due to the unknown.
And I finish this, happy in the knowledge that for the first time in four years I don't have to run a Two Bays qualifier!
There and back again
What a January day - overcast, bit of rain, light southerly, an expected top of 21C. A bunch of Two Bays trail runners couldn't have asked for a better day.
However it was cold at the start and I pulled on a light coat and my gloves. It wasn't long before I ditched the jacket but the gloves stayed a little longer. It was a tricky first 6 - 8kms. There were a lot of people; 285 started the event on single track trails. There was a lot of walking inside the first 1km as everyone found their pace and space. Still you couldn't see the floor. You could just see the heels of the person in front. Three times I rolled my ankle! Two on the left, one on the right. The second one on the left had my calf spasming after a few hundred metres. It felt like a tight band had wrapped around my leg and was climbing! Obviously I began to focus on the worst possible scenario - stopping! It took a good 5 or so km for it to feel better after a bit of walking along with running to release the pressure. It was hurting mostly on the inclines by the time I got to 15km. After about 20km I didn't feel it at all.
Prior to the race start I had written my estimated time markers on my forearm. The corner of Browns and Hyslops was 9:10 (18km in - 2 hours of running) and we made it by 9:03. We were cruising towards the nastiest ascent of Arthurs seat. From McLarens Dam up to the two bays track that leads you over Arthurs Seat; it's a monster. A sharp ascent for 2km, and if you look from the top you can't actually see the bottom; it's like a cliff face. So we walked, and talked with other runners while we all walked up that cliff. I was chatting to a runner who had also been at Marysville. He too had come across the guy who was lying on the track! He told me how he had walked that guy back down, past the aid station at Keppel lookout and then on to the next near the falls. He was not in a good place and eventually ended up in the medical tent. He survived. Thank god for that. We chatted for a bit and then Mike and I were on our way.
Once over the top it's 5km down. Sounds easy enough but your legs are tired and it is hard to trust they are going to hold if you pick up to much pace, so the descent is slower than you'd expect. On the way down we started to see the elites heading back over the hill. Some gave words of encouragement others were working so hard you could hear them breath. It was amazing seeing the first female come through. A young girl, Lucy. She looked amazing. So strong and inside the overall top ten at that point. Turns out she set a female course record and was third overall! Just as we reached the park gate we could see a fella giving encouragement and direction. We were to see him again, in fact, many times.
It was great seeing Justen just outside the park's gate. He had ridden from home to see me and had gotten there a little too soon...or so he thought. He rode down the hill with us, listening to me recount the last 26km. I was hoping we'd get to Dromana by 10:30 but we were there at exactly 10:20, 3hours and 10 minutes of running. We certainly were doing well. I didn't realise it would be so much fun ringing that bell at the turn around! I was so excited I nearly didn't pick up my fuel for the return trip! And with food, water and a hug and kiss for the love of my life I was off again. As we left I heard a volunteer call my name, I turned unsure of who it was. "You're looking strong!" I was now! The power of encouragement, just what I needed because now there was 5km of up.
On the way back up it was our turn to encourage those getting to the halfway point. Out of the blue coming towards me was Penny! A friend from uni, that I hadn't seen in some time. We grabbed each others arms at the last minute, gravity pulling her down the hill. Excellent another crazy friend! Arthur's Seat was relentless. Walk, run, steps, views and videos and before we knew it we were at the top. 23km to go. Over the edge of the cliff and on our way to Waterfall Gully Rd. It was such a great sight seeing Elle, Brad and the kids all standing on the corner. Never underestimate the power of seeing people you love on the way. It lifts you in the most peculiar way. And the fella from the park gate well, he was there too!
At this point we were hoping to be at the Browns and Hyslops corner by 12:10. We had made it before then! I tried to shoot another live feed at the top of Hyslops because that’s when the free running starts on lots of open trails without to many sharp rises. And just as I was about to let my support crew know of our ETA for Boneo Rd, my phone died. We made the aid station at the top by 12:10, 10-15minutes ahead of schedule and we were on our way.
It took only an hour to get to Boneo Road (10km), fast for this part of the race. A long story from Mike got us through about 4-5km. After that we ran in silence for a bit, conserving energy. I was tuning into the present. What three things was I grateful for right now?
To be here! Right here! Having the opportunity to do this! How lucky was I? But it's the journey to get here that is even better. So much prep goes into this kind of race. Hours of running, strengthening, stretching (not so much), rolling, eating! And you share the journey with all the people you train with along the way. The Misfits! What a bunch they are. And Mike my accidental running friend, thank you for the journey!
The people you meet. That fella we saw at almost every major turn, gate, crossing and the volunteers at diversions, turns, aid stations. You can not imagine how important the strangers are and the energy they give you. And my sister and her family to rock up before heading home to feed 50 guests. Loved seeing them. A highlight of my day.
That Justen was there this time. He can't always be at events, he doesn't always want to be either. I mean how bloody boring waiting around for 7 hours for someone to finish an event. But for me there is something familiar and comforting having the person you love pop up at a corner. To hold them even for a second. Go to the finish line of any event and watch the interactions. Some will make you laugh, others will bring tears to your eyes. Then participate and cross that line...it's even better.
And what am I looking forward to?
That was enough to find another gear. We were free running through the most beautiful bush the peninsula has to offer. And the green after the rain...amazing. The softness of the grass trees, the smell of the eucalyptus, the sounds of the birds. And by this time it had warmed up enough for a few butterflies. Wow!
Close to the 50km mark we happened upon a man with a camera! A sign that said something about jumping...well we did, more than once and those jumps, I'm afraid to say, may have cost Mike, for not long after cramping set in. But we kept moving, Boneo road was up ahead. Our ETA was 1:30 but we were well ahead of that. I burst (literally) out of the bush at 1:10 screaming with delight. I was so elated. I woke everyone up at that crossing, probably scared them to death. It was amazing seeing my whole family there. I wasn't expecting the kids - teens grow out of following their crazy parents around. But there they were. Grateful again! Other Misfits too! Rose, Jane and Jason and his family and Mike's family too. You can not imagine how good it is to see people you have formed strong bonds with through the journey at the finish line.
So we topped up our water, grabbed a cold zooper dooper and some chips and off we went. The target was now 7 hours, it had been 7:15, but I knew, and so did Mike, that we could do it. I didn't even need to ask. It was the new goal, the one that would get us home. However, it was slow, but we didn't stop. As we neared the stairs about 2km from the finish, we went around three hikers. I stomped up those stairs like they were not in my way - one foot in front of the other, one after the other, shut up legs - don't stop! I got to the top. I turned around to see Mike...nope...I called out. The three hikers came through. I asked them if my friend was ok. Did they give him a push? Nope, they looked confused. "Did I want them too?" Well yes, any help would be good right now! Come on Mike, tell those legs to shut up, we are getting to the end in under 7 hours! It was hard to look at his face. He was in a fair bit of pain, but I could also tell he was fighting and he wasn't giving up. I knew he had it in him, so we walked up the hills and rolled down the hills. I suggested piggy backing him, using his arms to walk...wheelbarrow he added with a small chuckle (see there was still something left).
Through the post and rail at the end of the trail were Mike's girls. "Run with dad!" I yelled. I was ecstatic. Just as I had been at Boneo Road. I waited at the line for Mike, his girls bringing him all the way through. Mission accomplished. We did it. More than 15 mins better than my estimate written on my arm.
It's funny you know, at the finish line you seek out others that you had interacted with over the final kms. There is some weird bond, a knowing, and yet I don't know them. We congratulated them, thanked random strangers with hugs and handshakes. There is a common understanding, a sense of pride for all who crossed that line, or helped us to cross it, volunteers, spectators, other runners our friends and family; they all become part of the journey. There is nothing better than crossing a finish line you thought may have been beyond your limit. Not just physical limitations, but mental too not to mention the time you need to train. It's hard work, and it all comes down to one day and one moment. You cross that line and that journey is over...until the next one.