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  • Writer's pictureDion Finocchiaro

Bec's first Ultra - The Archie

Last week l took on The Archie, my first official Ultra Run. I was so excited to nab a ticket to The Archie event up at Buller when tickets went on sale last year, apparently much like 2 Bays, they sell out fast!

The Archie/Hut to Hut event raises money and awareness for families living with Autism and all funds raised from the event are donated to many organisations committed to improving the lives of children living with Autism. Why wouldn’t you get behind it!

My husband has an older brother with Autism so supporting this was extra special to me.

I knew it was going to be a tough run, travelling 52km over Mt Buller, 14 river crossings and ascending over 2400m.

At 6.30am, Mt Buller, our run started just as the sun was rising over the mountains ..... absolutely magical to witness.

The Mandatory gear that was needed to be carried throughout the run in our packs was heavy, having only ever experienced carrying maybe some fluids and gels on other runs.

The course was hard to follow at times, the first part of the run had us tackle single file into a 4 Mile Descent on slow technical terrain scrambling over rocky cliff edges. I forgot I was a little scared of heights!!

The mountain climbing was brutal,

I love a hill climb and have done a tone in training out at the Dandenong's but nothing really could prepare me for getting down to the bottom of Mt Buller and then having to climb all the way back up ..... over 40km up. These were the kind of ascents you can only do with poles and a pause every km or so just to give the legs a second.

Throughout the day the temperature got to 30 degrees and with all the gear in the pack the river crossings were a godsend.

Those climbs just kept coming. And At some of the tough climb sections, you would come across another runner sitting or lying by the side of the track, you'd stop and ask if they were ok or needed anything, most of them just needing a rest or something to eat.

Hours passed so quickly and later in the day with about 7km to go a storm started developing out of nowhere, a big group of us were told to congregate at the last aid station and were told the race was being stopped for lightning protocols .... running with carbons pole was not safe.. we waited out the storm for about an hour. It was hard to get the body moving again after such a long period and once the ok to go was given we were told to leave our poles. We climbed to the Buller Summit without them. Runners started snapping off tree branches on the climb to help them get up to the Summit. 😂

Another runner I had seen multiple times throughout the run had her husband and 2 young boys following in a car and meeting her at every check point, and I saw her and her boys climbing the summit together, It made me teary thinking of my 2 little ones waiting for me.

I loved this event and have learnt so much about myself mentally and physically and look forward to tackling Duncan's run 50km next year, measurably as hard I'm told! Thank you Dion for being such a supportive coach. Your confidence in me helped me immeasurably. I really have struck gold with you!

All photo's provided by Rebecca Black (Bec).

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