Buffalo Stampede – Grand Slam 2021 Report

Captured at Bright by The Eventurers
  • Location: Bright, Victoria, Australia
  • Time:
    • SkySprint (10km): 1:09:40
    • Ultra-SkyMarathon (75km): 11:14:36
    • SkyMarathon (42km): DNS (Medically Withdrawn)
    • Grand Slam (10km+75km+42km): DNF
  • Date: 9-11/04/21
  • Overall Place:
    • SkySprint (10km): 4/154
    • Ultra-SkyMarathon (75km): Equal 6/60
    • SkyMarathon (42km): DNS (Medically Withdrawn)
    • Grand Slam (10km+75km+42km): DNF
  • Full Results

Back to the mountains! It’d only been 2 months since my last mountain ultra, Oscars 100 Hut 2 Hut but it’d felt much longer than that. Maybe because I’d run 3 ultras and 1 big swim since, taking me all around Victoria from the coast at Wilsons Prom to the East in Tarra-Bulga National Park. A lot had gone on in my personal life too, it’d been a hectic couple months with some high high’s and low low’s, plagued with niggles and injuries. But here I was in one piece, still not 100% but looking forward to taking on the Buffalo Stampede Grand Slam. What is the Grand Slam? Australia’s Buffalo Stampede offers numerous distances over 3 days, the 10km SkySprint, 20km SkyRun, 42km SkyMarathon and the 75km Ultra SkyMarathon, most people will take on 1 or 2 of these difficult races however theres an option to take on the ultimate challenge, which is to complete 3 of these races over the 3 days; The 10km SkySprint on Friday evening, the 75km Ultra SkyMarathon on the Saturday and the 42km SkyMarathon on the Sunday, this is called the Grand Slam and completing it is an impressive achievement. Me being me had to take on the hardest race or group of races, so when I decided to sign up for the Buffalo Stampede the only option was to sign up for The Grand Slam. The Grand Slam races themselves aren’t easy either, the elevation is pretty hectic. The 10km SkySprint has a good 512m of ascent and descent taking runners up Mystic Mountain and back starting at Bright, the 75km Ultra SkyMarathon has a huge 4,445m of ascent and descent as it takes runners up Mount Buffalo and back from Bright, and the 42km SkyMarathon has a solid 1,997m ascent and 2,995m descent, starting at the top of Mount Buffalo and taking runners to Bright. A solid challenge for any keen ultra-runner.

10km SkySprint

The 10km SkySprint was an evening twilight run starting at 5pm on the Friday. I was working Friday until 11am, so had to make the 5 hour drive from work straight too Bright for the run. Not ideal but at least it meant I wouldn’t be anxious about the race itself, I’d be too busy worrying about missing the race. I got to Bright at around 4:20pm and by the time I parked the car, got to race registration and quickly got changed (leaving my work socks on) I only had 10 minutes until race time. I went straight to the start line pretty much, stopping only to chat to a few legends on the way. Race briefing begun pretty much as I got there starting just below Bright Brewery, there was a good 100-150 runners at the start line. At the start line I started to talk to and get some advice from a fellow runner called Christian, a face I remembered from GSER100 (one of Australia’s hardest 100 milers). This would be Christians sixth time at the Buffalo Stampede Festival and I believe his fourth time completing (I could be wrong here) the Grand Slam. He was a strong runner and I was happy to get any advice I could about the upcoming weekend, before long the awesome team at SingleTrack Events had finished their race brief, Christian and I stopped chatting and we were off! The first couple hundred metres sucked for me due to my tight and sore upper hamstring/glute, this had been a lingering niggle since February, it was still causing me trouble nearly 3 months later! It became manageable as it warmed up though. At first the course has you running along Morses Creek and through Bright Caravan Park before eventually taking you into Mystic Park and up Mount Mystic via some steep fire-trail before you start the descent back down towards the start line. However instead of coming down the fire-trail you came up you make your way down via some pretty gnarly, winding mountain bike trails. As we ran through the caravan park I found myself in a top 3 position which was both surprising and awesome. I was going at what I considered a good pace but not a top 3 place, this encouraged me to push a little harder to see if maybe I could win? I did and after 2-3km I found myself in the lead, all the way past the caravan park and to the foot of the start of the climb at Mystic Mountain. It was a steep climb, and pretty long for that matter and it wasn’t long before I lost the lead. I started walking about halfway up the hill whilst the eventual winner hopped up like a bloody mountain goat. Being a flat earth runner I’m always amazed at these amazing mountain athletes, who just seem to float up these mountains, they make it look so effortless! Before I knew it I was passed by another two runners, who weren’t as graceful as the leader but were still undoubtedly strong going up. After a little over 1km I made it to the top, that’s about 500m elevation gain in a little over 1km, not bad…. At the top I was greeted by the photographers, The Eventurers who were ready and waiting to snap some photos. Saying a quick hello I ran past and started the descent down the other side of the mountain. The descent was pretty fun as you made your way down the winding switchback mountain bike tracks. Left to, right, left to right, it got pretty steep at times. I pushed hard, probably too hard considering I was running 75km the following day, descents like this take it out of your quads. I was in fourth position though and I was keen to place. After about 1-2km of descending I got my first glimpse at third, Aaron Knight, a gun mountain athlete. I thought maybe I was catching him but deep down I knew I didn’t really have any business catching a guy of that caliber, I continued to push anyway…… Letting the brakes come off I thought I was blasting down the hills however never caught Aaron and by the time I got to the bottom I’d ran a little over 9km. This gave me time to try and catch Aaron on the flats as the “10km SkySprint” was really 12-13km. It was an out and back course so I followed the same trail I’d just ran along before ascending Mystic Mountain, running through the caravan park and along Morses Creek again, except in reverse. I pushed, my legs feeling heavy from the descent and my hamstring/glute feeling tight, but even though I was pushing I never caught Aaron. 10km, 11km, 12km, the km’s flew by and before I knew it I’d run through the caravan park, and was running though the finishing arch at Bright Brewery. 1:09:40 was my time, I came in fourth place, I was happy with the result even though I would’ve loved to place. Race 1 of The Grand Slam complete, congratulations to all place getter of the SkySprint and to all of those who finished, and also to SingleTrack Events for setting up a great course and race. The atmosphere was awesome which also brings me to a huge thank you to the volunteers!!!


Some quick facts about the lead up to the 75km Ultra Skymarathon post the 10km SkySprint. Fact 1) I left my socks on overnight, yeah the ones I worked in and ran the 10km in, I also ran the 75km in them. I paid the price for this. Fact 2) I had a nap in my car and was pulled over by the police for an alcohol breath test. I’d driven to Bright straight from work, ran the SkySprint, got a free massage post race, organised my gear and bought snacks and dinner, by the time I did all this it was 10pm and I still had to drive to my campsite and set up my tent. I had to be up at 4am the next day though, to get ready for the Ultra SkyMarathon so by the time I did all that in the dark I was looking at a 12am bed time which meant 3-4 hours sleep…. I decided I’d forget driving to the campsite and I’d just sleep in my car in the carpark, this was a mistake. A group of kids knocked on the car and eventually someone called the police….. Before the police came though, unaware they had been called I had an instinct to get up and drive out of the carpark and as I did a police car pulled in. As I drove away they followed me and pulled me over for a breath test. Luckily I don’t drink alcohol and they let me go, anyway after that I decided I’d drive to camp site and just find a spot to park and sleep in the car. Thats exactly what I did, great lead up. Fact 3) My glute/hamstring was super tight from sleeping in the car and I had to walk with a slight limp. So in summary I had one of the worst possible lead ups to this 75km Ultra SkyMarathon, which honestly motivated me for some stupid reason.

So waking up at 4am in my car at the campsite, I quickly made breakfast (peanut butter sandwiches), drank some water and drove back to Bright Brewery (The start line), I also sprayed a s**t load of deodorant because I hadn’t showered since working and running the previous day…. Arriving at the Bright Brewery carpark at around 4:30am I had 1 and a half hours to get ready with the race starting at 6am and race brief around 5:45am. I started getting all my gear ready, taking my time, making sure I had all the mandatory gear plus enough food, gels, etc. I was tired and feeling anxious so was extremely slow as I fumbled around my car to find all the things I needed. It took me from 4-5:30am to get everything in order and ready, a big relief. Finally I could focus purely on just running and forget the complete mess that was my accommodation situation and state of the inside of the car, at least until I finished the 75km and had to do it al again for the 42km SkyMarathon the next day…… Its funny I felt no excitement or anxiousness about the actual race, it was the last thing on my mind even though it was the reason I was there! Walking to the start line I felt relaxed for the first time since leaving work the previous day. The race briefing began nearly right away and it wasn’t long before it was finished and I found myself at the start line, the same start line as the previous days SkySprint. In fact the start of the course was identical to the first half of yesterdays SkySprint, like the SkySpirnt we were to ran along Morses Creek and through the caravan park before making our way up Mystic Mountain. 6am hit and we were all off, somewhere between 50-75 runners, there wasn’t a lot of us. I felt horrible! Slow, sluggish and my glute/hamstring was killing me, “f**k, this is gonna be a long day” I thought to myself, I knew the glute and hamstring would warm up eventually and I also knew there would be a bit of hiking which wasn’t painful so I knew I’d be alright on that front. It was a cold morning too, I had my beanie on and most runners had their jackets on, a fresh start. I remember clearly at about the 3km mark I was in a top 5 position but did not care one bit, I didn’t want to be running, I wanted to pull out. I couldn’t pull out though, I hadn’t put up with all the s**t overnight and driven 4-5 hours to Bright to pull out of the main race! And I don’t quit in general, it’s not who I am, so as I attempted to turn my brain off and put one foot in front of the other, keep moving forward… Quick fact about myself, the most influential movie to me and/or character is Rocky. As a kid thats who I wanted to be, my values, my physical attributes, I wanted to be the real life Rocky. I carried a lot of these attributes with me as I’ve gotten older, and the mantra “keep moving forward” has helped me get through a lot of situations were all I wanted to do was give up 🙂 Anyway it wasn’t long before I’d run to the first climb of the race, Mystic Mountain, this is were I started hiking/running with my would be running partner for the whole race, Christian who was also my biggest competitor when it came to winning the overall Grand Slam. We started chatting as we hiked up Mount Mystic, honestly I didn’t want to talk to anyone due to the mood I was in but luckily the feeling of guilt for being rude and not talking outweighed the want to stay quiet. After 5 minutes I forgot I was miserable and started enjoying talking to Christian as we made our way up to the Mystic Launchpad. Once we reached Mystic Launchpad (the turn around point for the 10km SpySprint & also pretty much the top of the mountain) we continued straight on, making a gentle descent along a dirt road. This was one of the few parts you got some smooth running, mind you it only lasted 500 metres or so before we started to descend Mystic Mountain. This eventually led to some ridiculously steep and kind of technical trail known as Micks Track. It’s a narrow trail so I let Christian start ahead, the more experienced and better runner, I didn’t want to slow him down. We made our way down, my full focus on the trail, a slip here which was easy to do would send you flying down the trail on your a** and I wasn’t keen to find out what’d happen if that happened… I was running down with my brakes half on, I wasn’t confident enough to fully take off the brakes but I also wasn’t slamming the brakes on, I was cautiously speeding. It felt good at the start but after a while it started to get exhausting mentally due to the intense focus I was using. My toe was also starting to kill me, remember when I mentioned I never changed my socks? This was the first indicator something was wrong, my toes started to kill which is too be expected eventually but not this soon. I’d find out later it was because my skin was wet and soft, I’d started to develop trench food and this made my toes more tender, and more susceptible to damage. Anyway luckily we made it to the bottom of Micks Track before it became too painful, towards the end of the Micks track descent we were greeted by Velta (one half of the awesome photographers, The Eventurers), she took some snaps of us descending the last 20 metres of the track. I’m not going to lie I was scared I’d run right into her! Sorry Velta if I got a little close!! It was good to be down but we couldn’t enjoy it too much, before I knew it we were starting another climb, this time up too Clearspot Lookout. This was a steep climb!! Christian and I pushed our way up, breathing hard, legs burning, it never seemed to end. Luckily the wide fire-trail trail was dry! Climbing up this track in the wet would’ve added some serious difficulty. In-between breaths Christian and I managed to talk here and there as we made our way up the stupidly steep track. I was really enjoying Christians company, and his pace seemed to match my own, it was here the thought came to mind that it’d be cool if we could finish the race together. I knew this was a long shot though because we were going to be racing for 10+ hours and staying the same pace with a competitor for that long is nearly impossible, as one person bonks whilst the other feels good. Anyway we continued the climb and eventually made our way up to Clearspot lookout after a good 20 minutes or so. We were greeted so some beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and of Bright at the top, there was also an aid station which was nice. Stopping only to refill our water and to grab some lollies we didn’t stay long, and before we knew it we were running once again.

The next couple km’s of the course included some gradual descents and ascents along some fire-trail before another steep descent. It was around here another runner past Christian and myself as we talked away, we were’t too fussed about this though. Our main goal for today was to finish and to still be feeling good for the 42km the following day, whilst leading The Grand Slammers. We where about 13-14km into the course at this point and were meeting both of these goals. I was also in a much better headspace at this point of the race thanks to Christian so things were good. I was still a little anxious about my sore glute/hamstring as it was still sore whilst running but since much of the course was hiking up mountains and running down it wasn’t too bad. The weather was almost perfect too, the perfect temperature, my only wish was it was a little clearer so I could take in more of the views. So once we made our way along the gradual ascents and descents we eventually reached the steep descent which took us off the fire-trail and onto the road. For a good 4-5km we ran along the quiet local roads as we passed some farmland with the odd house here and there. This was also were another aid station was located, on the left hand side of the road. Christian and I didn’t stop at the aid station though, deciding to continue to head straight on, shuffling at no great speed. It wasn’t long before we left the road and entered Mount Buffalo National Park, greeted to some more fire-trail. Surrounded by trees and shrubs this is where another climb began, up Keating Ridge I believe, this was a much more gentle climb in comparison to Clearspot Lookout or Mystic Mountain. Being gradual it did last a while though! Christian and I were able to run some and then walk some, we pretty much did this all the way to the top. You couldn’t really tell you were up the top though, as you were still beneath the tree-line however the track become flat for 500m or so and then before we knew it you were starting the gradual descent back down. Christian and I were both feeling good and were making good time, still holding 4th, 5th or 6th place. It didn’t take us long to get to the end of the descent which eventually led us off the fire-trail and onto a stretch of asphalt road perfectly named Mount Buffalo Road. This marked the 23-24km mark of the run. After about 500m of asphalt road running Christian and I where at Eurobin Creek (another checkpoint), I stopped here to go to the toilet whilst Christian refuelled. I told Christian not to wait for me which he didn’t which was good, its a common ultra ethic that you don’t expect anyone to wait for you. Once I left the toilet Christian was gone, I quickly grabbed some lollies and refuelled my water flasks at the aid-station before heading off in an attempt to catch Christian.

Pushing a little too hard as I made my way up the single track trail called “The Big Walk” it wasn’t too long before I caught Christian, taking me 20 minutes or so. I ended up paying for it for the next half hour though feeling like I was on the verge of bonking. Luckily though after two gels and some water I was refreshed and continued to push on with Christian. As I mentioned above we were now running along The Big Walk trail which took us from the Eurobin Creek checkpoint to the next checkpoint at Mount Buffalo Chalet. Heading in this direction (Eurobin Creek to Mount Buffalo) the trail was pretty much all uphill (10km with about 1126m of elevation). Some parts we ran other parts we walked as the trail changed from gradual single trail track to some awkward granite rock faces as we made our way out of the trees. Whilst running/hiking along the granite rock surface part of the trail you could see there would’ve been some amazing views of the Victorian Alps, however due to a blanket of cloud and fog we couldn’t see much at all. It was also getting pretty cold, I felt warm however I knew it was cold because my fingers started to go numb and I started to struggle to move them. Anyway Chistian and I continued up “The Big Walk” making our way to Mount Buffalo Chalet, after the granite rocks we made our way back amongst the trees and along some switchback trails, this eventually led to some more established gravel trails which we followed until we reached Mount Buffalo Chalet carpark and checkpoint! This marked about 35km in, pretty much halfway! I was feeling pretty good, legs were tired from all the climbing but was feeling pretty fresh and in high spirits. Having Christians company was a blessing. Up at the checkpoint I was lucky enough to have the amazing Elise help me out with getting the things I needed from the checkpoint, Elise is always giving up here time to volunteer and help others, super helpful and cheerful, thank you Elise!

Once Christian and I refuelled and refilled our packs and water bottles we head off. Next part of the course was a kind of loop at the top of Mount Buffalo, we’d run along some gravel trail along Catani River (an artificial lake at the top of the mountain!) then up some rocky trails before reaching “Chalwell Galleries”. Chalwell Galleries is a group of monumental rock formations that has you scrambling and squeezing through rock gaps, it’s a pretty epic obstacle to add to an ultra. Christian and I shuffled along the trail along Catani River, we hopped over the rocky trails and squeezed through Chalwell Galleries before making the return back to the Mount Buffalo Chalet checkpoint. It was definitely colder up the top of Mount Buffalo! Reaching the Mount Buffalo Chalet carpark checkpoint for the second time marked around the 41-42km of the course, it also meant it was time to head back to Bright. The run back was along the same trails we used to get to where we were which in my opinion was a great thing because most of it was downhill, with a few steep ascents (back up Clearspot and Mystic Mountain) towards the end.

Starting our descent down Mount Buffalo back along The Big Walk was nice, switchback after switchback we went further and further down, as we did we could feel the air warming up, leaving the fog behind us. Coming down we also passed quite a few other runners as they made their way up. Christian and I were top 10 I knew that, where within that top 10 I wasn’t sure but seeing the other runners run up made me aware we weren’t really that far in front of majority of the other runners. Running down the single trail switchback required a good amount of focus, there was lots of little rocks and uneven parts of trail that would be easy to trip over, and I was not keen to fall over now. It wasn’t long before we were off the single track switchback trails and back onto the granite rock surface paths we were running on earlier. If it was wet these surfaces would’ve been extremely slippery so I was counting my blessings. At around the 47km mark we were off the granite rock and back onto some single track, running along The Big Walk, heading back towards the Eurobin Creek checkpoint. My toe at this point was killing me, each step running downwards f**king hurt, like kicking a rock with every step. I tried descending on the sides of my feet, I tried running on the heels of my feet but there was no sustainable way to avoid the toe issue. I had to suck it up and deal with it, other than that my quads were killing me from the amount climbing and descending we’d already done. It was funny, whilst descending I couldn’t wait for the descent to stop so I could start climbing and give my trashed quads and sore toe a break and whilst climbing I couldn’t wait the hill to end so I could “relax” somewhat. It was a constant battle of the grass is always greener on the other side. Luckily I had Christian with me and our conversations kept me distracted enough to make the run still somewhat enjoyable, even with all the pain. Continuing to descend amongst the tree’s it wasn’t long before we reached Eurobin Creek for the second time, we’d run around 52km at this point and were on the home stretch. We’d been running for over 7 hours at this point but besides my trashed quads and toe I was feeling good and in high spirits, so was Christian. We refuel and restocked at the Eurobin Creek checkpoint, and then head off. Running along Mount Buffalo Road for a little bit before making our way back onto the trails along Keating Ridge.

Out and backs are weird because when you retrace yours steps on the return journey it always feels faster than it did during the first half of the run. I was feeing this especially here, even though we were sore and exhausted time went faster. I had to double take to realise we were already running back up the gentle Keating Ridge climb. Again it felt so much faster running back up, before I knew it we were up and running back down along the wide track. Some other runners started to catch us here though, which I wasn’t too bothered by but would be lying to say it didn’t effect me at all, Christian and I were still leading the “Grand Slammers” but theres always that competitor in me that doesn’t like people passing me. Making things even worse was whilst coming down I had to run off the side of the track to go to the toilet again. Like last time I told Christian to keep going, this was super disappointing because I was sure at this point we’d be finishing together. However with me having to stop to go to the toilet this would most likely put an end to this happening, as Christian would be too far in front after me stopping. And I didn’t have enough left in me to push and catch Christian (so I thought). Anyway I told Christian to keep on running by which he responded by saying “you’ve gotta catch me” or something like that. Point is I think he was keen for us to finish together too, however stopping was not an option for him. By the time I finished going to the toilet 3-4 runners had passed me and I was sure I’d never see Christian again. However keeping in mind the end was close once I started running again I found some extra energy to really push, running parts I would’ve walked and running faster in other parts I would’ve leisurely shuffled along. For the first time all day I was in racing mode, the want to finish with Christian motivated me to push, after 15 minutes or so I was out of Mount Buffalo National Park and back onto the road, running past houses and farms. I passed all the runners who passed me here, it spurred me on to keep pushing to catch Christian. I was close to bonking though, I couldn’t keep this up for too much longer and as I hit a long gradual climb along the road I really started to feel it. I was about 61km in at this point and knowing I only had 14km left helped to spur me on as I pushed. Another km passed and it wasn’t long before I was off the road and back onto the fire trails, climbing up to Clearspot Lookout. The climbs were long and steep however I could see Christian in the distance climbing, “gotta keep pushing, I can catch him” I muttered t myself. I began the hike up to Clearspot, using my running/trekking poles to aid my legs and give me some rhythm. The track was wide, dry and steep and around me the clouds had blocked out the sun, it was grey but perfect temperature for an ultramarathon, if it was hotter I would’ve been really hurting. Hiking up the track as fast as I could I was getting closer to Christian, I was actually going to catch him. I felt like I was gasping for air and was concerned that once I caught him I’d be too exhausted to keep up but that was for future me to deal with, my immediate goal was to catch him. The climb never seemed to end but I could see I was catching Christian, this kept my spirits high. As I got higher, I got closer and after a good 30 minutes I’d caught him! I was stoked, so was Christian by his reaction (well I hope he was) looks likes we’d finishing this race together after all. It’s extremely rare to run a whole ultramarathon with someone, especially when it’s not planned. The chances that both of your paces would match up is so small. Together we pushed up to Clearspot lookout, another legend started to tag along with us here, Dean. Dean who I met earlier on the year had caught us and started running with us, so the three of us made our way up to Clearspot. Briefly stopping at the Clearspot checkpoint the three of us grabbed some food and water and started the descent down into Bakers Gully and towards Mystic Mountain. This was the most painful part of the whole race, the decent was steep and never seemed to end, my toe screaming at me and my quads completely trashed. I actually had to stop a couple of times whilst going down to catch my breath and get relief from the pain for a little bit. I wasn’t the only one though, both Christian and Dean were hurting. The three of us were like wounded birds trying to cross a road! Slowly and cautiously “running down”. Once we made it down we had little reprieve, as pretty straight away we started the infamous Mick’s Track climb which took us to the top of Mystic Mountain. Short and sharp this ascent, quads burning, lungs screaming we hiked the climb, I found myself breaking away from Christian, and Christian broke away from Dean, not by much though. Head down, one step in front of the other I climbed and climbed, it was definitely a motivating factor this was the last climb of the race, and once up it was basically a little bit of gradual climbing, a descent down Mystic Mountain and then a flat 2-3km run back along Morses Creek to the finish. I made it up, waited a short 20 seconds for Christian and then we took off, leaving Dean behind. I felt bad leaving Dean behind however was happy to see him catch us and then run pass us not long after. Christian and I still together got to the top of Mystic Mountain via the dirt fire trail, ran down Mystic Mountain which hurt however was nothing in comparison to the descent down Clearspot. Once down the feeling that we were gong to finish hit me, we’d done it, it was an easy 2-3km flat run back to the finish. With that being said it did drag on forever! Christian and I couldn’t believe it, we’d run the whole 75km together, over 11 hours! This never happens in ultramarathons, especially unplanned and it was such a privilege. We shuffled along to the finish at Bright Brewery at a 6 minute per km pace. Crossing the finish line in equal 6th position with a time of 11:14:36. Besides the toe I was actually feeling pretty good, and felt in good shape to tackle the 42km marathon the next day.

42km Marathon

My first “Did Not Start (DNS)”! After getting some food and freshening up after the 75km ultramarathon I paid a visit to Endurance Medical Services (EMS) in regards to my toe. It was extremely sore to the point where I had to walk with a limp, it also looked horrible, I thought it best to pay a visit to the EMS team to see if they could fix it up a bit for the marathon the following day. The result? Unexpectedly I was medically withdrawn, prohibited from running the marathon the next day due to concern abut bone infection and permanent damage to the nail bed. I was shattered, I was leading the Grand Slam by a little over a minute, Christian and I were set to battle it out for the Grand Slam title in the marathon! To make it even worse it was supposed to snow (and did) which was an experience that I was devastated to miss out on! Anyway it was recommend I get myself to the emergency department at hospital to have a look at the toe due to the potential infection. I didn’t want to try and sleep in the car again when I wasn’t racing so thought, f**k it I may as well just drive home and stop by at the local hospital on the way. So that’s what I did…. here I was 8-9pm at night driving home on a 5 hour drive after running 75km, feeling like s**t. Usually I’d be super stoked after running an ultramarathon but this time I felt empty, tired, sore and disappointed. It was a long drive, stopping three time to nap on the side of the road but eventually at around 6-7am I walked into hospital on Sunday morning as the marathon runners would’ve started their runs in the snow! I’d be lying to say I wasn’t jealous of all these legends running the marathon in the snow, and of Christian as he smashed out The Grand Slam! I was also angry at EMS for not letting me race, I love the EMS crew and respect all of them dearly but I really didn’t understand why I had to be pulled for my toe. I knew they do there best to keep all runners racing so I didn’t understand why they thought my toe was that bad! In hindsight I understand, and I was being immature, although it still disappointments me I appreciate EMS’s decision to pull me and am grateful for them doing so. It also gives me hunger to come back in 2022 to attempt the Grand Slam again!

I just wanted to take the time to thank the race organisers (Single Track) and volunteers for putting on The Buffalo Stampede, it extremely well run and the volunteers did an amazing job as usual, assisting runners and putting on bright and cheery faces. Look forward to seeing you all in Bright in 2022!

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