July – Dec 2014

Well, 2014 was certainly a hectic year for us! For those who have been following my journey, you would know most of it but for those who don’t, here is a little re-cap!

The start of the year saw me deciding to defer my physiotherapy studies and have a year off to move to the Sunshine Coast. This all happened pretty quickly in the end and we were fortunate enough to find a beautiful house to house sit in Diddillibah. It was a beautiful spot and we enjoyed our time there. Tegs was able to get a job at Elenbie Hairdressers and I was able to get a job at Kunara Organic Marketplace.

After this time we struggled to find a place we would love to live in and ended up in a townhouse in Buderim. Whilst this was ok, we very quickly got over it and our jobs also began to not be as enjoyable. So, as a family we decided to move back to Bundaberg. There were a number of reasons for this, some being the cost of living, travel times, wanting the girls in a nice school and wanting to be closer to the beach and the lifestyle that has to offer. We were both able to get our old jobs back also which was amazing!

We subsequently moved back to Bundy and lived at mum and dads for a couple of months. It was super nice of them to have us. Just before Christmas though, we were able to find our perfect place, one street back from the beach at Bargara. It is a beautiful little beach shack and we are in love. Sometimes in life we have to take a few sideways steps to end up where we are meant to be! This spot is incredible!

On the running front, I faced a couple of challenging injuries this year, however showed perseverance and dealt with them as they come. I was super stoked with how I did at Glasshouse 100miler and Blackall 100 races and have some loftier race goals for 2015. Overall, 2014 was not too bad a year of racing and training, practically being able to hit some beautiful trails whilst living on the coast. I ended up doing – Just shy of 4000k running, 5 ultra marathon races and had a stack load of fun!

Going forward into 2015, there will be a lot more running, a lot of relaxing at the beach shack, family time, Pria starting Prep, and me studying….yep, I have been accepted into secondary PE teaching and am super keen to get into it!

I just want to thank everyone who has helped make my year awesome, and kick my butt when I needed it! Injinji Performance Products have continued to be awesome with my sponsorship and I have met some beautiful, amazing people this year without doubt! I love you all, thank you for sharing this year with me and I hope and pray we can all learn and grow from last year and have an amazingly super 2015. Get after it friends, get on the plants and love life more and more every day! Peace!

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Well, the last couple of months have been pretty wild.  We have moved back to Bundy and have been living under mum and dads house.  Whilst it has been very kind of them to take us in, it is time to move on and we are really looking forward to having our own place again.

When moving back, we didn’t want to go back to having a new, ‘lego’ type house.  We wanted something close to the beach with trees, character and some simple charm.  Long story short, we have been able to get a two bedroom (with an office nook) house, designed by a surfer, one street back from the beach at Bargara.  There is no dishwasher, a cute yard and is walking distance to the beach.  We have been minimising our stuff for the last year but will have to do so even more now.  Tegan and I are SO excited for this next chapter in our lives and living so close to the ocean is going to be an incredible experience.

With the pending move, I have also decided to get my act together and start posting some videos to my YouTube channel.  At this point in time, I only have two, VERY ordinary videos on there which I posted about a year ago.  I look forward to posting some videos about our everyday lives, food videos, training talks etc.  It will be some fun and I hope something I can sustain.

Appart from all that, life is good and training is going well.  I have Hares and Hounds coming up in the next couple of weeks and a big schedule of races ahead in 2015.  I have made some updates to my website, so have a scroll through the pages and see whats up!

Everything else is cruising along nicely.  Pria graduated from Pre-School last night and is starting prep next year.  Tegan is loving her work and now sporting a new summer cut!  Looking good.  My work is great and I am looking forward to it getting nice and busy with the holidays kicking off very soon.

We are blessed friends and can’t wait for some new adventures at the end of the year and going into 2015.  2014 hasn’t been the easiest for us as a family in a lot of ways, but in others it has been incredibly character building, we have learnt a lot of lessons and met some beautiful new friends.  Life is all about the journey, learning, growing, being malleable and going with what is given to us, good and bad.  I pray you are well, looking forward to Christmas and Ill catch ya soon.  Peace.

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Blackall 100

Well my year of running was to be capped off with a new and what was shaping up to be a beautiful event called the Blackall 100.  100km through the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, some of which I had run in training.  The start of my year was fairly inconsistent with various niggling injuries so I have been excited about the back half, now running injury free and training well.

Blackall was being put on by my friends Alun and Brett.  I had a lot of friends going and a number of us commented that the race lead up felt more like a long group run with a heap of besties than an actual race!  I headed down to the coast with mum, dad and my ma and pa as Tegan had to work the Friday and would come down later that night with the girls.  We arrived mid afternoon, relaxed, went down to register, had some dinner and then returned for race briefing.  All pretty standard.  It was shaping up to be a hot day and with 3k of vertical gain, this course is no joke.

I awoke on Saturday morning pretty cold actually and went through my usual pre-race-get-ready routine.  We all headed down to the race start where I met with all my buddies and the party was about to start!  After a short time, the bell was rung and off we went.  The leaders went off at a crazy pace but I was happy to hang back a bit, get in my rhythm and bide my time a little.  I ran for a little with Jody, the guy I have been coaching the last few months who was doing his first 100k.  He was excited and stoked to have things underway.  After a little, I took off and found myself running on my own for a while, enjoying the foggy, cool morning, knowing it would heat up soon.

After some k’s we completed a loop of the Kondallia Falls where on the way back up I met up with an Irish guy named Ian.  We got chatting and stuck together.  He was doing his first 100k and was a cool guy so I thought I would hang with him for a while.  We arrived back at base (23k) in about 2hr 30min.  Good time.  After saying a quick gday to Tegs and the girls, it was off again, Ian and I sticking together.  All went pretty uneventful up until about 35k, apart from a pretty decent stack, when things started to go a little south.

I started to feel the pinch a bit around this time due to it being hot, and going through a dry section of the course with no breeze.  I battled through to Checkpoint 3 at about the marathon mark.  I was hot but was able to douse my body in iced water and get some food in which felt good.  Ian and I then left the aid station and what a surprise we were about to get!

We then started a climb of switchbacks which was an unrelenting 2.5km straight up!  I suffered through this and haven’t experienced a climb like this in these conditions.  We eventually made it to the top however I was dizzy, had blurred vision and in a pretty ordinary way. At the top there was a bush toilet with a tank and tap.  There were some people there and I asked them about drinking the water which they said was fine.  I basically laid under the tap and refilled my bottles.

Nearly my whole body wet, Ian and I then head off again, feeling a heck of a lot more refreshed and running again.  This lasted for about an hour maybe, moving through some good trail, another good climb and un-relenting heat.  We were constantly looking out for a place we could dunk our bodies to cool our cores however all the waterholes we found were stagnate and we weren’t willing to risk it.  We got to a point, Im not sure what k mark, where there was to be a unmanned water station.  Upon arrival…..NO WATER!  We tried not to think about it, just focusing on moving ahead.

After a short time, things started going bad again.  We were already using fluids sparingly but ran out about half to three quarters of an hour out from Checkpoint 4.  I wasn’t good.  I was again dizzy, couldn’t see properly and had pins and needles in my whole arms as well as my lips….a bad sign of severe dehydration.  We basically had to walk the last half an hour into the Checkpoint as I was on the verge of passing out and didn’t want to rise things anymore.  I worked out that this section took us nearly three hours……too long without an aid station!

We got to Checkpoint 4, saw my good friend and aid station captain Ann and needed fuel.  I loaded up on fluids, food and tried to cool myself as much as I could.  After a short break here and catch up with crew, we headed off again out to Checkpoint 5.  This section had some sharp ups and downs and was here that Ian started to slow a little on the climbs.  I was committed to stay with him until the end however it was pretty clear that he was in his own headspace and happy to go his own pace without me pushing him.  We arrived at Checkpoint 5 (70k) and I had come back to life!  Although I had only gone to the toilet twice the whole day and it was nearly brown, I felt good again and ready to rock.  My legs felt great all day, it was just the heat and dehydration that wrecked me!

After leaving Checkpoint 5 for a lap of the lake, Ian said to go, that he appreciated my company and help but that he didn’t want to hold me back.  He had done an amazing job in his first tonne!  I felt bad leaving him but was keen to get this party started.  I then began to lay the hammer down.  The lap around the lake back to Checkpoint 5 went well, hiking hard and running all the downs and flats.  I arrived back to Checkpoint 5, refuelled again quickly and then was out of there.  I had a good chat with organiser Brett and my mate Marty (White Caviar) who were driving along in the car.  After they left, I continued to run/hike hard before arriving back at Anns aid station.  I enjoyed getting back into a good rhythm and was loving the back half of the race.

After a quick stop off at Checkpoint 4 and grabbing my vest and headlamp, I started the 8-9km last leg home.  It was here that I really started ripping in and based on feel, was knocking over sub 5min k’s quite easily.  This section is some beautiful, technical single track which I ran pretty ambitiously.  I got back to the road section and keep the hammer down all the way into the finish, still not needing my safety gear or headlamp.  I ran through the finish chute, stopping the clock and ringing the bell in 12hr 35min 41sec.  6th male and 8th overall.  Done and dusted!

On reflection, although I suffered in this race like I never have before, I worked my way though, suffered proper but got the job done.  I have never done it so tough in a race before and was ready to quit twice, something I NEVER consider.  It is events like this that build you into the person you become.  If ultra trail running was easy, everyone would do it.  One of the lures is just that, it is bloody hard!  Especially when you throw Queensland heat and good quality climbing into the mix.  In my opinion and a number of others, although it has 2k less climbing, because of the heat, this event is harder than The North Face 100 in the Blue Mountains.  I persevered, did what I could with what I had and came out on top.  A rough day at the office, but one I will remember for a long time….at least until next year when we do it all again!

A big thanks to Alun, Brett, the volunteers and all the team at Run Queensland.  Also, to my sponsor Injinji Performance Products for hooking a brother up with gear.  To my beautiful family and friends who supported us out on the course, I love you all.  To my buddies that finished and gave their all, well done!  Meagan, Sammy, Andrew, Tylana, Jody (MASSIVE effort on your first 100 mate, AMAZING), Dad, Lee, Ian (pleasure to get to know you mate), Karly (50k), Anna (50k – her first and she crushed it!) and anyone I have forgotten, I love you all and its a privilege to call you my trail family!

Here ends racing for 2014 and it has been a blast!  I can not wait to continue on this path of exploring, racing, training, building a vegan running body day by day, and loving life with my friends, family and nature.  Run free friends, love God, bless others and smile always!  See ya next time!

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Where have you been all my life?!

Well friends, first of all SORRY!  It has been weeks since I have posted a blog and for some reason (not really sure why) I just haven’t got around to throwing one up!  Things have been pretty busy since the 100miler.  We packed half our townhouse up and moved back to Bundaberg.  We have been living at mum and dads place as we still have a lease on our place in Buderim.  This is up mid December when we will get our own place down at beautiful Bargara.  Tegan, the kids and I have all fallen back into the swing of things here and enjoying the simple life again.  Tegs is back at her old job and loving it, the girls are at a new kindy which they are enjoying and I am really stoked with my new position at the Windmill at Bargara.  All good.  We have been really appreciative to mum and dad for having us stay however super keen to get our own little place down at the beach and set up house again.

Running wise, I have really missed the trails and hills of the Sunny Coast.  That being said, I have gotten in some good milage and still managed to get some vert in, running round and round, up and down the one hill we have here, the Hummock.  It is a dormant volcano so I have dubbed it Cano.  It is like my new home!  Everyone laughs as I have worn in a full on goat track on a vacant block I do repeats on….hay, a goats gotta do what a goats gotta do!

I had two weeks off after the miler which I really needed and slowly worked back into things.  My body was pretty darn beat up after that race and I really needed the rest!  Since then I have logged weeks with vert of 72.5k (267m), 100.3km (690m), 122.8km (1050m), 130.7km (1600m), 77.7km (334m).  So, just goes to show, if you want to do something, you just have to put your mind and body to work and make it happen.  Even if it means running the same tracks over and over again!

This weekend is the Blackall 100k race.  I have been looking forward to this race all year and run some of the trails up there and can not wait to get amongst the action!  It is amazingly beautiful and were gonna catch up with some of our good friends so we can’t wait for the fun of the weekend to begin!

Appart from that, all has been great!  It was dads 60th Birthday last week, mine next week and Prias soon.  We have caught up with a heap of our old friends and generally enjoying life.  I hope to find out about Uni this month so I am eagerly awaiting that email!

For now, thats it!  Just a quick catch up blog to send you all some love, good vibes and prayers.  I hope you are living life to the fullest, smiling and aiming to make every day better than yesterday!  Remember, tomorrow will never come!  Peace and plants friends.  Mat

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Hay y’all! Hope this blog finds you all fit and well!

Well it has been just over two weeks since the 100miler…hard to believe! I am still trying to get my head around my result and am still overwhelmed at how well I did! I have used this two weeks to rest, move back to Bundy and start my new job at the Windmill Cafe, owned by Darryl and Lisa of Nanas Pantry. It has been a beautiful, relaxing, fun experience and I am so happy to be working there! Come on down and say gday!

I started training again Monday and am just taking it easy this week. My left middle quad got pretty jacked up in the race so I have been especially cautious of this. It has slowly come good, I got a massage, and the running actually seems to be loosening it up which is great. During my two weeks off I was pretty irritable and non-energenic and I couldn’t figure out why…..it was only when I started running again Monday and I have been so happy again ever since that I realised it was because I haven’t been training! Ugh! Anyway, back to normal now and with just under six weeks to go to Blackall 100 I am super pumped! Bring it on!

Appart from that, all is going well and we have settled back into Bundy life well. Whilst I miss the hills and the friends we made on the Coast, it is good to be back. I hope this finds you all smiling, loving life, challenging yourselves to new adventures and until next time, have a ripper day!

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