Day 1 Review Buffalo Stampede 2016
Well is great to be finally back up in Bright, the sun is shining and the Buffalo Stampede is here.
It is a cool start to the morning with a bit of cloud cover, so perfect conditions welcomed the runners
Day 1 see the first two events
The Vertical Sky 12
and the Sky 26er
As the names imply they are a 12km +1066m and 26km +/- 2013m race.
and also we have two events for the Kids. The Junior Sky Sprint (1.5km or 4.5km)
Both the Sky 12 and Sky 26er introduces the runners into the challenging climbs of Mystic and Clear Spot.
You can feel the anticipation as they all lineup and soon enough Race Director Sean Greenhill starts them off on what is sure to be a great day in the Alpine ranges.
Once they are away we head up to Clear Spot to cheer them on and capture some moments on the trails.
No matter how many times I visit you can’t help but be moved by the views!
It is a magnificent scene.
The forest lines the mountainside and the auburn rocky fire trails cut into them like a flowing river.
From Clear Spot, you can see most of the highest points. MT feathertop, Mt Buffalo and Mt Porepunkah
But the best view was the smiling faces of the runners.
No matter the event the moment you summit Clear Spot is one to celebrate.
Some laughed, some cried, some just fell to the ground, others just hugged a friend.
Each with a sense of satisfaction and determination in their eye.
And again, as seems to be the case so often in events like this, the volunteers at the top were providing a huge amount of support to all.
Calling their names with encouragement, cheering and ringing their bells.
The support was fantastic.
This was the finish line for the Sky 12 but the 26ers continued onto the turnaround at Buckland Aid station at the 12.5 km mark before heading back to Clear Spot.
Then a steep and dusty descent to Bakers gully, back up to Mystic and decent back to Bright and to the finish line at Howitt Park.
Based on the number of dusty runners I saw at the finish with cuts and scrapes this was indeed a rocky road home where your body and mind would be tested.
And so after some time enjoying meeting some characters at Clear Spot we headed back down to the finish to cheer them in.
The Podium for the two events were as follows:
Stampede Sky26er – 26km
1. Luke Preston 2:57:58Hrs
2. Matty Abel 3:10Hrs
3. Ben Derrick 3:45Hrs
1. Sophie Brown – 3:49Hrs
2.Rebecca Cladingboel- 04:23 Hrs
3.Renee Fortunato- 4:05:05 Hrs
The Vertical Sky12- 12km
1.Aaron Knight – 1:08:37 Hrs
2.Matt Cooper – a close second in 1:09:00 hrs
3. Etienne Blumstein-Jones in 1:13:46
And the women podium
1.Meg Reeves in a smashing time of 1:21:05Hrs
2. Audrey Guillemin in 1:31:41Hrs
and 3. Deanna Blegg in 1:48:57Hrs
And a big thanks to Colin and Yolanda from onlinetiming.com.au for providing all the timing for the events and cheering the runners home.
As the dust settles the kids start to form.
This is a great event they all look super pumped as they are warmed up at the start line by a jovial Kiwi!
Who knows there may be the next superstar in this field.
If their enthusiasm is anything to go by they will be able to get themselves through the toughest of trails.
With parents in toe, they head off around the park encouraged by all and their sheer youthful enthusiasm is infectious.
No sooner than they had started, in what can only be described as a blur, it seemed they were coming round the river and across the finish line.
Some ran flat out all the way and came striding into the finish with grit between their teeth.
It was great to see them all enjoying the event and it was a fantastic way to end the racing for the day.
Soon after the presentation took place in a haze of champagne and boutique beer.
The victors took a bow and the audience applauded in appreciation.
And so Day 1 comes to an end and to sum up.. it was a beauty!
Perfect conditions in a dramatic and challenging environment.
Participated and supported by people of kind disposition and dedication.
As the sun sets I sit and wonder what tomorrow will bring.
Then I remember what tomorrow brings
The big one, the Ultra!
Where the trails get long and Mt Buffalo beckons.
And we will be there to capture a few of the sights and sounds.
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Before you go here is a short video I made of Day 1 at the Buffalo Stampede. Enjoy!