On April 10 the inaugural Marysville to Melbourne event held by Rapid Ascent. This is a unique multisport event with a 21km off road run starting in Marysville, a 50km then 40km road ride down the black spur and to Eltham via Kinglake , followed by a 15km Yarra trail run the 2 paddle legs totalling 31km to finish at the Docklands . It can be done in relays or as an individual – the webmaster was mad enough to the whole event on a minimum of training – considering the times taken are a equivalent to Ironman – with the president in tow as support.
I knew it was going to be a long day when I watched the field disappearing up the first hill in the dark.The trail run was spectacular but hilly and in parts muddy . The morning was cold but the body soon warmed up. My 2 hour target soon turned in to closer to 2 1/2 hours with the terrain.
The descent down the Black Spur was slippery . I rounded a corner to find the vehicles up ahead stopped and in trying to slow down my back wheel was sliding around .The next thing I expected to see was the bitumen but instead managed to negotiate my way around via the middle of the road . I was happy to be intact – don’t know what the drivers thought – and I’m sure there was a rider down . Soon through Healesville and up the Chum Creek Rd an 18km climb. Soon after there were some speedy descents followed by a killer of a hill just before Kinglake- guys were walking – I just managed to turn over the 39×23. Quickly through T2( the only quick transition for the day) and on to a windy spectacular descent , followed by some undulations and another killer climb just before lower Eltham Park.
Gav tried stretching me but it was to no avail , the legs simply would not work. The next leg was a shuffle /walk /shuffle /walk…never have I had so many people go past . Only good thing was everyone was friendly slowed down for a chat !
T4was going to be long .Ten minutes of stretching before I could get down enough to get in the kayak. Once in the water the body worked. 1:45 for the 15k – at last a reasonable leg and finally caught one of the guys that had run past me at the end of the leg. T5 was nearly as long -after a chicken sandwich a can of coke – fit lights to the kayak and my head – and a long portage round Dights Falls. The river was fast flowing below the falls for a short section but soon was under the influence of the slow incoming tide. Navigation was soon via the City lights – something the fast guys missed ! I passed 3 more paddlers in the dark and informed one of where to go to the finish as we passed Southbank. The final variable in this race was the tide , which was now high only leaving 60cm between the water and the marina gate , so after 31 km of paddling I had to try and lie down on the kayak almost landing in the water. My flashing light were soon identifiable and I could hear Melanie shouting from the docks . After getting the kayak alongside some beefy guy helped haul me out of the kayak on to the dock . The legs were like jelly and finally I shuffled the last 100m to the finish line – 12 hours 54 minutes 49 seconds after starting – with only the 5 I’d passed in the paddle and 1 more to come !
Well I’d have to say I wouldn’t have finished if it wasn’t for Gav – and he is a very patient man! Next year I will plan more run training and will finish in daylight .

Marysville2Melbourne web site.

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