Contributed by Tony Wilms, AURA member
Nineteen runners took part in the Adelaide 6 Day Race, the first in Australia since 2014, which took place at Thorndon Park from September 30 to October 6, 2018.
A great field showed up with a good mix of new and experienced faces including John Timms who turned 76 the day before the run.
Darren Linney set the early pace, followed by Annabel Hepworth. The course was concrete with some besser pavers in one spot. In the daylight hours there was a small but noticeable hill and it didn’t seem as bad in the reverse direction, as runners changed direction every day at 10am and 10pm.
David Billett settled into third overall with his significantly long legs followed by Perry Newburn from NZ and Stephan Kent who both ran side by side for a lot of the race.
Despite my watch telling me the time and date, it still wasn’t hard to forget what day it was after a while. Everyone had their own unique strategies of coping with the fatigue. In the early hours of the night John Timms would sprint with his towel around his waist and a heap of clothes on to prevent hypothermia.
George Alexandropoulos always had a singlet on, even at night. It was as though his beard alone kept him warm.
Every lap was bit more than 1.4kms in length, and food and drink was available along with pasta, eggs and bacon along with heaps of food. The excellent volunteers kept us stocked for the whole six days, 24 hours every day.
Day three was a hot 30-degrees Celcius.
Linney was still gliding past, but now with a cap with extension flaps to combat the sun. Hepworth had a hat like Paddington Bear.
By the time the final siren went, Linneys had completed 801kms and Hepworth 744kms which are both world class results given the course was not dead flat. Billett finished with 677kms and second male while Alexandropoulos took 3rd male and no sleep on the final night with 577kms.
Newburn and Kent were a tad over 572kms.
Timms, who was going to pull out on day two, kept going for 504kms.
As for me, I finished with 433kms and survived on not much sleep. I’m sure at some stage I was meant to play tennis along with a tow truck on the course as my mind played tricks.
Thanks to Ben Hockings from Ultra Runners SA, and Sarah Barnett (who also came 2nd female) for organising the event along with Michelle Hanlin who organised all the fantastic volunteers.
The Adelaide 6 Day is on again next year and looking back at my time, it was really enjoyable.
Most of us have been talking about going in next year.
Pictured: Tony Wilms competing in the 2018 Adelaide 6 Day. Photograph – Ken Loft.