So by now you might think I am obsessed with wombats….well they are pretty cool. The whole wombat idea started back in September 2013 on my last long training run before my first 100km event. My good mate Tim Kacprzak took me out for a night run to Lerderderg State Park. He had been there a few weeks earlier and said this place was awesome – steep hills, technical and beautiful. Since we were on a night run the views were a little hard to come by – but steep and technical yes it was! We ran to a little mountain called Mount Blackwood and on the return journey the ‘wild wombat’ seed was planted.
As we ran down a fire trail leading into the forest there was a crashing through the trees to the left of us. “Holy shit!” I yelled as this large marsupial galloped down our left side. Our head torches were barely quick enough to get a glimpse of the first and biggest wombat I had ever seen in the wild (I have now seen wombats almost every time I have ran out Lerderderg). We ran the rest of the way back a little more wary (well I did anyway). Running along the final 2km of single track I thought then how beautiful these trails were – even at night. I couldn’t imagine what they looked like during the day. I did go back to these trails numerous times during daylight hours.
These trails stuck with me. They were so ‘raw’ and somewhat untouched – nothing like I had ran before. I also heard of these ‘Fat Ass runs’ where there was a tag-line of ‘No fees, no aid and no awards’. I loved that idea. Just get a group of people together and run – no worries about registration, crowds, logistics, support etc. Tim and I started discussing the idea of running a Fat Ass event out at Lerderderg. I knew the name had to involve wombat – I came up with a couple of names including ‘Crazy Wombat’ and ‘Wacky Wombat’ but in the end there was no doubt – ‘Wild Wombat’.
Things moved quickly and the Wild Wombat word was spread. We set up a Wild Wombat community page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/wildwombatfatass30) and held our first Fat Ass event early December 2013. I contacted the State Park ranger and received permission to mark a 4km, 8km and 16km course – the Fat Ass 30 consisted of 2x 16km loops. The event was fantastic. Seeing people head out with no idea of what was to come, then return with the biggest grins on their faces was priceless. Apart from a couple of people running out of hydration the day went off without a hitch. In the end there was 40+ runners who took joined in the fun. After attending the event herself, Piffles Inc kindly interviewed Tim and I – that interview here – http://pifflesinc2.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/wild-wombat-fat-ass-30-quick-interview.html Here are a few photos from the day:
The Wild Wombat buzz was alive and supporters were asking for more. We also partnered up in a way with Surf Coast Trail Runners (https://www.facebook.com/groups/sctrs) – a larger running group I had been part of since earlier that year. I planned a longer run but for the more experienced trail runners out there. I called it the Wild Wombat Crossing as we were going to run from one side of the state park at MacKenzies Flat to the other at Obrien’s Crossing. Once logistics were organised with transport and aid – as this was a point-to-point run – we had 17 trail addicts show up on the day. It ended up being a bloody tough day. With temperatures close to 40 degrees in the gullies the majority of the group took over 7 hours to complete the 32+km trek. Steep and technical terrain with a flood damaged 6km track at the end took a toll on many of us! But we all finished loving it! Here is Piffles Inc’s review of the day http://pifflesinc2.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/wild-wombat-crossing-mad-day-out.html
Yesterday we held Wild Wombat Fat Ass Version 2 – Superheros Vs Villains. A couple of people gave me the idea of a dress-up run for a bit of fun – I loved that idea. I set the theme of superheros and villains and everybody ran with it. To make it a little different I set the main 16km loop as a reverse loop – which everyone seemed to enjoy a little more. Tim was busy this time at the Under Armour World Tough Mudder Team tryouts so I took the reigns solo – but loved it. We were also very lucky to have Bennie Fox taking some amazing photos – all the photos below are attributed to his skill as a photographer. Here is a link to the full album on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.251439278395231.1073741836.187364348136058&type=1
I’m not sure what the future holds for Wild Wombat but no doubt there will be something that is challenging and fun on the horizon. Now….how to add some more elevation into the course……;-)