Walk (run) for Prems!

Red Beard Racing are teaming up with Team Finn to create Finn’s RBR for the 5km and 10km Walk for Prems at Albert Park on 27 October, 2013.

It’s a cause close to our hearts as my sister recently gave birth to little Finn at 29 weeks and 5 days on the 22nd April this year. Finn stayed in ICU at the Monash Hospital for what felt like an eternity to me (and which must have felt like 1,000 eternities to my sister!)  before moving on to Waverly Private Hospital and then finally home. There was a few ups and downs along the way, nothing that little Finn and his Mum and Dad couldn’t handle though. He’s already kicked ass in the toughest fight of his life, I’m sure he’ll do just fine.

As soon as Finn can walk, uncle Luke will be teaching him how to run.

If you’d like to join Finn’s RBR for a 5km or 10km run or walk, click here or if you’re feeling generous and want to make a donation, click here.

Today’s words by: Lightning

Finn in his first week hooked up to every machine in the world
Finn the Fighter Pilot. He was very happy the day the tubes came out.
Finn’s sign for the hospital crib so all the other kids knew who was boss.
Finn down to 1 tube and able to go on outings out of the humidicrib!
Finn now – happy, healthy and strong!

The point of no return

After months of speculation, we’re happy to announce that the Bearders are somewhat injury free and have hence officially signed up in the 2 x 50km relay of the Surf Coast Century! 

The cat is out of the bag
The cat is out of the bag

The last couple of months have gone something like this:

Dumpling v. Training
Fig. 1 – Dumpling v. Training

The above results show a clear correlation between the increase in training and the reduction of dumplings. Previous studies have shown this correlation to be a key factor in reduction of athlete weight as well as increase in aerobic capacity.

A final 17km at Lysterfield was run this morning with the boys officially moving into taper and carbo loading mode (inverse of Fig. 1).

Red Beard Racing Groupies @ Lysterfield
Red Beard Racing Groupies @ Lysterfield

There is no doubt that next Saturday will be a big challenge for us but we’re sure to do it in the Red Beard Racing style – with a beard and smile on and beers afterwards.

Stay tuned for a full race report in the week following.


Lysty Laps

One of our favourite places to train is out at Lysterfield Park within the Churchill National Park, hitting the trails out there on a weekly basis. Below are some snaps taken over the last few months while out doing Lysty Laps.

Melbourne Trail Runners are holding a group run out there on 8th of September – check it out here and see you there!

Back in January, 30C and very unsettled at 6.30AM
Judge and Balboa crossing the wall on a windy winter’s morning
July 2013 – It was so cold on this morning that some of the puddles had a layer of ice over them. Taken on the dam wall.
Up near the quarry looking back towards the lake, one of the many great views out at Lysterfield – This one was back in February when the park was shrouded in a smokey haze from the bush fires.
A couple of Balboa’s mates

Lessons Learnt at Lysterfield:

  • When running on the same morning as the Oxfam Walk, don’t run through the check point while volunteers are being briefed in what would only just be record time.
  • It’s extremely funny when a Portuguese man verbally abuses animals that are on the Australian Coat of Arms.
  • When sprinting towards the finish (Hallam North Road car park for us) up the very steep hill on Glen Track, hold your run until the big tree. Save some breath to casually ask the others how they’re feeling.
  • When running with Lighting, every stick, shadow and movement in the bushes is a deadly snake with a thirst for trail runners.

Today’s words by Lightning

Melbourne Trail Runners Hill Clinic – 4th August 2013

It was a chilly winters morning but nonetheless Judge and Balboa rocked up to Studley Park for their inaugural attendance at a Melbourne Trail Runners (MTR) session. MTR have been going for six months or so and put on free monthly group trail runs and cheap breaky afterwards. Fantastic idea!  On this particular Sunday they were also holding a free hill technique session run by Ultra nut Richard Bowles. Over the past 12 months Richard has tackled the Bicentennial National Trail in its entirety (5330km),  ran from one tip of New Zealand to the other (3054km) and also completed the Israeli national trail (1009km). A fairly impressive resume!

Prior to the technique session the “experienced” half of the group, which Balboa and Judge foolishly put themselves in, headed off for a one hour run up the river. Balboa and Judge latched on to the front few runners and tried to hang on which was a tough challenge particularly for Judge after his long, slow run in arctic conditions the day prior. Unsuprisingly he was feeling far from spritely and in the words of the great Phil Ligget the elastic came close to breaking on several occasions. The trail was first class with lots of undulating single track and some short technical sections which included a couple of dry waterfalls. I think this was the “Goat Track” that I’ve heard a bit about but never quite knew where it was. The Bearders will definitely add it to their list of top training options.

Following the one hour “warm-up” there was barely time to chomp down a complimentary Powerbar and get Judges heart rate below 220 before the hill technique session commenced. Richard had found a nice little steep pinch for some practice and after a few words of wisdom put us through our paces. Balboa AKA the Portuguese Panther sprinted up and down like a gazelle. The Judge’s efforts were somewhat akin to a lame elephant. He was pretty sure that Richard’s comments to “stop slapping the ground” were directed squarely at him. Some good tips were learnt though and it was a very worthwhile session. After a few reps everyone was knackered and breakfast was calling. A brilliant breaky of fruit, cake and pastries for the bargain price of $4 topped off a great morning.

The Gazelle and Elephant feeling the burn
The Gazelle and Elephant feeling the burn

Lessons of the day:

  • Avoid long runs the evening before an MTR session unless you enjoy blowing up in the first km
  • Carrot, Pineapple and Coconut Cake is by far the best cake Judge has ever tasted and he doesn’t make that statement lightly
  • And some serious tips learnt from Richard – run quietly, drive with the arms, big rumps make for good trail runners

Overall a fantastic morning and the Red Bearders will no doubt be back for some more MTR sessions in the future!

The Judge contemplates going back for thirds…


                 Today’s words brought to you by: Judge

The Debut – You Yangs Trail Run – 21 July 2013

Red Beard Racers burst hobbled their way into the public domain (after months of secret training and years of carb loading) at the You Yangs Trail Running Festival. The race is organised by the great crew at TrailsPlus. Judge Jules and Lightning Luke braved the cold to front up to the 30km course. Seasoned trail runners, this was the first outing for Red Beard Racers as a team.

It was fair to say that the debut wasn’t the ‘shot over the bow’ that RBR was aiming for, after all, the team logo was designed to strike fear in the minds of other teams registered for the Surf Coast Century such as the “Coast Busters”. Nuno Balboa was a no-show, The Judge was battling a cold and cocktail party mini dim-sim remorse and Lightning was hopped up on cold and flu capsules. Despite this, the red beards took off, setting a cracking pace behind the older ladies.

The Optimist and the Pessimist

The festival included 15km, 30km, 50km and 50 mile (80km) courses, so relatively, we could only puff our chests out as we passed some of the field whilst jumping out of the way of the serious guys in the long runs.

The first 10km passed relatively easily as Lightning picked a ‘nemesis’ (someone you must not be beaten by, in this case a 60 year old lady), and they set their sites on Flinder’s Peak. Without needing to stop for discussion (but needing to stop for a toilet break) the boys shifted the theme of the day from ‘shock and awe’ to ‘let’s just try to finish’.

“Did you see that guy? I think he’s wearing a skivvy…”

The last 10km were pretty tough, the man-flu cloud was hovering, Lightning started with the “I can’t feel my arms” or “should I be worried if I’m loosing my hearing” with intermittent horror flashbacks to the Maroondah Trail Run DNF (The DNF belongs to Lightning, The Judge practically won that one). As they rounded the bend the great volunteer at the Aid Station proclaimed “Second Last…Station”, Lightning joked “I thought you were going to say we’re second last!”, big LOLs all round. Truth was we weren’t too far from the back of the pack.

In the last couple of kms, a Mick Donges (eventual winner of the 80km race) look-alike was seen walking up the hill…”QUICK! Let’s catch him”. It wasn’t him.  Anyway, we finished and probably even more impressively, resisted the urge to stop at the Service Centre on the Geelong Road on the way home for Dim Sims and Triple Bacon and Egg rolls with a side of Big M. More impressively again was the kick-ass medal. Fun fact: Lightning refuses to compete unless there is a medal for all competitors (let’s face it, a medal for placing won’t happen).

Lessons Learnt:

  • Mini dim sims don’t do you any favours.
  • Drop toilets are horrible (we already knew this, we just were reminded).
  • Mick Donges doesn’t walk up hills.
  • Cold and Flu Capsules are not part of a sound race nutrition plan.
  • Fortified and salad = night of spewing and no show.

More training required although we have ordered t-shirts which will surely make things better. This shit just got real.

Today’s words brought to you by: Lightning