Female winner Jane Snowden takes on the notorious Bloated Goat race. Image – Dennis Tan.
One of the toughest trail courses in Western Australia was tried and conquered yesterday (November 15, 2015) by enthusiastic runners who battled heat and dehydration throughout the 31-kilometre track.
Bloated Goat, held by the Perth Trail Series, took place at Bedfordale’s Wungong Regional Park, 43-kilometres south east of Perth, and competitors who tested it before race day were faced with arduous hills that easily could have had an 18 per cent gradient.
All while balancing on pea gravel and unstable terrain, and up to 1,600-metre elevations.
Ninety-nine runners were kept on their toes at the start line, hydration vests on and sunscreen lathering all exposed skin, but with trying conditions, a majority struggled by the time they reached the first marshal station at 6.5-kilometres.
Crossing the finish line first with a rapid time of 2:58:48 was Josh Garrett, while close behind taking elongated strides just 50-metres to the end was Rudi Smith (2:59:38).
Nine minutes separated second place from third, when Ian Newell tackled the finish enthusiastically with a 3:08:05 time.
First female to hit the finish was well-known trail runner Jane Snowden with a time of 3:50:33, followed by Gisela Gartmair (3:54:51) and Rachel Brooks (3:58:13).
Snowden said the course was amazing but extremely hard.
“The second half was brutal on already fatigued legs, and I know many underestimated their hydration and nutrition requirements,” she said.
“I always run with way more than I need and was grateful that day.
“I only ever run against myself out there, but this was certainly a dig deep course, and I laughed coming all the way down that last hill, it was ridiculous, I was slipping and sliding all over the place.”
Sadly a staggering 28 competitors did not finish the course for a variety of reasons, from under preparation to heat exhaustion.
Shaun Kaesler was a competitor who had to pull out of the race.
He said it was one of the toughest courses he had ever endured.
“Yep, that was one ‘hellova’ tough course, and comfortably the most elevation run I have done in Perth,” he said.
“I ended up doing about 27-kilometres; ran out of water at around 21-kilometres and really struggled with the heat, I found myself pretty weary.
“Realistically, I was a little underprepared on how tough it was going to be and just succumbed to a weak mind with the tough conditions.
“The quick guys upfront belong in the mountains with the goats because that’s the only way I figure they get that good in the hills!
“Exceptionally tough course, but keen to one day tackle it again, but next time a little wiser.”