Two Bays Trail Run 56km - Luke (Postie) Ismail @ 03 Feb 2016
1. You’ve been a regular at Two Bays for a few years now, what’s the lure to this event?
Originally it was the company, Aidan Rich had done it in 2011 and suggested a weekend down the coast in January 2012 for this 28km run the went up and over Arthur’s Seat. It sounded Ludacris and thought why not. I subsequently fell in love with the course which is very honest and the challenge of trying to go quicker!

2. About your race:
a. It was quite a warm day this year – how did that affect your race?
Massively, I was hoping to go better than my first attempt at the 56km last year and thought my prep was reasonably good for this, but after the turn around at Dromana it just seemed to get warmer very quickly. I felt like I really paid for that in the 35-45km range and the only reason I didn’t in the later stages was the lure of the finish line! Subsequently, I was 19 mins slower than last year but the heat obviously had an effect on everyone because I finished 5 places higher than last year.

b. Is it mentally tough being an out and back course? How do you prepare yourself for the turnaround point?
It is tough and I think the hardest part is the decent into Dromana, it’s steep and the whole time you are thinking about the fact you have to run (walk) back up. I think the key to it is to not think about that and don’t stay too long at the turn around. Ring the bell (as loud as you can), hydrate, fill the water bottles and keep moving.

c. What was the toughest part of your race?
I’d say the Hyslops Rd section on the road, it’s a long straight gradual ascent and the first point you are running with no one around, you have a lot of distance/vertical ascent in the legs and there is still 18km to go. The mind just keeps saying “its hot, it hurts, it’s a long way to go”. It’s a challenge to quieten that thought and keep running.

d. What was the highlight (apart from the finish line!) of your race?
The views and the amount of vastly different ones. You get bushland, farmland, bay views, suburbs and final that view of the coast as you enter the final kilometres coming into the lighthouse at Cape Schanck. It looks so much better when it’s helping to take your mind off everything that is hurting too!

There was also the fact that I was out there with Alistair “Clarky” Lang and Prasanna “Pras” Srithanna. Chatting together at the start as well as the high fives and words of encouragement as we passed each other at the turnaround helped the spirits!

3. What’s your advice to anyone who is considering giving Two Bays 56 a go?
Do it… It is tough and it’s a big step from the 28km, but a very rewarding one, the course is brilliant, the crowd and vibe is great and running 56km is badass! LOL! Just be prepared to become very well acquainted with your own mind as you spend a lot of time running long distances in the hills for preparation. You can “survive” the 28km on a compromised preparation but you have to have done the work to get through the 56km just to get to the finish!

4. What’s next on your racing agenda?
Dean “Captain” Jackson and I are off to the 6ft Track Marathon in the Blue Mountains in mid March. Its an epic race with a similar vibe to Two Bays ran from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves. I did this for the first time last year and fell in love with it, it’s something everyone has to do once. It’s shorter than Two Bays (45km) but picks up the total vert of Two Bays (1200m) in one consistent 18km section! Make sure you put it on your bucket list!