This post is about stepping it up and doing Oscars 100 in 2 days.
As an engineer I comprehend the world around me in numbers and equations. I try to find patterns in things when I want to understand them or explore options. For Ultra Runners this is very familiar terrain: Cut-offs, pacing, vert, distance and gradients 👉 you heard that one before. And these are just the KPIs around a race; when you go into training metrics, there's no limit to the numbers you can crunch.
|Every Run is a Beer Run|
The Four Races of Oscars 100
Yes. That's actually true and as a little bonus you can upgrade or downgrade yourself while being in the race although that has an impact on the cut-off time. Here are the four race options which the RDs conveniently colour-coded:
You're doing it in one hit without overnight stops. All one day cut-off times apply. You are insane.
- 2-Days - Layover at King Hut
BIG and dicey first day. Easy second day however the success rate of this option isn't very high. If you're contemplating this, suck it up, train harder and go straight for the solo.
- 2-Days - Layover at Lovicks Hut
Easy first day and then a bit of a stretch for the second day. This is a serious step-up from three days.
- 3-Days - Layover at Lovicks & King Hut
A good and doable hiking adventure. The third day has some challenging cut-offs.
The Cut-Off Times
Solo Pacing Sheet
Fortunately there are smart people who analyse past races and give you a good idea what you need to do:
Jonathan created this great spreadsheet for solo runners which gives you a clear picture, if your aim is finishing the solo. Coming back to the dreadful 2pm Lovicks cut-off it means you can forget about finishing in one day when you sail through the CP past 12:20 noon. Andrew Zhang was the only runner this year who came through Lovicks past that time and still finished the solo - his CP time was 12:22. Everyone after that dropped to a 2-day event or DNFed.
If you're in a position where you can contemplate doing the solo, you weren't born yesterday and know how to use the spreadsheet.
2-Days Pacing Tactics
I think the King Hut Layover is more of a fall-back position for solo runners so they don't have to DNF.
|Finishing Stats on the Original Course|
So here we go! You've done the Archies in a good time or the 3-days Oscars or another Ultra or whatever and now you're eye-balling the Oscars 100 in two days. You're in the right place and this is what you're facing:
- Day One - Start to Lovicks - 37 km - 2300m vert
- Day Two - Lovicks to Finish - 63 km - 3400m vert
Day One doesn't really need much explanation because you've either done it or you should be perfectly capable of figuring this one out. Don't go too fast but also don't go too slow because too much time on the trail is also exhausting. It's not rocket surgery 🚀
Day Two is the important day ... 🥁 ... Surprise! Let's go through it in order. The first 13 km to Gantner Hut are super enjoyable especially since you should be fairly fresh. Don't mind the cut-off times because they are there for what I suspect logistical reasons. Realistically you should leave Gantner before 8 am. I suspect the generous cut-off at 11 am only exists so it's unlikely runners need to be carted out of Gantner and can simply be picked up from the Mount Speculation carpark. Accessing Gantner Hut from Mt Buller is fun ... but a VERY long 4WD trip.
The next cab off the rank is the decision point at King Hut. Should you stay or should you go? If you're leaving the CP at 6 pm on the dot, you have 1:30 h to get to Craigs Hut. When I did this uphill slog during the three days event in 2019, I scooped it up on well rested legs in 1:26 h and I was the first through the checkpoint on that morning. You are not going to make the same time that late in the day. Therefore:
Leave King Hut at 4 pm at the latest
How fast Do I need to be?
- Sharpy times, you got a good indication however it is a short race.
- Hut2Hut Saturday time you might think this is too fast for you although you could do it.
- SCC 50km time you could be overly confident and run into trouble.
I marked four suspected outliers. These could be an injury or simply a case of the guys couldn't be bothered that day. Who knows ... Anyway. Once you take them out it becomes a clear picture.
Your Archie time needs to be sub 12h - better sub 11hand/oryour SCC100 time shouldn't be much more than 15h.
P.S.: The Old Report
Back in 2019 I wrote a "race report" which is still surprisingly accurate. Remember I wasn't a runner back then. This was aimed at those who wanted to do their first Oscars and I covered a couple of topics. However let me add some remarks here:
That's still accurate ... unless bushfires or a pandemic divert you onto another course. In 2020 the bushfires dropped everyone on the Archies loop for two times and lightning strike created a messy pile of poles. The Rona hit in 2021 and once again it was the Archies two times although this time there was no overnight camping in the valley. Fortunately 2022 didn't plague us with locusts or a flood and we were back on the original course.
Consistency beats Motivation.
I wrote you can have your dry pack weight at sub 6kg. Looking back that should be your absolute maximum. If you throw some money and smarts at it, you can easily push that down to about 3kg.
Yep. Also still valid although I'd emphasise the point of utilising your GPS watch as well as a race plan as per above.
- Support Crew
Forget the part about UHF. We had Garmin inReach devices which are almost a must if you have a support crew.