I had an invitation from Meredith to be part of the Apple Tree Stairs Marathon, so we headed off at 4:30am for Springbrook National Park arriving at around 5:30am. Now the format of the event was very simple, you could arrive and start any time after 5:00am, each lap you did down to the Woonoongoora walkers camp and return up the stair to Apple Tree park was recorded and the person with the highest number was the winner. The road to the park is very windy and Bernice decided to let her stomach settle before starting so I headed out on my own in the dark with a headlamp, down to the walkers camp area and toilets before turning around to attack the stairs on the way back, fortunately it was now daylight so no headlamp needed.
The atmosphere was great with lots of chat and banter as you passed others going in the other direction which helped take your mind off the grind up the 850 plus stairs to the top. On the second lap I was joined by Bernice down and back then she took a break as I headed out again for number 3. I was taking regular small amounts of food every 20min to 30min and topping up at the top after each lap with coke and food, this time it was working really well as I felt I could continue without any real problem.
At about 1:30pm – 1:45pm I decided one more lap would do as it was taking a little over an hour per lap and we were running out of time, in the meantime Bernice had done another lap herself, so we finished her with 2 lap and myself with 8 laps.
Result on the Garmin, 30.40kms, in 9hr21m56s, pace 18:29, total elevation 2193m, and around 8600 stairs.
To make it even more interesting I finished in third equal position with 2 others. What a great day.