What a fantastic weekend I have had with a great group of people on the trails.
Doing nearly 40km over the weekend in spectacular locations and awesome trails, covering single track, open, extremely hilly, slopy, rock, root tangled, wildlife, sand, sand and more sand dunes! Oh my word, those sand dunes killed me…
On the single track we ran through fairly heavy forest so very narrow tracks with loads of fallen trees and overgrown branches and so forth. Running with a pretty advanced group had us at a fairly fast running pace. This meant ones eyes were glued firmly to the track in front and watching where you pout your feet at. all. times.. I briefly looked up at one point to check out the scenery and I stacked it!
That was the first one, and I bounced up fairly quickly and kept going…ego, did not want to be run over by the group, embarrassed and than plain painful! About 16km into the trail run the group had spread out a little and on the winding trail, I had a space running on my own, thought I would look up to see mother nature, except all I seemed to be seeing was dirt and earth as I STACKED it pretty hard for the second time. Although no graze as big as stack 1, several minor cuts and grazes added to both knees, elbow and shoulder, mouthfull of dirt, face, hair and body covered in muck, the worst was I actually landed with my elbow digging into my diaphragm. Completely winded myself, trying to get air into my lungs so I could move, no air coming in, tongue lying with a mouthful of mud aaarrggg, I though I had it. Could not call for help as no air to call….Needless to say I finally got a gulp of air in, or more precisiley some air and a lot more sand than air, into my mouth. Dragged myself up, only to find the front crew just a bend in front of me. Running the remaining 6 km with mud lined lungs and mud lined nostrils, bruised ribs, swollen and grazed knees, snotty nosed from hay fever, and I am thinking – I so love love love trail running!
Part of the course entailed some technical training, which then had us dashing down along a short course trail specifically designed for mountain biking – so cresting man made rock formations on down hills veering around onto the Burms, almost a figure 8 of burms, down hills, so focusing on speed, stability and cadence to get through this without falling!
This for me was greatest fun, and thoroughly enjoyed this. Along the way we had some company with a kangaroo and her joey – kangaroo was out of shot (I was keeping a fair distance) but got a nice photo of the inquisitive joey.
The last day of trail running was capped with a beautiful section along the coast line, celebrated by a healthy breakfast on bananas, watermelon and chocolate milk, along with some left over cold quiche for those it appealed to.
The sand dunes, (not in the photos) were massive from the coast line up to the trail depicted below. Had to stop a few times and remove excess sand from my shoes. On this particular trail I so despereatly wanted to remove my shoes, as my feet were heating up some what and the sand was cumbersome. However not knowing the route, and obviously watching out for snakes, a lot of broken rock, pea gravel and so on, it was not a practical thing to do, so stayed shod.