Today marked an auspicious occasion in my running journey, and that of my buddies Michele and Gabby..our first ever organised trail run...Jabulani Challenge.
We had a pretty interesting time people-watching before the start..there were the usual very fit, elite runners who looked incredible, then another group of very fit 'plonkers', donning full body skins, Badwater scarves and gators, eating Gu before they even set off and trying to look tough..gee whiz....abit much for a 25km run.
Had a chat with a lovely bloke who i am sure came in the front pack, he was wearing some pretty cool foam cushioned shoes, high heel sneakers, which he swore by..by the look of him when he set they had bloody turbos in them
We were greeted at the start with some lovely steep hill.....a feature of the landscape that would return many many times over the next 25kms...another one below, taken right after I watered the trees.
By around 8kms we made some new friends, Caroline and Ron (he actually reads my blog...now i have 2 readers) who stuck with us until around the 19km mark.....thats one of the great things about trail running, its chilled and friendly and we are not all just chasing the clock like road runs
Here's proof i was there..
The descent into Bobbin Head was beautiful (and steep)
It's lovely when you catch sight of the water below.
From there we hit Checkpoint 1 for abit of Staminade and lollies before the most idyllic part of the run, along the river on a technical trail....good on Caroline for setting a great pace along this 3-4km stretch..
Some of it was very technical.....a few 45k'ers past us here like gazelles
Then we turned away from the river and up a hill that was ridiculously steep, marked by small rocks piled on top of each other...energy sapping...thank God for Checkpoint 2 at the top...mmmmm....Coke! Lollies!!!
Then we were at about 17kms....we looped back a while until we hit the track we came out on...
No photos of this because i was well and truly knackered....dead legs plus one steep hill after another, finished off at 25kms by an absolute monster..
Got to take my hat off to the organisers who ran a faultless race..excellent markings, great cause, nice tshirts at the end and a friendly relaxed atmosphere..
Our legs were smashed but we were happy..