Sunday, October 7, 2012

Trailblazer Challenge

After a last minute practice hike up Mt Lofty with Adele on Thursday, got an early start to the day on Saturday and met my fellow Booth Bevy team members (Adele, Verity and Lyndall) at Pinky Flat in the city to get ourselves signed in and pick up our race numbers. After some milling about wishing I'd woken up slightly earlier to have a coffee, we handed some essential supplies to one of our support crew (also known as JB) and joined the crowd at the start line where we, and some very surprised pelicans, got sent on our with the firing of a cannon. After a little of the obligatory weaving around walkers, we soon found space to run in and set a nice, steady pace for the first leg. Ran along Linear Park (with a few drinks breaks and one pretty impressive stumble courtesy of me along the way) for the first 18kms which is officially the furthest I've ever run, yay. Arrived at the first checkpoint in 2 hours 20 mins-ish, where we were met JB and all the yummy snacks we'd given him earlier.

Had a good break at Athelstone to refuel, change from running to hiking shoes and treat some blisters and various other aches and pains, then set off on the second leg. Left the river behind and headed up a narrow rocky path into Black Hill Conservation Park. Hiked up over Three Sugarloaves, then had a nice flat and downhill section before tackling the very long and steep Chapman track which took us up to the top of Morialta Conservation Park for some really spectacular views over the city, not that we could really stop to admire them because the trails were so narrow and crowded with the others who'd struggled up the big hill alongside us that anytime you stopped you would have to wait for about 15 people to overtake before starting off again.

Took the steep descent (poor, poor knees!) into Morialta and finished up with the less inspiring trek through the carpark to finally cross the finish line for the 34km event 6 hours and 6 minutes after setting off. Got our bibs scanned (so they could make sure we hadn't fallen off a mountain along the way) and collected our medals which was pretty sweet. Then Ryan drove us all back to the city for a relaxing afternoon of eating too much and hobbling around the house.

Big thanks to everyone who donated to Operation Flinders and helped motivate us, and extra big thanks to our fabulous support crew David, JB and Ryan for keeping us hydrated, fed and not making us walk back to the city again afterwards! So...who's up for the 50km next year then??

At the starting line

Refuelling at Athelstone
Tackling the Chapman track
Enjoying the view from above Morialta
At the finish line!

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