Saturday, 7 April 2012

Day 12…………….Double it up.

After yesterday’s nightmare of Vickie heading up the mountain side to pick me up on what was supposed to have been an easy day for both of us. It was great to be waving Mick off as his four wheel drive raced off down the dirt road at the finishing point of yesterday’s run.

I had decided to put a 60km day as the access for Maui Mother Ship was a little dicey where the original finish was, but this meant I would be a day ahead of myself. This also meant that I had to get to Mount Phipps by lunch time to get any chance of finishing in day light, and with this being the BNT, you can almost put money on there being a section that will bring you close to a near stop!

Mick had assured me that the going was good….in a four wheel drive! But, this meant no scrabbling through scrub, just a highway of dirt to the new finishing point.

It was a downhill start and just as well as I had a full pack in case of a night out. 60km is a good run at the best of times, but in the alpine area of Victoria on the National Trail, any number of huge climbs could be tossed up!

45 minutes later and I’m 10km in, now I haven’t had a good run like that since leaving my local Yarra River trail in Melbourne! It was a great start to a big day of running. The road was wide and open and as always the views where there to inspire you, as it ran across the spur line.

By midday I was at the Mount Phipps Track and celebrated with one of Vickie’s famous peanut butter and jam sandwiches, 30km in, feeling great and knowing I should have the whole afternoon to knock of 30km, should be easy, and I say “should” because I know what can and does happen on this trail.

After leaving Mount Phipps it was a steep downhill back to the track I was on before, it was really just an 11km detour, but the official route of the BNT. It then continued downhill on a smooth dirt road, and as the trees cleared I could see it was going to be a solid downhill for another 5km. Great news for a man who has spent  almost the last two weeks going up, the bad news and there is always a little bad news is that it was smashing my quads in especially with the heavy pack. However, the light at the end of the tunnel is that I get to cover some ground and get to the finishing point that much sooner!

Old Car and the mountain I had to clim behind
As I ran down and through the foothills, I enjoyed the farm views over pastures, cattle grazing in the fields and the odd old piece of mechanical equipment, including a very old tractor just dotted along the side of the track. I was taken back to my youth and jumped on one pretending I was the driver, and then 500 metres down the track, I could see where I was heading, that’s right up and over the mountain in front of me! The good news was I was only 20km from the finish and my thoughts were, ”well if that’s the only climb I have today then I’m a pretty happy man”. As I sat there on that tractor!
It wasn’t long before I reached the top of that mountain, and it was either just a small one, or I have become used to pushing upwards? The fun part was opening the gate at the top that said, This gate and fence is electric for the prevention of wild dogs! I remember Matt the owner of the Dargo River Inn laughing when he knew I was heading this way and to watch out for the electric fence and gate! The gate too? So how the hell do I open it? After 10 minutes of working out how to get through or over, I just grabbed the lock and opened it, it wasn’t even on! I giggled as I closed it, until the thought came over me that I was now in wild dog country, and if they need electric fences and gates to keep they away, then I’m guessing their not some cute fluffy thing seen in Paris Hiltons handbag!

It was a good motivator just to keep on running and get out of where ever I was sooner rather than later, and before I knew it, I was on the last 1km down section to the finish, looking forward to cold drinks, snacks and some pampering from Vickie. That was until it was just me on a cross roads in the middle of nowhere! She was a little late that was all, but it always worries me when she’s not there especially when it’s a sealed road, sometimes the drive from start to finish each day is just as epic as the run to Cooktown is, that’s why Vickie’s started writing a book all of her own!

1 comment:

  1. Vicki's book is a fabulous idea. Rarely do your hear or see these kinds of epic campaigns from the perspective of the support crew and partners. Looking forward to it Vicki!