Day 24…………………………..Injured Cat.
I hit the ACT border just after lunch and I was glad to be there. For the first time in all of this I physically struggled to cover the easiest 24km imaginable. It was a relativity flat dirt highway from the finishing point of yesterday’s run to the end of todays. Every step was a sore one and I just couldn’t get my body moving and found it hard to just get on with it!
“Just getting on with it” is what I have been doing since Healesville. Even yesterday’s small mental barrier I still just went and dealt with what 65km dished up! It’s like it’s hard to commit to the short distance, even more so when you have the Maui Mother Ship by your side and Vickie severing up drinks as and when needed. It should have been paradise? But, having that all there stops you from just running regardless. I did it non-the less! So, I got on with it!
I took me two hours longer than normal to get out of the van this morning. It was in fact a glorious morning and based on the terrain I should have been out there doing what I do best. 165km in three days over mountains had exhausted me and all I really wanted to do was sleep and let my body repair itself and iron out some of the sore spots.
Back in February 25th a young man by the name of Sam Alexander left Healesville with three pack horses to ride the BNT up to Cooktown. Taking a year out of his medical studies to also pursuit the dream of covering the distance.
Knowing this, and knowing that he was taking the year to complete the trail. I knew that I would be catching him soon enough with the distance I was covering each day. The last week I have noticed that the hoof marks had become more defined and the piles of manure fresh. But being in Brumby territory it was to be expected. However, it did cross my mind on several occasions that I might be getting closer to Sam.
I had him on my radar yesterday, it helped me keep the pace strong, knowing that perhaps just around the next corner I might just bump in to him! It was a cat and mouse chase, but, the mouse didn’t know there was even a cat!
It was a short drive down from the camp last night and I knew that soon enough I would be back at it. I knew that I wouldn’t be catching any mice today, as I was covering such a small distance. And then as we turned the corner, there was Sam and his three horses coming up the road.
I jump out the van with excitement. He had heard a couple of days ago that I was attempting to run the trail and his thoughts were that I wouldn’t make it over the mountains. I had overtaken him late in the afternoon, yesterday, as he decided to take camp in a stock yard, just off the trail where I had finished, I knew I was close! We exchanged stories for a while, but, he really needed to get a move on as he had to travel about 28km to get to the Mount Clear horse yards that night. I would be seeing him again that day as I would be starting 10km behind him.
It was great to meet somebody else with a similar dream, but a completely different way of experiencing it. Nice guy that I will meet up with again after our media day in Canberra tomorrow, he will get a day or two ahead of me.
I was a little disappointed to have met him while in the Mother Ship, I really wanted to catch him on the trail. I imagined that I hadn’t met him as yet as I started my running for the day. I hoped that it would keep my mind off the tiredness and soreness I felt. 5km in and my right quad started to hurt, all I needed to do was to struggle over the next 5km to catch Sam and then continue on to the border another 15km away.
It hurt today, every part of me. Emotionally yesterday, and physically today. The BNT is really dishing out what I wanted to!