Saturday, 28 July 2012

Day ???...............What Day is it??

I thought that being an ultra runner was hard work. I mean running for hours each day, then stretching for more hours, needing that much important sleep only to repeat the process over again. Finding it hard to socialise and spend time with your loved ones and friends...unless their running friends that is!

Then I come up with this great idea of running the national trail that would still have me running for hour each day, while spending time with my love one and sharing the adventure with my friends, leaving me lots of time to do the other things that I have in my life and still have time to stretch and sleep well.

Well how wrong was I?

My time on the trail has been more than amazing so far, and spending that extra time with my partner Vickie great, though challenging at times, spending so much time in one another pockets quit literally in the small space that we call the Maui Mothership, is sometimes not the best of moods, can be a bigger challenge than running to Cooktown its self.

Still not really a problem as such, we are getting to know so much more about one another, after we thought there was no more to learn.

You would think that sharing the journey with friends and family would be easy these days with the likes of Facebook, twitter, Skype and the like? But this makes life more complicated swallowing up bags of time, downloading photos and videos to post about what happen each day but really happened days ago!

I find it so hard to keep up as to where I am at. Days turn into weeks, weeks months and all I know is the distance I have left to reach cooktown and how my body's feeling. Should be simple right?

But, then theres this Blog. You would think it would be as easy as finishing my day, doing all the things necessary to help me bounce back the next day, Social media stuff, blog writing, sleep and repeat, I wish!

I have found out today that our Charity SANE Australia use a media monitor to capture all print media that we do along route with papers etc. What I found out is that we have averaged 40 per month, that's right 40! That's on top of the 22 ABC Radio interviews I have done the Three Channel 7 News and One channel 9 News interviews, plus radio interviews with the Sports day Radio every months, as well as features in Outer Edge Magazine, Men's Fitness Magazine, RM Williams Magazine and the BNT's very own Track Magazine, plus school talks! and I'm wondering why I find it hard to write a Blog? This says it all!

Now I have told you my excuse for not writing something up sooner, let me begin.

So, I finished up last time with a jetski ride over the Paradise dam due the river being high adding KM to my already long day, all done in the pouring rain....that's right nothing new there this is the BNT its never that simple!

That took me to Mount Perry a nice little town in the mountains. The weather had become beautiful and I enjoyed my day running through the foothills away from the new mine site on the edge of town.

The trail passed through many stations on its route to the Boolboonda Tunnel ( I bumped into one of the land owners as I made my way down the spurline to the dirt road below.

Some interesting story's these guys of the land have to tell, and its always a highlight when having the opportunity to have a good old Australia yarn with them.

The tunnel itself was a little freaky, and I was glad that Vickie could meet me there to experience the spookiness with me!

The following day I would be running 60km in to Kalpower, sound like something out of Batman! The day was flat and straight, just a dirt road heading north through some farm country. Vickie had to take the long way around as the road would be to rough.
There was only one thing that happened the whole day, and that was a guy ran down his 500m driveway to ask if I had been down his driveway?? Go figure? I asked him way and his response was that he just wanted to know who was around his property, something to hide a reckon?!!

Kalpower wasn't even a town it had nothing. Vickie had slipped $10 into my pack knowing that her route would take her longer than it would for me to run there! I had to go starving, even the smallest of towns in Australia have a pub, but this place was lucky to have people, It was like a ghost town!

The next day was spent trying to work out the best way to tackle the Kroombit Top National Park it wasn't so much the 60km day I would have to run, but where I would be going. Its the only NP in Australia that I know of that doest have any maps of the trails or roads within it. Making it very hard to map out the direction I needed to go.

There was more complications after Vickie spoke with Parks. They would be shooting feral pigs the day I wanted to pass through and would be finished until 1pm making it a short afternoon to be running 40km mainly uphill in the middle of no where, with no idea on the route.

I arrived at the park gate early and waited until 1pm and started the climb into the park. I bumped into the rangers about 10km in, who informed me that the trail turn off was hard to find and that the distance from where I was now was going to be another 50km until I reached the far end of the park where I would be meeting Vickie.

Not only was I going to struggle to find where I was going, but the terrain was steeper than I had anticipated and my day had now turned in to 80km with 50km to run in 3hrs before it became dark.......not going to happen, but I pushed as hard as I could for the afternoon.

I was still making my way down the spur line when the sunset. I had phone reception for a while as I was up high and communicated with Vickie my whereabouts and how long I was likely to be!

It was pitch black when I crossed the creek at the bottom of the spur and chest deep. Not one star in the sky and no moon to be heard of, bringing me to a walking shuffle. Stupidly I had packed everything but my head torch. I used my mobile phone to shed just a little light on trail...nothing.

It was a long a painful 10km to the pickup point, and poor old Vickie had been worried sick!

Luckily safe and sound another lesson leaned and another story to tell!

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