14th March – CSH3 – Belly Dancer & Anything

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Rating: 6.7/10 (3 votes cast)

We were warned. I could probably finish the write up there – “We were warned” – that probably sums up the whole experience… But the effort that must have gone into scouting and setting that probably warrants a few more words.

It was a select crowd of elite, adventurers who arrived at 4:30 for the advanced start time. Photos taken to give to local police if they needed to search for the remains of our bodies. There was me, Footlong, None of Your Business, Knockout, Turkish Delight and Shagless and after the harebrief we saw Graven & Robin Banks pulling in to the carpark. It turned out some more set off from the songthaew later, but they may join this story later…

We set off, and I was eager to get some running in before the inevitable climbs. The first check was a monster though, setting the tone… I’d gone well over 100m and turned back, but eventually we found it. Turkey set off with Noyb following in the wrong direction at the next check. Turkey was doing a great job of staying at the front, though seldom being on paper. A couple of long false trails divided us again, but we were together (with Graven) by the Graven check. So far so good.

I got that check wrong, and lost some ground as we started up a short ascent. Coming back from checking the wrong way cost me some ground so I was still behind as the trail turned left and climbed up. Still it was trail. It leveled out, but with rocks and a narrow trail, I kept walking briskly, figuring I’d have a chance later. Sadly, I guess I lost ground here, and heard nothing from ahead, just Shagless from behind. Again we turned abruptly left and climbed a steep, steep cliff. There was a trail, but I couldn’t figure out who might have created it – it was a big struggle, steep, steep steep. Up ahead I could see Knockout panting, but I felt like while I was getting closer to them physically, I was still losing ground temporally – it was steep. When I breached the “top”, it wasn’t the top at all, and there was no one to be seen or heard.

The trail continued clinging suicidally to the edge of a steep drop. The kind of trail that is 3 inches wide with steep cliff up and down, left or right. I was on my own, and struggling. If I could have found a way out at the point I would have taken it. There was no option, just press on. I inched my way along clinging from rock to rock. Angry Inch breezed past, Shagless caught and left me, Pigshit was polite enough to stall for a while, but found my pace depressingly slow and did his best to make sure the trail was well marked for me behind.

Time passed, and I seemed not to be moving despite my efforts. Humperdick & Crap Thai caught me and then flew away from me (when they heard Knock Out was up ahead!). Finally the peak. Finally down hill. I was spent, I just had to figure the daylight time I had left and the distance I still had to go, and whether I could make it out alive – and not be reminded of 4 years back. Luckily I got to the lake by 6:30 (only 2 hours for 7k), and I was safe. Unlike Cougar & Car Park, who were returning in the darkness deep into the circle. I was far too knackered to run a good circle.

14th March - CSH3 - Belly Dancer & Anything, 6.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings