Leap year day… Meh! the run was right outside my office – I could probably have sat in my office and heard the onon calls, so of course I headed out to get a piece of the action.
The A bucket was from the corner on the way to Galae Rest. Several options from here, but most involve a climb. Brownie was first out of the gate, and a circle check had most of us wanting to check up the road to the dam by Galae Rest. Brownie bizarrely picked down, and was eventually rewarded with powder. Fortunately we were running downhill behind him, but the next check took us up. I gambled on the hare taking us through the compound to the gate at the far end, but was sadly wrong… Very wrong… I was a long, long way behind climbing up the hill.
My legs felt like lead weights. Every step was a struggle. I pressed on, but not with too much effort. We hit the nice flat trail that runs along the “bottom” of the hill, and they were still checking. Some inside knowledge – of course it is right. So I slipped past Brownie as he came charging back down the hill, and Piggy coming back from the left. It didn’t last long – I conserved energy as they swept past. I felt shit, and all of my fears were realised when the trail headed up the hill. Yup – I’d been here before, but normally in the other direction. Dam this is a bitch of a climb. I was trailing behind the pack, and struggling – I was so tempted to give up and go back…
Damn this strava is keeping me honest! I conserved energy and pressed on. I was grateful when we stopped going up and edged our way along the side of the hill. I saw Brownfinger standing at a corner, having come back from a false trail, and then again stood at a circle check – very unlike Brownie! This time Poo was the only one checking up the hill, but heading up and over to the pilgrims trail seemed the obvious option. Sure enough we were right, and there was the circle check on the Pilgrims trail. Poo was ahead, heading right down the hill. Damnit, no way I was going up at that point, so I followed. Thwarted – finally Brownie called from up the hill. Shit, again I was off the back of the pack, and somehow we were climbing up the mountain again… Where the hell was he taking us?
I got back in the action as the leaders came back confused from a false trail. An excellent check that had them all over the place. Finally Graven found it, and I followed him down a deathly descent. Brownie I think was taking undue risks on the descent to the waterfall, but we got to the circle together with Graven already checking down the waterfall – he was checking down as we could see powder down there, so we followed. The next circle was great. No obvious trails, and it could be anywhere. I had no idea, and I’ve scouted this mountainside a lot. Off up to the left and this seemed like a trail, that turned into a proper trail. How have I missed this one??? This was new to me.
Piggy was right on my tail as we breezed past the hare hiding in the bushes. I knew the run would involve a fast descent, and now it had started. Push onwards… Straight into a false trail. Nice work CW, very nice! Damnit! And a nice switch back – I was just lucky to finally find the waterfall crossing before anyone else. Moments later I was back on the pilgrims trail, and hell I was running. Fatigue gone, I was running.
At the bottom of the trail, the trail breaks up all over the place before coming together again. Descending to the right is shorter, but steeper and more dangerous. The loop to the left is safer, and I think faster, so I opted for that, and heard about the circle check later when Graven hit it. They were still chasing me as I hit the road. Pushing on, I allowed myself a glance over my shoulder, Graven & Piggy were there, but far enough back. Could I hold them off?
And then another false trail……!!!! Mothafocka!!! So close to home, but still lots of action left. Next we had the waterfall slippy slide. On the road, and I needed a rest. I let Brownie go down the hill, as I headed up to the right. Wow! I was on, and heading towards home with Piggy. You are only as good as your last circle check. Piggy gave me the choice, and I should have known it. I knew I was wrong 5m later.
Excellent set, some really, really good checks in there.
Check out the evidence on fly by29th Feb - CH3 - Chuck Wao,