I woke up Saturday morning early and restless. I couldn’t get back to sleep. Only one thing for it I thought – head out to the run early. Seeing as the start time had been pushed out from the usual 7am to 7:30am, getting there early wouldn’t be too bad in case someone missed the time change.
The drive to Kersbrook was dark (we are coming to the end of Daylight Saving and it is still dark at 7am) and when I got to the car park there was no-one else there but the rabbits and roos. I spent the next 30minutes having a look around, getting my pack ready and taking some photos of the spectacular sunrise and the beautiful curves of our car.
Eventually I heard the familiar drone of a car coming along the dirt track that leads to the car park and then the first car appeared, followed by another, followed by another, followed by another and so on…6 cars arrived in the next 30 seconds…what? did they all follow each other? The last of the 6 to arrive was TerryC and as I wandered over to help him set up the table and sign on I commented that out of the other 5 cars I didn’t recognise anyone from any of the other trail runs…excellent.
Eventually a group of 30 to 40 odd people set off in a rather sporadic fashion. The early running was on fire trails and over low rolling hills along the edge of the forest with wide open grazing land on the right.
Soon we cut in through the wooded forest until we reached the reservoir…well at this end there wasn’t much reservoir-ing to observe as it was bone dry…around the reservoir and through the pine forest, where fallen logs criss-crossed the forest floor, leading to leaping, climbing and even crawling for some runners.
My favourite parts of the trail were definitely these intimate, shady and enclosed sections, were the wilderness envelopes the trail and provides a stark contrast to the rolling, open fire trails of the first few kilometres. Unfortunately I was too busy enjoying those parts to take any good photos, as the photos I did take came out blurry and indistinguishable.
Apart from a few short, sharp, steep sections in the back half of the run, there were no real long slogs. The longest hill was sufficient to provide a magnificent view back over to the Warren and Hale Conservation parks, but didn’t leave the calves screaming for a mercy.
The run back down the final hill to the car was a very welcome dash for the finish line as my knees and strangely enough, hips, were beginning to tell me, in the usual fashion, that I had carried 3 kilos of pack around on my back. This time, and for the first time since these monthly shenanigans started, I had finally completed the full length trail and stopped the Garmin at 22km in a tick over 3 hours.