Saturday morning didn’t start very well as I woke up with a cramp in my left calf. Never a good start. I have a feeling it was rather self induced following a hard run up The Goat Track on Friday morning and two too many amber ales on Friday night. This combination almost inevitably leads to a night time wake up call from a calf.
Despite the initial pain, the calf didn’t feel too bad once I was up and moving and Mrs Simlin and I set off for Victor Harbour. In all honesty, when Mrs Simlin asked me on the way how many people I was expecting to be at the run I estimated a dozen hardy individuals would make the trip.
Woah! 39 people signed up, not to mention the supportive families of a few runners. Following a few words of wisdom from TerryC and the trail coordinator Paul, we set off at a gallop for the first head land.
The first 6 kilometres was like one big photo shoot. Everywhere you looked there was stunning scenery. Around the first headland the track wound off into the distance atop Waitpinga Cliffs and the galloping gave way to rock hopping as we all turned into Mountain Goats.
The going was initially slow, 45mins for 4.5kms, but with all the rock avoiding and phototaking it was an understandably slow pace. The spectacular vistas of the Waitpinga Cliffs soon gave way to a few boardwalks and firetracks as we started to make our way around the boundary fence of Newland Head Conservation Park.
The firetrails weren’t that much different to parts of other trails we have covered this year in our monthly trail runs except for the sand. Being close to the sea, the trail got very sandy in places (which put a strain on the post-cramp calf) but the pace did lift a little.
I will be the first to admit that I found the run around the boundary fence quite boring compared to the clifftop running of the first 5km and I was glad to finally come upon the camping ground and a patiently waiting Mrs Simlin, which marked the far end of the trail run.
The group I was with pushed on quickly from the campground but I stayed around waiting for the rest of the runners as Mrs Simlin was going to give a few of them a ride back to the start. After a brief sit down and bottle of water I couldn’t bring myself to punish my legs (which were complaining horribly) any further by continuing on, especially with the convenience of a ride back to the start.
I later congratulated myself for making a wise decision as I hobbled around for the next two days with a very sore left calf.
On the way back to the start we made a brief site seeing detour to Waitpinga beach and then returned to greet the walkers who had finished their walk along the cliffs.
The battle reports of the return leg talked of a long steady 2k of uphill out of the camping ground fighting against the deep sand and surprise tree root attacks, followed by the rocky clifftop path on tired legs. Some even ventured into the ocean at the little beach just before the finish for a cooldown. Needless to say everyone returned to the carpark tired, weary and dirty (or wet) from a 27km trail run, wishing they had been no-where else on a fine Saturday morning.