Sunday, 15 January 2017

Adventure 22 - The one with Water Sponge Angels

Me running the same race back 2015. I delighted to find the Water Sponge
Angels back at their job in the same spot this weekend.
(Image courtesy of Perth Trail Series)

Where: Yanchep National Park
When: January 2017 
My Adventure Companions: Solo (aside from the 200 or so other trail enthusiasts)
"Does time even exist before 5am?”
The Perth Trail Series races start early(ish) in the morning but they are all an hour or so out of town. Add to that getting to the car share location and it means a very early start.
Having learned from previous mistakes a few years ago, I need breakfast, so I threw some down my throat, woke Mini Monkey for an (unsuccessful) potty break (and changed his sheets) and was out the door by 5am.  By 6:30 we were in Yanchep National Park, queueing up for registration and bumping into old friends, including my hiking buddy.
Ever since I was pregnant with the Giant Baby two years ago I have been dying to get back to the Perth Trail Series races. They are just so friendly and full of good humour it makes it a joy to participate.
Having done this course before I knew how flat (in comparison to the other races) it was so I set myself a goal to run the whole of it.  As its single track for the first 2km, I put myself in the mid pack to try to encourage myself not to go off to a flying start and collapse in a heap half way around. Unfortunately, this strategy back fired as I got stuck behind a group led by a lady who needed to slow to a walk both up and down any hills/technical section (queue a concertina effect of the following pack). At the thought of missing all these glorious technical sections stuck behind this group I took to overtaking where I could. So much fun! I love rock hopping and if felt was like I was a little child again!
After a while I realised that I had a tail. Someone was making use of my bravado and had been following me past the stuck group. Uh oh, someone to witness my goofy joy of the rocks (there may have also been some ‘whooping’). In the spirit of trail running I turned around to say hi. We chatted for a bit and ran for most of the race together, me in front at first, and then trailing along in his wake in the later sections.
Every time I rounded a corner that I remembered or got to the top hill I found myself surprised that I was still running and still had energy left. The hills were slow, as were the sandy sections but I was still running. As I came in towards the finish one of the long-course runners came up behind trying to encourage others to do a sprint-finish with him.  Why not, I thought? Even with an extra 7km in his race, he was still faster, but it was fun to test what I still had left.
Post-race restivities* were a quiet burble, with many runners joining their families on picnic rugs or making groups on the grass amongst the kangaroo poo with fellow runners (note to self: check for ticks). No runners prizes for me but I did get one for handing in trail-trash.
I’m glad to report that, not only am I very happy that I met my goal, but that I’m also not broken and I’m defiantly looking forward to the next race in two weeks’ time. Clearly my lack of run-specific training has not mattered much and that walking is a highly underrated activity! For those who are curious, my time was 1hr 16 and I came in about a third of a way down the pack.
* I’m going to leave that typo in there because it’s quite fitting
Elevation of the Stay Puft Course (Image courtesy of Perth Trail Series)

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Adventure 21: The one with the secret beach

Where: Murramarang National Park

When: December 2016

My Adventure Companions: The Giant Baby and Mrs Proff

“What shall we do for nap time?”
We were over on the East Coast for the holidays in a rental by the coast. The house was a classic 80’s beach house, complete with zero sound proofing and minimal air conditioning. I am sure that this house had been host to many a joyful occasion over the year but the Giant Baby was having trouble sleeping. I decided that of all the options presented this morning, taking him for a trail-nap was the most appealing. Earlier in the week we had found out there was a clear trail only a stones throw from the house.
With various members of the family meeting up on the beach for a bit of rook pool investigation and sandcastle building, my mother, Mrs Proff, and I set off with the Giant Baby in the magic nap maker (the Tula).  The trail was easy to follow as it clearly is/was a maintenance access road. It wended its way through a peaceful forest (very different from the WA scrub I’m used to) and along the ridge where the view was spectacular. As advised by another holiday maker with whom my mother had been conversing with earlier, we descended on the other side of the ridge to find ourselves at a deserted beach. I know that there are a lot of deserted beaches in Australia, but to find one so close to a popular holiday village was blissful. Almost like a secret.
I had originally thought we could do a loop by cutting back to the main beach area on the Sothern end of the trail. However, despite the trail only being about 50m from the car park (according to google maps), we would have had to slip and slide down from the top of the ridge to beach leavel to get there. There was an obvious path where others had gone before us but it was in no way a suitable route for me with a sleeping baby on my back. However, the longer return journey gave the Giant Baby some extra shut-eye.
PS I also ran the trail early on our last morning at the beach house and nearly ran over some Kangaroos. I’m not sure who was more startled, them or me. I chose a slightly different route off the ridge at the end and found another, smaller, secret beach.  

Opening Hours: Never closed

Cost: Free