It was dark and just after 6am when we left the campground for our run in the Alps, wearing our headlamps and carrying our over stuffed packs.
Overall I loved whole experience but there are a couple of wrong turns that blew my mileage out from a 64km to a 70km. The first was that the sign on Razorback Spur would be great if there was an ARROW that pointed to Diamatina Spur, and secondly, knowing that Mt Loch car park is in the opposite direction to the Mt Loch summit. Actually when Paul Ashton, the race director, met me near the Mt Loch car park, I called out to him that in my defence in Adelaide the Mt Lofty car park is AT the summit of Mt Lofty. As we headed back to the car park Paul did say that I was obviously fit enough to finish which was encouraging and that it would also be dark. Now that was exciting, I love night running.
So pointing me in the direction of Diamantina Hut, the 42km mark for most but 48km mark for me, I ran to it and stopped and devoured some hot soup, boiled potatoes and refilled my hydro bladder before heading off for the final 22km.
Although the day’s light was fading, even quicker because of the eminent rain approaching, the run over Razorback with mountain views either side of the mountain tops were stunning. It just reinforced that there is nothing that comes close in the Adelaide hills to what I had experienced this day in these Alps.
With the winds picking up and before the rain drops got any heavier, I decided to stop and put on my water/wind proof jacket. Actually the deciding factor in stopping and covering up followed the sixth flash of lightning as I had my hiking pole sticking out of my backpack and I didn’t want to risk being lit up. I also put on my headlamp as I didn’t want to make another stop.
Through wind, rain, lightening and thunder I ran as much as I could, and when I was right on top of the mountain ridge, I kept as low as I could so I wouldn’t get blown off. And then the fog came in. And it was black now, but towards the last 11km the fog went as did the lightening and thunder, and although the wind eased off the rain just got heavier.
Bungalow Spur that we had gone up, too many hours ago to work out, had turned into a flowing creek. My legs where starting to get cold by continually being hit by the rain heavy plants that hung over the single trail. Then my headlamp started to fade.
Through intermittent phone calls, touch phones are unreliable in the rain; I heard that Stirling was on his way back up to meet me. He and I had planned this yonks before today.
All in all, we meet and get down to the road again and I managed a slow soggy sprint to the end. Seventeen hours and thirty minutes, what a day Back at the lodge, I was asked if I would come back next year and said no however after that night’s sleep, the answer is a definitive YES !!!