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Tuesday, 20 May 2014

glasshouse cook's tour 2014

Instructions to captain cook via TRAQ (Trail Running Association of Queensland):
Mix 63 runners in temperatures between 17-23 celsius, on shady forested trails over low-lying rolling hills, in early morning fog breaking to a fine but cloudy autumn day, and give them 50km.
An ambitious trail plodder can only hope for ideal racing conditions like these, a perfect cook's recipe for a PB. One would think or dare dream eh? Result? DNF!
The glasshouse cook's tour 2014 event was held on 18th May. The race venue took in the beautiful green backwoods of Woodford deep in the Beerburrum forests.

I was trotting along the rolling undulations of a forest reserve and negotiating a gully crossing when I felt something give in my right knee. Next thing I was on my haunches in a ditch almost on all fours. I was wondering if I got shot or if I tripped. I tried to get back on my feet when again my right leg just collapsed under me.
And that was that for this attempt at the 50km race. I wanted a race well done but I was only half-baked. I was at about the halfway point (26km) of the race and I was faring well prior to my right knee going. Dr Me did some quick diagnosis and discovered that I could not push off the leg climbing uphill and not put any weight on it going downhill. However I found that I can somehow walk at some steady slow pace on flat ground. And that's what I did to get back to the start line. I strolled the remaining 8km of the west loop back to checkpoint 8. I considered walking the rest of the 50km route but decided that discretion is the braver part of valour. The next 5.5km east loop included a hill climb and was not worth risking a dodgy knee. So at the checkpoint I advised the marshalls that I was pulling out.
And then what else do you do on a beautiful Sunday morning if not go for a walk in the bush. That's exactly what I did - all the way back to the start line. All up I ran/walked 45 kilometres that day. Yes it took all day! Along the way I took some photos.
There were a few pretty quick runners there from some group of blazing trail runners, no not these two beep-beeping trail runners above. These two are a bit pedestrian and obviously not purty. Compared to me they are mighty fast and purty, but when I say pretty quick, I mean the pretty and quick ladies - the blistering trail runners, trailblazers or bellbirds they are called. I must say I got to within metres of them girls - at the start line, though it was still too dark to take photos of them. 
And they set off like a rocket at the start. They blasted the field. I believe they were finishing about the time I was breaking down.

While hobbling along I hailed a couple of cowboys but there was no room at the sidesaddles.

So I plodded on.
Checkpoint #8 where I quit the race and walked 12km back to Woodford.

Along the way I was passing so many other runners.
I was overtaking them.
Left,
right
and centre.
Then I passed a cyclist, I mean he passed me.
Only then did I realise that everyone was going past me.
 It wasn't me passing them at all. Hallucinations. That's what.
They were speeding.
Left,
right
and through me.
This older gentleman below was veritably sprinting and scorching.
But of course that scorched bushland was from a bushfire.
Runners scorch but they do not burn.

I encountered those blistering er bludgeing trail runners again.
 A bit pedestrian looking aren't they.

Marshall: "What's his number?"
Me: "G'day marshalls, don't worry about my number. I quit."

A few more runners passed me. 
'They were so fast and they could see I must have solitude.'
And then I was on my own.
Ahhh serenity. You can smell it!