I arrived to blue skies and a heat I haven’t felt for a while. Holiday!! Oh with four races / 80km of trails…
We checked into our hotel and went to explore Alice Springs…everywhere I looked espresso martinis were the ‘cocktail of the week’. Uh oh.
Anyway. We had wine and food and more wine. Then to bed to prepare for a sunrise shoot.
Race day 1:
5.30am alarm went off to get up for some sunrise filming
5.31am Raw Protein pre workout taken
5.32am awake and ready.
Sunrise was epic, being in nature was epic. I’m still a little in awe.
The race wasn’t until 6pm – a sunset race through the trails of Alice Springs.
I’m not great with evening runs to be honest – I eat too much and I feel nervous all day. But I took myself on walks and meditated….and drank a lot of coffee.
The race began. It was still light when we took off and I decided to hang out with the lead pack to see how it felt. Legs felt good. Heart felt good (thanks coffee).
The trails were amazing – undulating single track. My favourite. I was in heaven.
Then sunset came.
My shades came off and the head torch came out (and the fear of kangaroos jumping out on me increased ten fold)
But I kept running, towards the most amazing sunset I’ve ever seen. My motivation.
No gels to inhale / spill / choke on. Just trails …and darkness. I squealed. A lot. The downhills were pretty technical when you rely on torch light – and no prescription shades
1km away from the finish I knew I was first girl. I sped up (sorry legs) and made sure I finished with a sprint. First girl. High five.
One (ok two) glasses of wine then bed.
Race Day 2:
My alarm went off at 5.30am….
I’d been up since 4.30am wondering why I’d agreed to be interviewed by ABC News Radio at 6am as first female – and wondering how to not sound like a complete idiot.
The presenter called, totally lovely. Told me the questions she might ask, told me not to swear. Shit.
Then we were live…for ten whole mins. I sounded like an idiot I’m sure, but I was grateful to sing the praises of Run Larapinta, and life in general.
Anyway. The race.
20km of hard technical terrain – up, along and down a mountain – then through a bouldery dried out river. Then, just to make sure you got your mountain fix, another mountain.
I started off with the pack I ran with the night before. Nice pace 4.45 min/km. I was happy.
10km later the mountain came. It was vertical. Literally. I climbed, I cursed, I almost cried. The hardest climb / hike / ascent I’ve ever done.
Then the top, stunning. Views over Alice springs. Again I was speechless, second almost crying moment of many. I took photos and videos, and fell over for my efforts.
Words escaped me.
The terrain was a combination of slanted jagged rock and scree. Yay, who doesn’t like that? I managed to get distracted looking at a sheer drop next to me and smashed my knee (trying to go through it instead of over it of course). The pain and the blood brought me back to reality. Race. You’re in a bloody race.
Time to focus.
I picked up the pace.
The descent was…tricky. Rocks, boulders, scree.
Thank you knife party for the downhill soundtrack I needed so badly.
Then came the boulders. Actual boulders. We climbed. We got lost, then we climbed some more. The guys I was running with were amazing. Motivational and encouraging.
No girls, I was first girl. Yikes.
Second mountain. Quads like jelly, calves like…I don’t even know what.
I just kept moving. To the top.
I passed my Red Door Productions comrades filming the runners, who told me that it was downhill from here. Not far….
Just very technical downhill on very very smashed and tired legs.
I kept going. My thoughts were all over the place, I can’t even remember.
The finish. The most grateful and amazing moment in any racing / running / sporting event of my life.
Microscopic trauma galore.
I am grateful.
Two more races. Sorry legs.