After a week of wonderful, wind-free evenings and perfect weather, it started to rain the day before this event, coupled with some wind. As we got up on the Sunday morning, it was pouring, with a nasty wind, and it took all the motivation I had left in me to get up, get dressed and drive to Opiki, all along thinking that I will just check out the scene and bail before we even start.
Once a year the Woodville Lions Club organise an approximately 8km walk on the train track through the Manawatu gorge, starting at the Ballance Bridge end (Woodville side) in the east and walking back to the Ashhurst Domain on the west side of the gorge.
I’ve often wondered what the gorge would look like from the other side. If you are on the one side of a river, you always long to see the other side, and vice versa. That’s life, I guess … :). We’ve driven though the gorge on several occasions by road, which is on the one side of the river, while I always look across to the train track, also carved into the cliffs of the gorge, and wonder how the graffiti got onto the concrete slabs underneath the track. With the river way below and near vertical cliffs to get to the track, the willpower of graffiti artists always amazes me. Continue reading
I’ve never considered myself the Bruce Springsteen of running – I wasn’t Born to Run.
In fact, the first time Wouna and I gave in to a nagging runner friend and joined her for a 5km fun run I was already past 30. And little kids of between 3 and 5 ran the shit out of me.
Maybe it was the shock of realising we weren’t able to run continuously for more than 2km, or the fact that kids that scarcely reached my knees easily ran away from us, but from that day we did our best to get better at the running game. Running together, we persevered, eventually managing our first 10km race, then a 21, then a 32, and then the wheels came off – the classic story of injury from over-use. We rested, cut back, tried again, this time getting all the way to completing a marathon at a pretty decent 6min/km pace. The sky was the limit, so we did more marathons, and quickly progressed to our first ultra – the scenic Two Oceans marathon in Cape Town. After this came injury again, followed by cut-back and rest, slow build up, eventually another marathon, and so forth, until now, about 10 years later, I would contend that we’ve spent enough of the past decade on the road (or on the trail) to be able to refer to ourselves as runners. Continue reading
Wow! wow! wow! Phew … wow … I don’t have the words to describe the experience that is the DUAL. It is 2011. For me the year that will always mark our first running of the DUAL, a character-building experience that will probably be engraved in my mind for a long time. The weather god, Huey, played an evil trick on us to help make sure we will never ever forget this event.