This was Stairmaster Twins Saturday. As I had no plan racing I went for the next best thing – helping with the race. At the same time as this was Saturday it was also a day to go for some decent mileage.
So the plan was to run early morning to Parkview, pick up the marking ribbons from Shane, do the forerunning duties and mark the course all the way to the mid point check point. And after closing the CP run back home. Routes to be decided. Distance planned somewhere around 30km.
It was stormy rainy wet wet morning. So first plan adjustment came right at the beginning. I wanted to get to Parkview with feet at least somehow dry. So I ditched the ideas of running over the hills and/or on the contour trail. I ran there on the road – my Tuesday evening route till Bowen and then turn uphill towards Parkview. Nice, fresh, pacy morning run, about 8km done.
My timing was good, I reached Parkview at almost the perfect time. Shane’s truck arrived few minutes later. I helped a bit with unloading, picked the bright yellow ribbons and went towards the trail. Mark was a bit late so I decided to go slowly ahead towards Violet Hill and start marking the course. It was pretty wet after overnight storms but still quite OK. The spiderwebs however were everywhere. There was no way to avoid them. The best I could do was to use the portfolio filled with ribbons as my “spiderweb stick”. So besides marking the course I was also clearing the way for the runners .
Mark caught up with me after Violet Hill and we continued over the Twins. It was drizzling here and there but nothing too bad. We were not rushing too much. We had decent headstart on the runners. And I did not want to risk any accident on the tricky surface.
Not far from the check point I saw flash and heard thunder – that increased my pace on the final downhill a bit. By the time we got to the check point it was properly raining. Another 5km (hilly) done.
We spent a bit over an hour at the check point. The weather was insane – torrential rain, lightnings, thunder all around. I was getting a bit cold at times. But few steps repeats up the hill always helped for a while.
Me and Mark thought about taking bus back once we closed the check point. But the driver of bus no. 6 ignored our waving hands. And so we decided to run. With the storm still around we were not too keen to go back over the hills. We decided to take the catchwater back to Parkview.
It was amazing 7km run. Fresh pace, water flowing fast in the catchwater, waterfalls all around us. Taking different route back we arrived back at the finish line ahead of the last runners. After short break and chat with Shane and few others I went on. With weather improving a bit and no storms in sight I decided to run back home over Jardines and Butler to add some more elevation to this Saturday run.
I felt pretty good but my legs were a bit “crampy”. No cramps as such but I could feel that my legs felt the pacy road and catchwater runs.
I took the steps down from Jardines and later from Butler carefully. I did not want to fall… I went faster on the downhill on Mt. Parker Rd. Then I turned on the Sir Cecil’s and paused for quick “shower” at my usual pipe (this time a waterfall). From here just 4km quick jog back home.
Combined I managed to accumulate aboyt 30km on these morning runs, good elevation mixed with pacy flat section – this worked out better than planned.