UTMB Training No 32 – Post rain morning snake dance on Sir Cecil’s Ride

Normally Tuesday is my evening road run day. But as I couldn’t do the evening run tonight I went for early morning run on Cecil’s Ride. I woke up early to see a mayhem outside of the window. Heavy rain and thunderstorm. I would not mind a run in the rain after the weeklong heatwave but I decided to wait for a while for the thunderstorm to pass.

It was nice and cool at first so I pushed a bit up the road. I slowed down a bit after while once I realized that it is still quite hot and very stuffy. After reaching the end of the road I switched to walk up the steps towards the trail. I was not sure where I am going to run but once I reached Cecil’s Ride I decide to first run to the right towards Mt Butler Road, then turn and run back towards Mt Parker Road and then back.

I was on the trail for maybe 2 minutes when pretty sizeable specimen of Red Necked Keelback slithered down the slope and crossed the trail not more than 3 meters ahead of me. The snake was moving smoothly and quickly and it was gone before I covered those 3 meters. I thought to myself “cool, a redneck!” and kept on running. I have encountered couple of redneck keelbacks on this trail in past two summers but this was the first time this year.

I kept on running trying to keep reasonable pace while watching out for more snakes. My legs felt quite heavy. The uphill bit towards Mt Butler Road was not easy. It was much better once I turned around all those uphill bits became downhills. For some reason I had this weird feeling that I will run into more snakes this morning.

I ran back towards Mt Parker without any incident though. My legs still felt quite heavy and I switched to walk here and there but for few meters only. I also managed to knock my big toe somewhere during the long run on Saturday. I did not feel it then but the bugger was hurting this morning. Before Mt Parker I paused for a while to cool down at the water pipe. At the junction with Mt Parker Road I was for a while negotiating with myself whether to run down the road or return back the same way. The same way option won and I was running back. Quick cool down at the same pipe and then quickly back.

I was feeling a bit better, legs were lighter so I maintained a decent pace. Then just before I reached the junction where few trails meet (and where a shortcut home is available) I had what looked like deja vu. Again no more than 3 meters ahead something slithered down the slope and smoothly crossed the trail. This time not a redneck but clearly well fed and pretty long Chinese Cobra – definitely the largest one I met in the wild. Luckily thanks to my trail speed the snake disappeared in the bushes before I covered those 3 meters. But this one freaked me out. I have encountered cobras before but never like this – coming down out of nowhere from the slope. From that moment I totally forgot how my legs feel. I just wanted to get back to the civilisation without crossing paths with another serpent.

I can’t really remember how I ran the reminder of the run. But sure it was good and interesting workout.

Link to Strava here.

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