UTMB Training No 38 – The long run abandoned

Today was supposed to be another insane summer run. Plan was to join Vince’s summertime Double Au challenge (Mac 3 – 8, about 54km). I intended to go one stage further than last summer – to Shing Mun – and then to see if I feel like continuing.

Doing this in summer time is always a challenge. But this time the conditions were extra special – the typhoon over Taiwan brought some extreme heat (around 37C, officially…) and insane pollution levels (API above 100). The smart option would be stay home…

I went for the less smart option to give it a try hoping that higher up and under the trees the air would be better. It was not…

I set off from Pak Tam Au around 7am. I kept the pace under control taking it very easy to preserve energy for later on. I felt quite OK at first. I jogged only very lightly on the runable sections and hiked most of the time. There was unbelievable number of dragonflies all around – I have never seen anything like that … I disturbed one mid size snake with my pole but I have no idea what was it as I could only see it moving away through the grass.

Near the M57 marker I encountered the first trouble of the day. There was some buzz ahead and this time these were not dragonflies but wasps. There was a very little chance to pass through them without getting in trouble. I backtracked looking for some way around. But all I managed was to take a shortcut back to marker M54. So I turned around and went back hoping that the wasp situation improved.

Luckily when I got back to the wasps spot the wasps were gone. After a short climb uphill I jogged, ran for a while. This jogging bit took a toll on me very quickly. I struggled quite bit even before the Rooster Hill climb. The climb itself was a suffer fest. Climbing in this heat I could not believe that last time I was here I was cramping in freezing weather during HK100… I knew that there is no way I can handle the next long exposed stage in these conditions. I made a decision to get down to Kei Ling Ha and jog down to Saikung.

It took me close to half an hour to struggle my way down from Rooster Hill, that included short “move small snake from the steps” break. At Kei Ling Ha I bought few cold drinks from the vending machine, chatted a bit with Vince who got there too. Then I turned to Saikung. Mission abandoned…

I jogged and walked those 4-5km and before hopping on minibus. Not the best Saturday but some times the weather wins…

Link to Strava here

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