Wednesday, January 06, 2010

We are runners not bushwalkers

AAWT 29.12.09 - 4.1.10 670km+ walhalla to tharwa. team mellum = dnf

i am sitting in my tent at the end of the first day (50km).
firstly i am wondering why i didnt take gaiters that day - what had i not read in karl's track notes (karl finished in 21-22 days in feb-march 2009): "good singletrack up, across and over the baw baws - in northern sections vegetation across the track and pulling at the legs".
hardly describes what was essentially trees completely covering 'trail' and a case of 'looking up and seeing the guys 20m ahead and not knowing how they got there'.
several hours of 2-3km/hr really plays with your mind and scratches on leg scratches is just really frustrating.
i guess shows what growth can occur over a 10 month period.
my stupid error.
you would think having had experience of this before would make me more likely to push through it:
quite the contrary, i found it simply made me fearful of what was to come.

so what has day 2 in store for me?
55.6km (well probably closer to 60km as we had done 4km over the book estimate day 1) with 2800m A&D.
description (a little edited) from karl ('mr dutchy') : the 'overgrown firetrail' north then NE up to mt shillinglaw from black river - GOOD LUCK!! this is what i wrote that night for this section as i travelled it south. followed overgrown FT to saddle then basically bushbashed completely unmarked ridge to river. covered 5km in 3hrs thought i would spend the night on the ridge. like i say 'GOOD LUCK'!!

hmmmmmmmmmm and if i crack on and do days 3 and 4 (the overnighter) i need to cover ...
day 3: 41.3km (book distance) 2330A 2020D not including an hour or more bushbash to find water and haul it (4-5 litres) up over mt mcdonald (1620m) for use at camp that night and first 10km the next day.
and day 4: 51.3km with 3480A and 3620D!!


funny thing was i felt fine physically.
it was mental.
ultrarunners are used to the mental side pushing the body along.
not the other way around.
i was broken and i wan't even sore.

i did pack my bag that night but after a sleepless night realised once again that there wasn't any point and wished andy and spud well on morning 2.

so i guess the brief version is i pulled out after day 1 (50km) :)

after bushbashing up from the river that night (arrived 9.30pm) 'the boys' looked as bad i did after day 1.
they now call it the 'dave look': pale, lifeless, an element of impending doom.

to their credit they headed out on morning 3 for the overnighter me presuming that days 3&4 would turn into 3,4 and 5.
long story short they came into camp 4 lunchtime on day 6.
by the sounds of things they had 'had it' mentally sometime during day 3.
they have quite cool descriptions of the 2 hour bushbash to find water at the creek :)
vicious thunderstorms nights 3 and 4 certianly hammered it home but by the sounds of things the die had already been cast.

there was a huge amount of prep done by many people for this.
you know who you are.
just mind boggling how much there is to do.
planning the days, maps, car/'mothership', camp gear/setup, cooking, gps...
a great effort over many years.
having said this we probably needed to do three times as much.
for no guarantee of improved performance.
such is life.

"We are runners not bushwalkers": whippetman (reminds me of this quote form a few years back: (near the bottom)

"I knew this was going to be hard, just not (poignant pause) THIS hard" : WM with a steely look in his eyes end of day 2.

"You made a wiiiiiiiiiiiise decision (pulling out)": heard this many times from WM

"I would not send anyone down that trail, its not advisable to go down that trail at all, there IS no trail, just NO TRAIL AT ALL!" Spud (discussing ascent from black river) day 2

"You're wanting to take a camera? Do you want a camera or food? You're going to spend 2 nights out there yunno": UCB the day 3 morning pack

karl is a legend.


Blogger Dan said...

Hard lines Dave... fair play for even getting out there an attempting this.

Another attempt in the future?

10:37 AM  
Blogger Spud said...

We'll be back, older and certainly wiser. But I still wouldn't send anyone up that trail... :)

6:28 PM  

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