Last week (quite by chance) I came across a trail run for beginners. The event was set up so that anyone could attend as they had varying route lengths, so I signed up to do the 4k route (the middle distance) and I told the organiser that I’d probably have James in tow but he would do the longer trail.
Now it’s pretty well known that I dislike (with a passion) “group shite” but in this instance I made an exception as I’ve always wanted to venture out onto the trails but it kind of helps if you have someone with you who knows where they are going, so I put on my big girl pants (or skirt in this case) and turned up even though a) the weather was dodgy as and b) I knew I’d probably be the slowest by a mile (or two!)
James and I arrived early, Alex (the organiser), turned up early (but not as early as us) and the rest? Well, let’s just say that’s reason 3478 why I hate doing group shite … Anyhoo – late and after a “yay we all made it, let’s get this party started” selfie we went through the shoe cleaning station and set out onto the Upper Kauri Track.
We started out slow (like so slow, I couldn’t actually run) but it was quite fortuitous since we had another couple of late arrivals catch up to us. The track started out with a winding up hill of dirt and the group stayed together until when we reached the Fenceline Track at that point, all the guys in the group took the detour towards the Dam and the girls stuck together with Alex guiding us along a shorter route.
At this stage I will say that Alex suggested James go off with the rest of the men folk as at the very beginning I had asked him to stay with me on the shorter run as I didn’t know anyone and I knew he would stay by my side, so after checking with me that I’d be ok (and I assured him I would be), he set off and ending up leading the guys , which is perhaps how they managed to get lost – although later he decided that they just thought they were lost, they weren’t actually lost. However as they didn’t finish at the correct place (because I waited and did my burpees there as James had the car keys) I think they may have in fact been more lost than they thought they were .. 😉
We (the girls) followed the Fenceline Track till it reached the Auckland City Walk. I’d say a good majority of the track is boardwalk (my least preferred surface especially when it’s wet underfoot) and there were at least 7 million stairs. I found quite a lot of it I couldn’t actually run and then I’d find a dirt section (yay) and just get into a groove and I’d come across a quadmire of mud OR a steep hill (of mud) and at one point, a river! Albiet a very small one, I mean if we were going to get all technical about it, it was perhaps more like a meandering brook ..
As I got to the water crossing I stood by the edge and put my arm out (meaning come get me) and as Alex came back to get me I said “Don’t even think of complaining, you are the one who sent my husband away” (he won’t be doing that again, I assure you) … 😉
Later when I was talking to James about the run, he said
“I’d be running along a section thinking, Julia will be hating this and then I’d get to another bit and think Julia will be hating this part even more.. “
and to a degree that was true, it may not have been the best run I’ve ever had BUT it was in fact the BEST work out I’ve had in ages! In fact, there was a hill section on one of the tracks where I had to stop twice! Like as in stop dead in my tracks! And my glutes are still on fire two days later! Now that was one mother of a hill!
All in all both James and I had a great time. I’d love to continue to explore trail running but going out with a group confirms that I’m not that interested in doing any real life events (like the Xterra series) I prefer when it’s just me and an open trail ..
Till next time
Here is a link to the Auckland Beginners Runners group (headed by Alex) should you want to go along one weekend (it’s currently free).
Here is a link to the Auckland Regional Council’s page on the Cascades (listing all the walks in the area).