#oneHRC House Marathon – Part two.
Last week I completed the first part of the #oneHRC House Marathon (being the Slytherin 6k) which left 3 events left to do (the Hufflepuff 5k, the Ravenclaw 10k and the Gryffindor Half Marathon. All four events combined would total a Marathon distance of 42k).
The forecast looked good for Saturday morning but by all accounts it was going to deteriorate rapidly, so I planned on starting early and getting one of the two longer events completed, hoping that I’d miss the change in the weather.
Saturday also happened to be my wedding anniversary so it seemed rather apt that James had decided that he’d forgo his usual Saturday morning sleep in and join me. I guess that was his anniversary gift to me. In return, my gift was to run the Ravenclaw 10k and not the Gryffindor Half.
It will take me at least 3 and a half hours to complete 21k’s out on the trail and that’s on a good day on a slightly undulating and mud free surface (therefore, not a likely scenario) and James (being a fast runner) just doesn’t have the patience to be out on the trail for that long (at my speed).
On Saturday morning, we got to the trail just before 8am but we were not the first car to park up near the gate, in fact both the Waitakere Dam carpark and the Fairy Falls carpark were both quite full when we passed, so it seems as though everyone had decided they should get out early!
I decided that we’d run down Cutty Grass Track (the same track I’d run the Slytherin 6k on) and at the end, go across Anawhata Road and complete the McElwain Loop Walk (stopping at the raised look out platform to check out the view) and then head back up Cutty Grass Track to complete the 10k. I had initially planned on doing a slightly longer loop because I’ve got more time on the weekend so tend to explore a little further afield, but I knew that venturing along three tracks that I am completely unfamiliar with would slow me down dramatically and James had already given up his sleep in, I wasn’t going to push my luck.
We found the early bird car parker not far into our run. He was a fully laden tramper, who quite quizzically was in exactly the same place, staring at exactly the same clump of trees on our return – I figured he must be a bird watcher however James noted that he’d have to be the worst one ever if he was just going to stand out in the open, in the middle of the track – but honestly, I’ve found the best way to find birds is to clump loudly through the forest and they all squawk loudly scaring the living shit out of you, so perhaps the guy was onto something .. 😉
I’ve run Cutty Grass many times now (well 5) so that part is straight forward and I’d seen the entrance signs a little way down Anawhata Road the first time I ran Cutty Grass (and had gone out on the road to take photos of the entrance), so I kind of knew where I was going – but it turns out even with a blinking red arrow (that denotes me) on a topomap I can still manage to head in completely the opposite direction. I knew as soon as I got to the rock “steps” on the side of a cliff that I was on the longer loop I had investigated earlier in the week instead of the shorter look out loop.
James wasn’t fussed when I explained that if we continued in this direction it would add an additional 3-4k’s so we decided to continue along the Centennial Track and check it out. That was until we got to a section of wet rock hanging over a sheer drop that we had to cross to continue along the track on the other side, at that point James suggested we turn around and head back and find the trail I had wanted initially.
It actually wasn’t that hard to find, there had only been one junction (which we had turned left at) so it was pretty obvious that the look out was on the track we had not taken.
Standing up on that platform it was hard to imagine that there was rain on the way, it certainly was bright up there!
After we’d taken in the view and posed for some photos we headed back down the trail. When I arrived back at Anawhata Road I realised why I’d had trouble getting orientated earlier in the day. The look out track is located on the other side of the large retaining wall (and there is no signage near the other entrance to tell you this) at least it’s pretty hard to get lost on Cutty Grass although not completely impossible because I may have managed to get a little off course once or twice but I digress …
Ravenclaw 10k done!
2 down, 2 to go ..
Till next time