Whenever I head to Cascade Kauri for a trail run once I’m off the Auckland City Walk it’s quite rare for me to come across other trail users – especially mid morning on a weekday (because I guess not everyone has a cool job that allows them to have random weekdays off so they can run around in the mud). 😉
Today when I pulled into the car parking area there were already a few cars parked up, so I thought I may cross other people in my travels but I didn’t see or even hear another soul until I was about 3/4 of the way through my intended route.
I was running along my favorite part of the Upper Kauri Track, which is the section between the Long Road track and the Lower Kauri Track (in short because there are no boardwalks) when I rounded a corner and saw a group of about 20 up ahead of me. Even at “speed” I could see they were a group of tourists as opposed to a tramping group given that most of them were dressed in jeans and pristine white sneakers – although some of the group did have walking poles.
They were all fascinated by one particular Kauri Tree their guide was pointing at so I got quite close to them before they noticed my presence gasped audibly and then made a pathway through the middle of their group for me to go through. Being a polite trail user, I nodded, smiled and said “thank you” repeatedly as I passed by and then it happened ..
They clapped! The entire group!
My first thought was “Gee, I’m glad that was a slight downhill and I could keep running for that long.”
As I continued to run along the trail back to my car I wondered why they felt the need to clap and settled on the fact that I was running alone in the middle of the Waitakere Ranges in the rain. I mean, if you think about it that’s pretty “hardcore” for your average jean clad tourist looking at Kauri Trees (and they hadn’t seen that hill that I had to walk up earlier on).
Upon telling James my story his first reaction was “how patronising.”
Oh! It was pity clapping? “We’ll done random lady – we are proud of you for getting off your couch and giving it a go!”
Which if you think about it, makes much more sense ..
Till next time