HOUNSLOW CLASSIC 21.1km SKYRUN
Train? Truck using compression brakes? Lads in a V8 coming back from the pub. Train again or truck. That was my night. The nerves in my left foot zapped me with electric shocks keeping me awake to listen to road noise. I was initially very snug and looking forward to a good sleep prior to my run, but actual nerves kept me awake and I didn't want to take my medication due to my run the next morning so I took one Panadol which dulled the pain a little but not enough for me to get back to sleep. My wrist vibrated. It was 5.10 am. Time to get up. The bathroom mirror revealed how I felt. I pressed on. I got my gear on, grabbed my vest and headed out the door.
The sun was trying to poke through the cloud lying across the Grose Valley presenting glowing flickers as it pushed itself higher. The valley was dark. The sun struggled, hidden behind cloud. We had all packed our wet weather kit as instructed by organisers. It wasn't that cold, but I had my long sleeve merino top and glove liners in defence of the threatening clouds. As it turned out, it didn't rain at all during the run.
We lined up and waited for the countdown. Three, two, one. We were off. A quick lap around Allview Estate to spread the (approx) 200 runners out before we headed down the trail and along the cliff. 🏃🏃🏃
Despite a full pack carrying 3 litres of water, two poles, first aid and snake bite bandage, long johns, rain jacket and nutrition I pushed myself forwards finding a good pace around the cliff edge. I was happy to be caught in a group of good paved runners as we avoided rocks and tree roots sticking up from the track. I was monitoring my heart rate and keeping it below 165 bpm. I was enjoying the technical aspects of the trail, dodging and weaving, dry trail, rock and mud. Such fun (but big drop to the left).
Cowbells and some welcomers. I arrived at Govetts Leap. This is where the stairs started up to Evans Lookout. I knew there was a long long way to go so I slowed down and hiked the stairs, running the longer sections. This also kept my heart rate in check. ...continued