I'm not a natural blogger and I'm no techie. I'm an ultra trail runner by passion, and a journalist by profession - in that order of priority.
In this blog I use the one to talk about the other - my trail thoughts, musings and meanderings about running mountains and trails.
I call it rockhoppin', just because... well... that's what we trail runners love to do!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Farewell The TAR-k Side, hello Trail


That's 89.3km done and dusted, and I’ve completed my long run to freedom – it’s g’bye T*R for me, ahead lies the running I want to do, that I love to do.

Trail’s like that, it gets into your blood, it makes you look at rocks, waterfalls, mountains and vistas through new eyes, and you dream of running every path you’ve ever trodden.

Road just doesn’t excite me anymore. It did for more than a decade, but then I found trail and it was a breath of fresh air. I dropped T*R like a baby would a soggy biscuit, and swopped it for trail. I traded 5k time trials, 21’s and 42’s for hours on the mountains, water bottle for pack, road shoes for trail treads. Life was good!

But I had a little nag… a smidgeon of unfinished business with road: I’d clocked up nine Comrades and I needed my 10th. To not achieve my Green Number would be a shame – almost disrespectful to the nine runs I had in the bag. I knew it had to be done, but kept finding reasons to put it off – Trans-Alps, desert races, even injuries.

But this year I was out of reasons – I had to get it done. So, I dusted off the T*R trainers and diligently hit the black stuff for five months solid (sneaking in just one delicious day of trail as a treat halfway through to keep my sanity [see my post on Addo Elephant Trail Run]).

Then, on June 3rd I pounded the final 89.3km to my Green Number. It was a long haul – that race always is, particularly if interrupted by 2-3 emergency pitstops like mine was. I didn’t have the perfect race I hoped for – my wheels fell off just before the halfway mark and I spent the next 20km trying to gather them up and stick them back on. But I managed to clock up my 10th in a PB of 8:01 and come in 35th woman, as my little swansong to T*R. So I was happy.

(And for all those who’ve teased me that I now may need to 1) run Comrades for an 11th time in respect of my Green Number, or 2) run it once more to shave off that extra 1min 09secs to get a sub-8hrs, FORGET IT!)

My second half of 2012 will be as exciting as my Jan-June of The TAR-k Side were dull: 
  • end of June - Aussenkehr (3-day stage race in Namibia)
  • Aug - Sierre-Zinal (Switzerland)
  • Aug - Puffer (Cape Town)
  • Oct - Grand Raid de Reunion (Reunion Island)
plus a few other goodies sprinkled in here and there…

So long T*R, I’m comin’ home to trail!

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