Day 101......................Tough By Their Standards
The BNT has many coordinators that look after different sections of the route. I understand that it is their job to make sure that the trail is marked and cleared , as well as liaising with land owners and campsites that the trail runs through or passes. They are an amazing team of people that give up their time for free to take care of the trail just for the love of it!
These are the same great people that welcome us into their homes, make sure we know where we are going, give us gifts of homemade fruit cakes and the like, and just all round great people that are passionate about what they do and care for others.
However, and yes, there is just one thing that most of these wonderful people have in common. They all think that their section is the toughest!
Toughness is hard to measure, for instance; I like to run mountains, lung busting glute pumping ascents that make your calf's want to split and then the roller coaster technical single track that terrifies you on the steep descents from the top that if you tripped you would brake everything!
Now, that to me isn't tough, just fun and what mountain and trail running is all about. A 15% incline on a dirt road isn't a climb in fact it isn't worth noting as a slope, as with a few loose pebbles on a steep decent, it isn't high risk stuff.
Its great that people want to look after your welfare, but comments like "Its going to be some tough going up there" and "its a real steep decent, please be be careful its hard taking a horse down there" just dont need to be made.
Firstly horses and humans or trail runner for that matter are different. I have learnt this first hand after my run with the horses through Canberra. I'm faster than the average horse, I'm not scared of steep drops on loose ground and I certainly don't get spooked at a passing car.
The BNT is full of life threatening terrain and situations, but these are the same places that many of the coordinators havnt traversed themselves, even if its there section!
Queensland has had more of this talk, about it having some "toughness". The truth is that since arriving in QLD the trail so far has been easy going or at least relative to some places I have been, and there is still such a long way to go and anything can change.
But listen up people, I have crossed rivers up to my neck, 43 times in a day in one place, scaled rock walls to avoid obstacles, bashed my way through harsh scrub down steep spur lines, gone under, over and through electric, barbed wire fences and been chased by all manner of wildlife as well as getting lost for hours at a time, all this on top of running high mileage days. Dirt roads are not a challenge, neither are sealed ones of any degree!
Ok, enough about me being the Pat Farmer, Bear Gryls crossbreed if there was such a thing.
What happened today. We slept in the FoodWorks carpark in a town called Nanago as we had a media gathering there at 7:30am
Marnie the store manager had organised a bunch of great things. They had the local radio broadcast live at the store where I had an interview and asked people to come down and support us with the gold coin donation BBQ that the store had also put on.
Then it was a interview with the towns local paper, followed by another radio station where I crossed live and then another paper that was regional, busy morning meeting the locals and giving FoodWorks, the trail and SANE a plug, and after the photo shoot the day before I was tired before I had even headed out on the trail for the day!
Vickie took me to the starting point of today's run. The first section would have me following the rail trail from Blackbutt and then over the valleys to Nanago. It was a great afternoon, sun shining but not overly warm with nice flat easy going.
It was all good until once again K's were being added. The first section was meant to be 15km but after and hours running with 12km still left to go I knew of course it had to be much longer, typical of BNT, it always has something to through up.
Just after that section and heading into the second part of the day, my right knee decided to play up again. I say again, as its been coming and going for a number of days, but I have seemed to have managed it with the good old foam roller. But today I couldn't shake it.
This sums up the ease of QLD so far in three points.
I called Vickie. Firstly there is phone reception. She was going to have to pick me up so I could spend the afternoon knocking this little niggle on the head, secondly, she could just drive to where I was and pick me up. I decided that I would end my run there for the day only knocking of 25km or so and would add the remaining mileage to my 40km run tomorrow, and finally I'm able to just add one day to another, because I know the goings easier!
So we have found this little campsite that is free in a great location with hot showers and power, I have rolled my ITB to bits and we are going to snuggle up and watch a movie together, something else that takes some of that toughness away.
Until tomorrow anyway.