I woke up feeling only a little tired and kind of sad that I knew it was going to be our last run for the weekend. We had breakfast, checked out and geared up ready for the run.
We met at the bus and headed back to the spot where we had ended our run on Day/Night 1, Furber steps. This time when we got to the bottom we turned right, the guys were a bit ahead of me but I got to take this great shot below.
This was probably my second favorite run of the weekend. Once we got through all the tress the sky opened up and I stopped for a moment to look around me…. we were basically running on the side of the mountain with nothing around us for miles. It was brown and dusty and a totally different perspective from the views we had seen on the other trails this weekend. It was very tough terrain, and I wish I had taken some time to get a picture of that spot. I made a mental note to return and do this run again, breathtaking!
Julie, Louise and i kept moving and every so often we stopped so Julie could point out landmarks and mountains and just to take in the view. I got a great silhouette shot of the Three Sisters too.
We followed the side of the mountain for a while and eventually got to the bottom of the Golden stairs, these were going to be hard work. I had been told it was a very steep ascent and the steps were all different sizes, shapes and surfaces, so my plan was so take it slow and keep my breathing steady.
Boy were they tough! I’m a tall girl and even I struggled with the height of some of these steps, so I wasn’t sure how my shorter mates were going to find them. I even had to use the railings to pull myself up at some points. This was seriously tough and i’m thankful this part would be closer to the start of the course on race day.
When I got to the top of the Golden stairs I was lucky to have a few minutes spare to catch my breath while I waited for the other runners. It also gave me some time to take some more pictures.
When Julie & Louise got to the top we still had some time to kill before we had to be back at the bus, so we decided to head north up the path to our left and run for another 20 minutes before turning around. And I’m glad that we did, the views up the top were magical.
It was all Fire Trail so nothing too technical which meant that we had time to admire this beautiful view. The Blue Mountains truly is a spectacular place to run. I’m so lucky I had been a part of this camp and got to experience this place. We live in such a beautiful world.
We turned around after a short run up the hill and made our way back down towards the bus. Along the way Julie told us about the Trigger Plant, a small pink flower that has a trigger-like arm that snaps forward quickly in response to touch, harmlessly covering the insect in pollen. We found one along the path and used small sticks to get the trigger moving, it was pretty cool stuff and I would make sure that I looked for them again on race day. It could be something that I need to take my mind off the running 😉
We got back to the bus and did some much needed stretching. I felt sad that our running weekend was coming to an end, but felt so lucky to have had the experience. I thanked Julie for her hours of putting up with my questions and probing, I was very fortunate to have spent so much time with her and I hope she knows how much I appreciated it.
Here’s a shot of Julie, myself and Louise before our bus trip back to showers and lunch.
I headed for the showers as soon as we got back and then headed to the garden for a snack and a final round up with the crew. We went around the group and shared what we loved/learnt most from the camp and I had trouble picking just one.
I guess the whole camp had made me feel more confident that I can actually run 100km. I’ve now seen some of the course, the hard parts, and through each run, each session and each tip/technique, I now feel like I have the tools to get me to the start and finish line feeling positive (and not shit scared like I was last week, ha ha).
A huge thank you to Hanny, Graham, Simon, Julie & David for all their time, hard work, effort and encouragement throughout the camp. To all the other athletes it was a pleasure to meet you and run with you, as you were a lovely bunch. The camp has been one of the most positive and inspiring things I have ever done and I hope to attend another one very soon.
Happy trail running 😀