The Shire Amazing Race

On Friday 20th March I hit the gym (Shire PTC) for a X-fit class. I have never done a X-fit class so my arms took a bit of a hammering, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s good to push yourself and try new things every now and again.

After the session the owner of the gym came around and asked if anyone was interested in taking part in the Shire Amazing Race the next day, as a team had pulled out so there were 12 spots to fill. I thought it sounded like a lot of fun, I’d actually looked it up online a few weeks ago but couldn’t afford the entry. And after some discussions with my new friend Leonie (we met that night in class) and the gym owner we were signed up!

Leonie and I met up to register before the race and chatted nervously about what we thought might come up on the days travels. We tried to guess obstacles and had a bit of a game plan thought out, god knows if it would help.

SAR 1

 

We saw some other entrants from Shire PTC and chatted to them before the race,and I also ran into Sonia (from Runlab) who was teamed up with Jo, a girl I used to play volleyball with. Such a small world!

The organisers did their introductions and for the warm up (Challenge 1) we all stood up and did Zumba, my friend Erita would have loved it!!

Then the countdown was on and the organisers hurried around to hand out the Hint papers with all our clues. We were entered in the ‘social’ category so we only had to complete 16 of the 20 Challenges to finish, plus we had paid $20 (donation to Enough is Enough charity) to get a ‘Pass’ for 1 challenge, so that meant we only needed to tick of 15 things from our list, and that we did.

We had a out photo taken with the captain of the Cronulla Ferry. we played OzTag on the Tonkin Oval. We took consecutive selfies of us with a race official, with a lifesaver ring & with a monument monument. We visited the local coffee shop to get a ‘cup’ which had to be used to bury one of you in the sand (we skipped this one as it was sprinkling with rain and we both didn’t want to get sandy, ha ha)

As we ran to the next challenge we saw it meant getting into the cold water, to swim and paddle a few laps before carrying the board around Cronulla for a lap. we skipped this on too!!

The next stop was the Rydges Hotel pool which was full of small plastic balls with team names on them. You had to locate your team name. I jumped into the pool and it was only waist height, I thought it would be the quickest way to find our ball but it turns out we were looking for the wrong ball (we didn’t find that out until after the finish!!). The race official saw how long we had been looking for the ball and showed us some leniency, thank you whoever you are because otherwise we would have been there all day!

We ran out of the hotel and down the stairs towards the beach where a Red Bull tent was setup and we were given a riddle which would help us crack the safe which was locked on the table. After phoning a friend and watching some other people we eventually got the safe open and we were off to our next challenge.

Most of the time we ran in between Pitstops (challenges) and the next stop was for a 3 minute spin session at Fitness First, which they filmed and asked us silly questions while we were out of breath and struggling. It was very funny.

And my favourite was next. We got to go inside an Orb ball and run/roll down the hill and back up again while battling the side winds and wet conditions. I wish we could have done a few laps in this thing as it was awesome. Also sponsored by Runlab, woohoo!

pUp next were the Bouncy Spring shoes (see picture below) we had to wear for a lap around a small course. I think I laughed the whole way around, they were good fun too.

SAR 2

 

We ran along the beach towards the south of Cronulla again and I bumped into my friend Amanda along the way, she was out doing her long weekend run – Go Amanda!

The next Pitstop was for a Water bucket puzzle challenge which we had some help from also, the other teams were so helpful. Thank you!

Next up was the obstacle course with Omar and the crew from Shire PTC. We had to take our shoes and socks off, jump into a potato sack and jump around a course while holding hands and not dropping the sack. You then had to slide along amat covered in water and soap suds, down a hill under a low netting which was heaps of fun. I laughed and got suds in my mouth! Then one of you was blindfolded and the other person had to guide you y voice around some cones and to the finish. We did this relatively fast and it was a lot of fun. Thanks Omar and crew 🙂

We got our dry clothes back on and headed south again for the next Pitstop. This challenge included counting a large staircase and then taking off 58 from the amount of stairs. If you got the answer right you proceeded to the next challenge.

Up next was a paddle in a large Outrigger, and it turned out that Leonie knew some of the ladies on duty and had paddled with them years ago. Small world. I had never done anything like this so really enjoyed the team row and trip out and around the bay even though it was cold and rainy.

Next we made our way back up to the Memorial Park and we had to climb (hang) our way along a rope, then perform some martial arts, and then finally get together with a huge group to solve a card puzzle that was 8 x 8 tiles. When we all worked together it was very quickly solved, go team!

Our last stop was at the Library for a short questionnaire (and chocolate) then we made our way running back to the Start area. Along the way I got some cheers from a running friend Jarrod, so funny that he should spot me out of all the entrants in our yellow shirts. Thanks for the cheers Jarrod!

We got to the line in 14th place (out of 79) which i think is fantastic!! Leonie was a lot of fun and I was so glad we had decided to give it a try. Maybe next year we can be in the ‘competitive’ group 😉

The event was so well run and the volunteers were fantastic. I was very impressed with the organisation of the event and am so glad to hear they raised a huge amount for their charity – Enough is Enough. What a fantastic event!

SAR 3

Thanks again Leonie! 😀

Catching the worm

Yesterday I got up at 3.15am to get a long run in before work. And yes it was quite tough getting out of bed at that time, but I plan ahead the night before I run early and had everything ready to go for when the alarm went off. All I had to do was throw on some running gear, grab my pack and I can be out the door within 10 minutes.

I ran with a friend called Jason who I had met at the training camp in the Blue Mountains a few months back and we’ve kept in touch via facebook. There were a few of us at that camp who (we realised) live close by so we exchanged details and planned to do some training runs together. It’s amazing the amount of people who I have kept in touch with since that camp, it’s been most helpful in more ways than I ever thought possible.

Jason and his mates (Andy & Clint) run together regularly before work most days, and they’re all training for The NorthFace100 like me, so when he emailed me yesterday asking if I’d like to come along I jumped at the chance. It would be good “night” training for me and a chance to test out my new Hokas.

So we met up at the Sutherland Bike Track car park at 3.55am and headed across and over the Loftus train station. We went along a couple of streets and eventually hit a gate that led to the fire trail we would be taking today. Most of the run follows a big pipeline and I’ve heard about locals who’ve run this before. I’ve wanted to run the tracks close to home before but haven’t known many people who’ve run them and I’m too much of a scaredy cat to go by myself.

It was pitch black and the only thing lighting the way was our headlamps. I was using a Petzl R+ and 2 of the other guys were using Ayup (I think that’s how you spell it). The Ayup actually had 2 torches so you could have one pointing up and one down towards the ground and they were very, very bright. My headlamp was much more compact (didn’t have the huge battery pack at the back like the others) and you can adjust the direction of the beam quite easily while running as it has a few different setting spots. The Petzl had a couple of brightness settings (as they all do) and I wanted to try the sensor setting yesterday, this setting actually takes information in about how bright the area is in front of you and adjusts the brightness accordingly to save power when less light is needed. And I think as the guys headlamps were much brighter it meant that my torch didn’t have to be at full power for the whole run.

Most of you who read my posts regularly will know that I usually stop and take a lot of photos so i can share my running journey, but during this run I only managed 1 photo and even then by the time I got the phone camera working the guys were so far away from me that you can hardly see them.

photo

We ran across a creek and up and down the trails and came out at another road which we crossed and then found another gate which led us back to running along the pipeline again. Luckily Jason knew where he was going as I honestly would have gotten very lost. The guys were running at a pace faster than what I would normally run but I didn’t want to fall behind so I kept pushing myself, only having to walk a few small hillier sections, which they kept running and doubled-back to get me.

This was an out and back trail so once we turned around we knew what was coming, and it actually seemed much quicker on the way back. And when we got back to the cars the sun was only just starting to rise over the horizon. What an awesome way to start the day!

I did not have any problems with my new Hoka One One Stinson Trail shoes and they felt very comfortable, going downhill was a breeze for my knees and ankles due to the extra support they provided. I was a little worried when I bought them that my weak ankles (from years of netball) wouldn’t cope well in them, but after a little while of jogging you hardly even notice a difference. Here’s a shot of them nicely christened from the run.

hokas

The guys were fun to run with and we chatted a lot and had a few laughs along the way. It’s always great to have new company on the trails and i felt like the time passed so quickly during that whole run. All in all we ran just over 23km and it took us 2 hours and 45 minutes, here’s the Nike+ App information.

nikeplus

Happy Trail Running 🙂