By Richelle Olsen, 19 February 2014
Someone asked me recently “So when are you going to do something for yourself, everything you are doing at the moment is for Shane.” Which made me wonder...is that really what people think?
I’d like to say it doesn’t matter what others think, but we all know the reality on that front.... My answer to her went along the lines of this....I don’t do what I do with The Ultra Life for Shane, I do what I do to follow my own dreams, and to build on the dreams that Shane and I have together. It might seem that I am the one slaving away, doing all the logistics, organisation and support of all our events, and Shane gets to be the poster boy who gets to go out and do what he loves most, running. Yes, all this is true, but the bit thats not so obvious is the thrill I get from organising, I love making a plan, and seeing it succeed. To be honest I kinda thrive on the power too. Shane gets to do what he loves, running, and I get to build a little empire around us. It helps that I love him to death too! It’s a win-win-win!
Logistics seem so boring....where do I get my buzz? The start of 2014 has been kinda nuts, here’s what I’ve been organising...
The Ultra Life Fundraisers:
Oh, I have a full time job too!
Still you ask, that sounds like hell, wheres the buzz?
My buzz is doing a lil dance every time I get an email saying another ticket sold to the Trail Run.
My buzz is the satisfaction that I have built my own website (and designed my own logos), something I’ve been wanting to do for as long as I remember
Its receiving amazing emails of support for what we are doing from total strangers
Its coming home after work to find hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of Clif Bar products in a box at my front door..Walked like an Egyptian on that one
Its each and every single donation we get for Shake It Up, if only you could see the little Irish jig that goes on behind closed doors when we get a new donation!
Its Karen from Woolies ringing to say they will give us $50 for the snags in bread! Macarena!
Its asking Moxie Gear for some of their awesome gaiters for free, and them saying what’s your address...definitely worth a Hokey Pokey.
My buzz is feeling like its Xmas when unwrapping the new state of the art ultralight hiking tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mat, with a combined worth of more that many first cars, generously donated by Bogong Equipment
Its Shannon from Par Avion telling me he will fly me into Melaluca in a tiny plane at a highly discounted rate, just so I can spend the night in the wilderness with my boy, and feed him some decent food!
Its Gerd who owns some of the most luxurious beach houses on the north coast of Tassie, offerring one of his Azzure Beach Houses to Shane and I for a night for the Tassie Traverse, entirely for free!
Its people liking The Ultra Life on Facebook......that warrants a great sprinkler rendition, and for those who actually subscribe to the newsletter, lookout Nutbush here we come!
But all in all, Im not sure that theres a dance to describe seeing the elated grins on 4 faces after climbing one of the most spectacular mountains in NZ....
Theres a LOT of effort in everything I do, with what seems proportionally to be little reward....but the rewards are awesome, and most days theres a jig of some description going on......it may be a little like a drug, but I love it.
THERES THE BUZZ!!
Want your own buzz, but don't know where to start? Drop me a line, always happy to lend a hand to anyone looking to organise their own events!
Here at the Ultra Life, we finished off 2014 with a bang......trails, Tassie devils, blizzards, bush bashing, cows and massive burgers! So with Boris the X-Trail packed to the brim, we made the trek over to the Apple Isle on the Spirit of Tasmania....I tell you, the overnight cabin is the way to go! Going to bed in Port Phillip Bay, we woke up in Devonport, all refreshed!
First task....checking out the start of the Penguin to Cradle trail. After a small detour to visit Santa the Penguin, we discovered the start of the trail out the back of Penguin. A false start took us to what looks like an awesome MTB park, but alas, we weren’t there to ride! Check....yes, its a real trail, with real signs, what a relief!
Then it was on to check out the ultra-boring road route from the Northern-most point, Woolnorth, to Penguin. Following a never-ending dirt road to what seemed the end of the earth, we were offered our first Tassie devil experience, albeit a very flat, dead one! Enough to get us excited though. That was until we got to the “STOP!! Private Property do not enter” sign.....ummmm. Owned by The Van Diemans Land Company (what a cool name!), Woolnorth houses a big dairy farm, a Hydro farm, and is home to the Cape Grim Baseline Air Pollution Station (whats with all these cool names!) – and is famous for being the cleanest air in the world! No wonder they don’t want anyone in there! We have since had a chat with the CEO of Van Diemans Land Company, and now have permission to access the area for the Tassie Traverse. He promised to lock up the bulls (phew!), but warned us that there are a lot of snakes up near the tip so be careful! Eeeeek! Did you know that all Tassie snakes a venomous? Shane’s excited at that!
After several mumbles of “this is going to be boring to run on”, we stumbled across the train line...wouldn’t it be awesome to avoid the Bass Hwy, and run through the fields? A quick google, and Bingo! Its a dis-used railway line from Smithton to Burnie! Running along the railway sleepers for nearly 100kms could get interesting, but hey, it sure beats dodging the trucks on the highway! Winner!
And then it was onto Shane’s Dad’s dairy farm at Western Creek, with a quick call into the Cradle Mountain village (where we basically sold our souls for a ¼ tank of petrol!) A few days of cow milking, Christmas celebrating and climbing of the mountains in the back paddock, it was time for some more reconnaissance adventures!
After picking up the planned trail again at Derwent Bridge (the end of the Overland Track), we were off in search for an unmarked track that would take us down the east bank of Lake King William.
It was vaguely on the map, so it had to be there somewhere....so after plenty of bush bashing, we reckoned it was the big gate marked “No Entry. Private Property. Offenders Prosecuted.” Is there a theme here??!!! A bit of asking around town, and a bit of gorging on a yummy burger at The Hungry Wombat, we were finally pointed in the direction of The Derwent Bridge Hotel....the owner there owned the land we wanted to trespass! A few mins later we had our permission!
TO BE CONTINUED.......Blizzards, floods and bush bashing...
Shane's an ultra runner and La Sportiva Ambassador, with a taste for adventure, always up for a new and different challenge.