Day 6: Rest Day (an unplanned one!)
I was getting worried as I had not much sleep & the sweating continued. I felt horrible. The alarm went off & I think I had around 2 hours sleep & was still feeling terrible. We talked it over & as hard as it was, I decided that I would take a rest day. We called Nicole as she is a Dr & asked her to come by & give us her opinion.
Nicole was great & said I had done the right thing by resting. It could have been any number of things from a bit of septicaemia to all the leech bites. It was a good idea to not to go out and tackle 80km who knows how it would of turned out.
I spent most of the day lying on the couch & not moving. We went out for lunch with Nicole & her husband Jon. After all it was Richelle`s birthday, so I was in the good books taking a day of just for her!! We went back to our accom & had an afternoon nap. Before I knew it the day was over & it was time for bed.
I went to bed not feeling a whole lot better but I thought regardless of how I felt I would start tomorrow & see where I got.
Day 7: 79km along the Overland Track
After another night of sweating & not sleeping a lot the alarm went off. Right let’s do this I thought. I got up had breakfast Dan came over & we all drove to the start.
Dan decided he would run with me for a bit this morning & turn around after an hour or 2. We started off with Vaughan in his devil onesie (which has to be seen to be believed ) just before sunrise. Vaughan stopped about 1km in & went back to the car. Dan & I climbed the first part of the climb to a look out just as the sun was coming up.
WOW absolutely spectacular. The cloud was below us & we could see the lakes & Cradle Mountain it was a postcard perfect morning. After a bad night’s sleep & feeling terrible it was all washed away in a moment. This was an awe inspiring morning just one of those days where you are happy to be alive & really remember why I was out there. It was beautiful.
After stopping to enjoy the moment take some pictures it was time to start running again. Dan stayed with me for the first 2 hours before turning back. I was extremely grateful to have his company again & it was great to share an amazing sunrise with someone.
Right I thought time to knuckle down & see how far I can get. So I ran on. I came across a few hikers who were all very friendly & wondered where the rest of my gear was. Hahaha I laughed & told them I had it all & it weighed 7kg. I thought that was heavy but after talking with a few of them & discovering they had 15+kg I thought I was very lucky.
I ran past the first hut & was amazed at how big it was. I think it slept around 40ppl. That’s not a hut it’s a hotel. I was really enjoying the duckboard & not having to bash through mud & scrub. I continue to pass hikers all through the morning. The duckboard eventually ended & turned to a fairly nice trail.
The views continued to be amazing & Barn Bluff Mountain was spectacular. I was moving well & feeling ok so I was happy. I didn’t think too much about how far I had to go & found I wasn’t really looking at my watch. I was pretty keen to summit Mount Ossa (Tasmania`s tallest mountain ) which is found along the Overland Track but when I arrived at the turnoff I realised I was 38km in & it had taken me 6.5hrs.
After a quick bite to eat & some deliberation I decided Ossa would have to wait another day. I ran on still feeling pretty good & just happy to be out there. I passed around 40-50 hikers by this stage the most I had encountered anywhere. Thinking back to the Penguin Cradle Trail I had not seen a single person.
I finally hit a wall around the 50km mark & realised I had not been keeping up with the food so I shoved in some liquorice all sorts to give me a quick sugar hit, found my vegemite roll & munched that down as well. I started to think about where I would stop for the night. My hips had started to hurt & the trail had deteriorated somewhat.
I ran through some more beautiful forest and then a lot of mud & very exposed tree roots which required a lot of concentration to not trip & fall. I got to Windy ridge hut feeling a little worse for wear. There were some hikers sitting outside enjoying the sunshine so I had a quick chat to them to help take my mind off how I was feeling.
I had a quick stop there & got some more food out. It was still a glorious day & I was enjoying my good fortune with the weather. I often thought about how bad it could be. I set off from there feeling happy again & full of food. Not long after I was running along & before I knew it there was my first tiger snake…..
Urghhhhh I don`t like snakes but it was too late I was going too quick for it & myself to take evasive manoeuvres so I jumped over it. Arghhhhhhh run fast Shane……. It took a little while to calm down after that but I was glad it wasn’t too hot so it was moving slowly. I had now been running for 9 hours.
And just like that BANG down I went… Bugger I rolled my ankle. Oh well keep going don’t stop. This happens a lot so I usually just walk it out for a bit. I walked for a while & was getting tired. I started to run knowing it was not far until I hit Narcissus hut which I had decided would be my end point 60km.
I spotted a parks ranger power hiking back to Narcissus & he told me I had about 1km to go. You beauty it was time to sit down. I arrived at the hut & thought about it for a while. The 2 park rangers came over & had a chat. They had heard I was on my way & they were amazed at how far I had run.
I got the sat phone out & called R to tell her I was done for the day. I was tired & very sore. I had been running for 10 hours & still had 17km to go. I spoke to Richelle & she seemed pretty keen for me to finish it off. I was not so sure but after a few encouraging words I got off the phone had 2 panadol a handful of lollies put my music on & decided to see how quickly I could get this last 17 done.
The rangers told me I should be able to get it done in 2.5 hours. It started off ok & the trail was pretty cool. It winds its way along the edge of the lake in & out of forest. Its quite spectacular however the tree roots become quite a challenge. It would have to be almost the most technical tree root infested section of trail I had run.
Strangely enough I was really enjoying it. It took my mind off the pain I had in my ankle & hips & allowed me to concentrate on something else. I ran that first 10km in 1.5 hours I was stoked. I stopped & put my headlamp on as in the forest it was getting dark even though it was quite light when you popped out of the trees.
I ran along for a few more km`s when I came across R & Vaughan in his onesie again bahaha. They had walked 4km out to get me. It was great I had some company again & we walked the last 4k together. That was it The Overland done & dusted ….. Wow 80km in 13hours. I was so happy & so grateful that R had said the right thing to get me moving again.
We walked past the info centre & they had a restaurant, I could smell chips mmmmmmmmmmm.. I asked R if she could get me some before we went to the accom. Lucky me! We drove out as I ate my chips & settled into our nice accom. I slowly ate all my food & had a shower. Before we knew it, it was 11pm time for bed.
Shane is an adventure ultra runner. Hes running from the northernmost tip of Tassie to the southernmost tip...over 600km of epic trails. All to raise money and awareness for Shake It Up, to find a cure for Parkinsons.