Day 6: Rest Day (an unplanned one!)
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
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.