I’ll get straight into it, no description of the lovely drive up there, the doings the night before…
Anyway the race was to start at the civilised time of 9am, but I was awake at 6:30 and ended up getting bored and heading to pick up race pack at 7:30, so by 8 I was hanging around waiting, waiting….
Well the race started by the lake, which meant I short sharp climb up to the Doc visitors centre and on your way. There was the occasional place where we were running on Tarmac. My trail shoes are probably one of the worse kind for running on tarmac, whenever training, if there is going to be a slight chance of Tarmac, I’ll always wear another pair of shoes. Anyway, we eventually got onto unsealed roads and the road headed upwards.
I was struggling at this point, I couldn’t quite work out why, I just couldn’t gt enough air in, and was starting to get worried. It got a little bit steeper and even though it was against the plan, I walk. I had to get my HR down, otherwise I would be struggling at the end. The plan was to have a really fast strong last 10K, which meant I needed to be conservative in the first half.
We eventually got off the road and onto a proper track, and then we started to go down. I was surprised I was overtaking people on the down hill, I suppose familiarity will eventually make you able to manage some tricky tracks better than those less used to it. The track eventually evened out, and we were going pretty straight with the odd undulation. There was the odd very rocky part, and was glad for the rest as I clambered over.
I got to the second check point, and look at my watch 1:06 (I think is what it said), I was feeling really happy at this point. The check points were approximately 5K apart, so this was about the 10K mark, I was going at my planned pace.
Then… slippery tree root, foot going down at wrong angle, ankle over… Day done 😦
People stopped and ask if I was ok… I was tearing up, more from damn frustration than pain. But it did hurt…. and from my experience of ankles I knew this one wasn’t going to be able to run on again (wrong ankle, if it had been the other one, I would have considered trying to go on). As I had literally just past the checkpoint, so I hobbled my way back to them, and they called in a boat for me.
One of the guys helped me down to the jetty… there was already another guy there with a twisted ankle, and his was bad… I very funny looking swollen ankle, he wouldn’t be running again for awhile. So we stuck our ankles in the lake and waited for the boat.
So ended up getting a jet boat ride up the lake, well thats something I normally wouldn’t do.. On the way back I heard on the radio another 2 twisted ankles reported… man did God design ankles badly? Or maybe we are just not using them as he intended.
My ankle is almost back to normal now, I little bit of pain when I twist it, but not to walk. On the drive home I was second guessing myself. Maybe I should have tried to continue on. If the Checkpoint hadn’t been so close, I probably would and tried to reach the next and see how my ankle did.
No I can’t second guess my decision, I did what I thought was right at the time. I am mightly pissed off and frustrated… so frustrated I got in my car and drove home straight away rather than hang around for lunch and prize giving.
So thats it for trail running for now. I am over the ankles, and plus if I keep doing this I damage my ankle joints and then I’ll have trouble running full stop. So I am going to stick to tarmac, I am going to LOVE tarmac! Maybe once I am a better runner, and much lighter (I know my weight doesn’t help, if I was lighter there would be less force on the ankle when it goes in a different position) I’ll go back to the trails… Maybe next year I could finish this race.