Dear Coach

14 August, 2018

Dear Coach,

As you know I was VERY apprehensive about 50km on trail but WOW what an awesome experience the Umgeni River Run was.

We took it easy, walking the uphills, running the downs and doing our best in between which means we weren’t really too shattered when we came in. I am now confident that, unless I am eaten by a Mountain Leopard,  I will finish the 50-miler in September. In fact I am looking forward to it.

Sunday’s adventure did have its highlights though, the best being what I refer to as the Goat Crack incident.

The first river crossing (water up to our knees) popped up early on – there was still frost in shady spots. Oh no I thought – there is no ways I am going to run for hours in frozen, wet shoes – I’ll take them off. Rookie error number one.

Now anyone who has ever crossed a running river with rocks on the bottom knows that doing it barefoot is extremely difficult. No matter, I thought. I’ll just hang onto the Old Goat’s waistband and he can drag me across. This seemed to cause much squawking from said Goat as apparently I was pulling his pants down. When I looked up to see what all the commotion was about I was staring straight into a Goat Crack and I had just caused him to moon the bottleneck of runners behind us. A memorable river crossing indeed.

There were two more river crossings which, thanks to me keeping my shoes on, passed without incident.

Then there were what the race director described as two “big” climbs and which I would refer to as cliff faces. Being scared of heights I had to employ the Bear Crawl to climb out of the valley, which is possibly a new move in the trail running world. Things just seem less scary when my hands can touch the ground.

All in all a memorable day with the most stunning scenery anyone could have asked for (Goat Cracks aside) and nicely rounded off with the most delicious craft beer I have ever tasted – what a great recovery drink!

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