It Doesn’t Get Easier. You get STRONGER
SEQTRS Round 2 – Numinbah Valley
Ok so if your looking for an adventure style run, filled with river crossings and beautiful rainforest canopies, then this trail is for you!! I loved every minute of it! Well some of those minutes were actually love/hate moments…
I woke at 4am thinking to myself… why in the heck am I driving 100kms just to run 12km’s. Then I reminded myself of my WHY
My WHY, was setting a goal and sticking to it. Part of this goal wasn’t just the running challenge, but to meet more like minded friends. Friends who just love getting outside and being awesome!! I also wanted to explore more of Queensland’s National Parks without getting lost for hours on end, running the bush trails on my own.
So with these goals firmly planted in my mind, I set off to drive to Numinbah Valley, in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
This run was 11.4km’s along Queensland’s Scenic rim. With two killer hills, one of them called Zombies, and all up about, 8 river crossings over the Nerang River which zigzags down through the valley to the Hinze Dam. I arrive dead on 6am. As I drove in and across the grass paddock of the nearby farm to find a place park, I glanced down at my arm. I had totally forgotten that my little man Will had written ‘THINK HARD – RUN FAST’ on my arm the night before. This was the first race he couldn’t come too, and he wanted me to have some extra inspiration. He knows how much it means mentally to me when he waits close to the finish line, to run to last kilometre and cross the finish line with me. This made me smile knowing his words would stay with me the whole race. After parking I started to get a little nervous, my stomach filling with butterflies. It sounds so silly now looking back on the morning. I wasn’t nervous about the run. I was nervous about being there on my own – making friends. With time to kill I headed straight to the toilet, to shake off some of the pre race jitters. Oh and this was a themed Halloween dress up run, so there was some great people watching whilst I waited in the queue. Adjusted and feeling fresh out in the mountain air, off I went to find the registration tent, grab my bib number, then go to make some new friends before the race starts, eeeekkk!
Those guys were just about to start their safety presentation, which grabbed a few laughs as always…. confidently I placed myself next to some people and mustered up a conversation, done I had met two people. Off to the start line, and bang before I could even start my Garmin we were off…. Around the corner and through a cool concrete drain tunnel, up into the bush, and well into the first climb. This was painful, I much prefer short and sharp hills. This baby gradually inclined to 309m over 2km, making it feel like it was never going to end. And when it did, I built up speed on the decline. The legs were feeling lose and I could see the first river crossing ahead…. Then thump, I was down, laying on the red clay and gravel. I had tripped. My knee throbbing. Hands grazed and sore. I got up with the help of a near by runner, named Katie. I was a little dazed. A guy ran past and pledged ‘geez, you don’t look like you’re in a good way, the closest road is back the way we came’. Hmmm, no thankyou I’m NOT turning around, there’s no way only forward. Another runner approached me as I was descending to the river crossing, I recognised her from some where, she was an ultra runner. She put her hand on my back, and said ‘give the knee a wash in the river and just walk it out until you can run again’. I thought to myself – walk? I didn’t come here to WALK – but, I couldn’t run. Blood was streaming from my knees. And that’s what I did – I walked. A guy, who I later found out his name to be Pete, offered me his phone to take, in case I got in trouble. The comradery from fellow runners was so uplifting. Every river crossing felt amazing, with the cold water rushing across my grazes and cleaning the blood trickling down my leg ( best Halloween costume EVER). And before I knew it I was back running, YES! I caught up with Pete and followed his pace. We chatted and he took the pain away, away from my mind at least. He guided me with some ‘hill wisdom’, as I like to call it. Whilst trying to run up the incline called ‘Zombies’, he told me that I would expend too much energy. As much as I kept telling myself, I was to run up every hill, I knew he was right. This steep incline was to be shuffled up. As I looked up to the runners above me, and thought to myself… I now know why they call this hill ‘zombies’, because that’s exactly what everyone looked like ascending slowly up the 9% incline to the top, which seemed so close but so far. Argh I had made it, and was feeling strong. I flew down the back side of the hill and through the beautiful rainforest canopy of the valley, making sure to be present and take in all this natural beauty. Something you forget to do when focusing so hard on the finish line. I had made it back to the concrete tunnels then up around the corner to the finish…. YAAASsss.
So good, I was feeling amazing.
At that finish line, my partner Stu and the kids weren’t there. But some familiar faces from the trail were all there, smiling, congratulating and high fiving. We shared our stories, swapped names and details. I was so grateful for everyone’s motivation and spirit. I’ll definitely be catching some trails in the future with my new friends.
Best part of my Sunday though was meeting back up with my gang for icecream ♥
Next race is 13.1km – Rd 3 @ Pomona
Sunday, November 12, 2017 – In the Noosa Hinterland, we are definitely covering some ground on this series!!