Hipster Pete picked me up at 6:40am sunday morning (not that early considering I had been awake since 4am frightened of the idea that in mere hours I would be running way further than I have ever walked in my whole life).
I wandered out the front in my running gear with 2 back packs filled with a banana, roasted chickpeas and 2 litres of water each. I kissed Batman goodbye and we left, Hipster Pete had ensured we had sick beats to listen to on the way there. (We both happen to be amazing singers).
We were buzzed. If that’s what it’s called, maybe even fearful? We were on our way to run 21 kilometers with 220 other people through a forest. All in the name of charity. Restoring Hope to be precise.
There we were surrounded by seemingly experienced, well trained and completely prepared runners. You could pick ’em, they had belts that carried water, with their fancy shoes and they did all the best warmups. They had strong looking legs and headbands and taped up shins (that meant serious business).
Surrounded by forest and eager runners we signed in, grabbed our numbers, mine 770 and Hipster Petes 771… 7 being Hipster Pete’s favorite number. Perhaps not for long? The air was crisp and there was the pleasant waft of portaloos in the air. Mmmm. Other people’s morning dumps.
We wrangled our way to the start line trying to get to the back of the group because we knew, we knew this bunch was serious. It was impossible to get any further back than maybe a few meters from the front. Oh god. We are going to die. Hipster Pete and I look at each other in nervous excitement and I think he says “it’s a stampede” Or “Were gonna get trampled“… either way I smile and nod, because either way I am going to die or something.
5, 4, 3, 2 ,1…..
We all run… straight up a huge fucking hill.
1 km – What the fuck have we done…There’s still 20 km left to go….Let’s go home…
2 km – OOOOh this is so pretty… my legs are tired… this backpack is too big…. oh god I am a loser. Everyone thinks I’m a loser because I used the wrong bag. Oh god, So many kms to go.
3 km– Oh good it’s a downhill hill…. Oh no it’s an up and back and that means we have to go back up on the way back.
4 km – Hipster Pete? How far have we come? WHAT? Are you sure? That means theres like 100km to go!
5 km– Oh my legs, oh my god my feet. Ohhhh look cows….
6 km– Back up that fucking hill….
7 km– Drink stop and game plan “let’s run the flats and walk the hills?” Followed by chats about life and childhood… delightful stuff.
13 km– I’m dying. Lets do this, oh my god lets walk, no lets run, I can do this, no I can’t. Shit. Somewhere here Hipster Pete eats a Banana, my banana is mooshed, disregard banana into forest. Sad face.
15 km? – This is where we both decide we can’t keep running. Huge hill, I almost cry, I want to cry and get very very mad. Hipster Pete has already gotten to the top, drops his pants and moons me. I give him thumbs up. And keep the tears at bay. I was so sad I couldn’t be up that hill to moon the rest of the people at the bottom.
16 km onwards? Life gets blurry here.
We call this area ‘the fucking desert’ because it’s not at all forest’y or magical like the rest and it’s all Australian like with the sun ‘n’ shit and it’s hot and it’s dirty and dry.
I walk and chat to a lady about her previous 56km Trail trek and Hipster Pete is having a moment. He tells me he’s feeling very angry, because “We’re still walking”... I offer him my chick peas…. “I don’t want your fucking chickpeas, Neeks!”…. I should probably have mooned him. Didn’t.
Somewhere here is where my blisters pop, I feel them pop in my shoes. It’s almost refreshing though. Till the rubbing starts. I imagine my feet don’t look that pretty at this stage…. and the boob sweat. You could’ve fried chips in there.
We come to a man at a checkpoint who yells at us 20 meters away in a thick German accent:
Angry German: “Are you a stripper?”
Hipster Pete: “WHAT?”
Angry German: “Are you a stripper?”
Angry German: “Are you srtippers?”
Us: “No? Oh… Are we day trippers? No we are runners, please give us water”
Cue the awkward man trying to give me a drink from a box of water directly into my mouth…we give up because that’s just weird and awkward. So I just hold out my hands as a makeshift cup but he seems confused, I’m confused because apparently I was a stripper only moments ago. We both give up and I just tell him to put it on my head. The best wet head I have ever had in my life.
19km or 17km- if you believe the lying lady at the checkpoint- We see a woman at a checkpoint who tells us 2km to go! Yes! We are so close… so we run but it’s clearly way more than 2km. I want to run back and kick her in the legs. Don’t though because I’m all civilised like that.
I joke to Hipster Pete “Imagine if the next bit was a huge hill” we stop laughing. There’s a hill, a really big fuck off sized hill. The kind that makes you angry because it’s long, it’s just long and it’s near the end and it’s long. An older man in his 60’s catches us, tells us about his lung infection and that his water backpack isn’t working, so hes really thirsty. And that his puffer wasnt helping because it drys his mouth out….I am not even sure if he’s still alive because we lost him on that hill. The hill that claimed my soul and that old tough as nails man.
20 km– I can see the flags, I can see Hipster Pete running 50 meters ahead of me, he’s running, I run, we all run, it’s so close.
The end is near.
My legs are so heavy. I can not believe this is the end. I can see Batman’s head shape in the distance, weird I know his head so well and make a mental note to remember that I know his head shape. Tears well in my eyes, I am suddenly so emotional that Batman is there. I do love him after all (LOLZ).
The lead up to all this flashes in my head, the blogs, the support, the fundraiser, the friends, the people, the run, my awesome friend Hipster Pete that ran this with me and my family. Kinda like you imagine it happens when your life flashes in your mind before you die. But I’m not dead. I am very much alive.
So I run, I run or you know more of a slow jog…I slow jog to the finish line. But I did it. We did it. We cheer and hug.
And although that was actually the hardest we could go the entire time- Hipster Pete came in at 217 and I in at 218 out of 220 competitors and it took us 3 hours and 20 minutes. Hoo -fucking -ray!
Then I did some vomiting.
We raised almost $800 for children that like me have suffered at the hands of someone they trusted. I ran and did something I never thought I would (let alone could) do.
This blog brought me here. I can not wait to see what I can do next. ..