This weekend saw the first of the Run Queensland day/night series - Beerwah@Night.
It was my first event of the year, first trail run for a while, and first time out in the dark since the Glasshouse 100. I was happy to find out last week that for once I'd have some reinforcements. Daggy and Matt, who both trained in the same triathlon squad as me many moons ago, were having a hitout too.
Glasshouse Mountains National Park is a beautiful place but the 200mm of rain that had fallen in the area in the few days before were bound to throw in some challenges.
The guys both gave me a bit of stick for writing out the directions like I always do, but I don't know whether either of the understand what it's like to be a back of the pack athlete. I can't count on having someone around to help with directions so it's comforting to me to know I have a bit of extra help if I need it.
As we stood at the start line they announced that they'd had to change the course at the beginning and I wondered whether that preparation would be in vain and the km pointers I'd written down wouldn't match up - but just a few ks in I found that everything lined up perfectly. Alun and Brett had worked out their contingency route with great precision.
With this stress out of the way there was time for a couple of snapshots along the way. I couldn't resist the sun setting on Mt Beerwah.
And halfway through "The Dungeon" I tried to capture the ruggedness and steepness. There was a good few ks of this. I was pretty happy it was in the first half of the event when we had natural light.
This shot doesn't do justice to the sun setting and a sliver of moon poking up over the pine forest but I'll use it anyway.
Of course the question I get asked most is, "don't you get frightened out in the dark by yourself?"
At night time the wildlife is more noisy and less visible, and that's a bit unnerving. On Saturday night I saw countless cane toads which quite frankly, freaked me out. (I screamed quite loudly when I saw the first one, less loudly for the second, and then just tried to ignore them.)
Not to mention, they were deafening! I wish I had have taken some video so you could hear how loud mating frogs and toads are.
I didn't take any pictures of the creek crossings and mud holes - my shoes and socks probably tell the story.
I didn't do a great time but that's no surprise, my fitness isn't the best right now after my Christmas lurgy. But I felt so much more confident climbing up the steep bits and stepping down off rocks than I ever had. The strength work I'm doing is paying off.
The only real down side is that I rolled my ankle slightly at one point and I'm still getting a bit of discomfort. A trip to the physio may be on the cards this week but hopefully it won't be a lingering injury.