We friggin love this trail.
And what’s not to love, there’s pristine coastal forest, native wildlife a plenty and just about every different type of terrain along the way.
If you’ve ever done it you’ll understand just how breathtaking the scenery is and once you’re into the first 2km it’s becomes apparent that a few stops along the way to check out the views and snap some pics is an absolute must. There’s not a cloud in the sky and with such beautiful weather we know we’re in for a treat.
We drove down from Hobart for a very reasonable 9:30am start and had a brekky smoothie in the car + a coffee or two. After a quick bush toilet stop we suit up (Hydration pack with water and a couple of gels) and head down to the head of the trail to kick things off.
It’s a self-seeded event so as we all file up close to the start line it’s a quick check for familiar faces to make sure we’re not being too ambitious in our choice of position. There’s a 3, 2, 1 and we’re off.
The plan today was to run together – we’re in love with this race and to soak it all up in each other’s company, well it just doesn’t get any better. We quickly settle into a comfy rhythm side by side and with Go Pros in hand we’re ready to snap up the spectacular scenery.
The first couple of km are easy going with just over 50m of elevation and in full sunshine there are smiles all around. After this we fall into a steady climb and it doesn’t matter how many times we do this race this first hill never gets any easier.
The next 2km take us up 400m in elevation and half way through like a line of ants we all take a wrong turn, leading us straight up a steep climb.
We soon realise it’s the wrong way and come to a stop. Looking back down the hill we can see the stream of runners passing us by where we should have climbed under the fallen tree so while we’re standing still (gathering leeches) we make a quick decision to turn back and join back up to the track below. Some of the guys in front of us trudge up the hill determined to make it up and over.
It’s really tough going and as even though we’re walking up this whole section it still leaves us breathless as we finally reach the top of the peak. We stop to de- leech, have water, a gel and take in the beautiful views of Tassie coast stretching out in every direction.
This is where the real fun starts sitting on top of the mountain at 530m elevation, we find the trail and start the 7km descent down the other side.
Tearing down the hill like a couple of squealing teenagers, grabbing onto branches for dear life.
This is what we we live for… With trails you can’t even afford to blink in case you miss a beat and step on the wrong rock or slide off a tree root the wrong way. And it’s in that ‘blink’ that a foot, snagged under a root, stays stuck there. The resulting face plant is among the dirt, and harmless – but a timely reminder to have your wits about you.
It’s all excitement and adrenaline but the hips and calves are certainly getting a workout at this stage.
At the 12.5km mark there’s a decent little climb up over Canoe Bay and then we get to slide down the other side again. If there’s one thing that’s deceiving about this race it’s how soon you can see Fortescue Beach (the finish line) but then the cliffs keep undulating for another 4km so for a first timer it’s like a never ending trick of the eye. The body is pretty tired at this stage and we stop to walk up some of the hills. As we take on the last little climb there’s a rather large tail of something black that slithers into the bush and we decide not to stick around to see if it was a Tiger snake or not.
As we round the last few corners we let out a little sigh of relief, it’s a few 100m down onto the beach and the finish line is in sight.
It’s been such an incredible run but the legs are shaky and the hips are crying out for something flat underfoot. Down onto the beach we hit the soft sand and give each other a little pull to the finish line.