Once you’ve delved into the wet, wild (and very dirty) realms of trail running it’s hard to remember why it took us so long to try it.

You’ve probably realised by now Runphoria love the trails…. But it wasn’t always that way.

One of my very first trail running experiences was the Endorfun Run #5 Tasman Arch to Fortescue Bay 18km over 4 years ago and this is still at the top of my list of favourites.

The family and I were camping at the glorious Fortescue Bay camping grounds the days before and just heard about it through some other campers. I decided I was going to give it a red hot crack and with little to no idea about trail running, well you can imagine how well prepared I was.

I remember feeling mortified when they wrote my number on my leg and arm; I hadn’t shaved my legs for days!

I bid farewell to Toby and the kids and jumped on the bus; road runners on, no nutrition, no hydration but a big smile on my face. I had no idea what I was in for (and that’s the way I liked it).

The 30 min bus trip to Tasman Arch saw me acquire a few new friends and even a small bag of Gu Chews. I ate them all before we started and after a quick toilet stop we were off.

The first few km are definitely undulating (at the time it seemed like “bloody steep”) and I don’t know if it was the adrenaline making my eyes play tricks on me but I certainly felt like I dodged a few leeches along the way. The scenery was just incredible and I often tell people I felt like I was a character in a video game, tearing through the bush, dodging trees and leaping over rocks; it was the single most exhilarating running experience I’d ever had.

At about the 12km mark I got hungry and very thirsty and I knew I was in trouble when a passing fellow runner offered me not only encouragement but a drink from her camelBak. (I didn’t even know what that was back then but it occurred to me that sliced bread was hardly an invention in comparison). Suffice to say the last 6 km was a combination of trying to self motivate and falling in a heap, and if you’ve ever done the course you’ll now that the each time you come around another cliff you think it’s the last when there are really three or more left to go.

I finally rolled down onto the beach and into the finish line with a dry mouth and a new found respect for the trail running community. At the end of the day it wasn’t a life threatening experience by any means but I would have come out enjoying every last bit if I’d taken into consideration (and in my backpack) some simple hydration/nutrition.

I ate like a horse for about three days (I’d deserved it of course) and as soon as we hit civilisation it was straight to google for some hardcore research about trail running gear.

Read about our favourite trail running must haves in “Going Bush”

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