Updated: Sep 28, 2018
You can be as prepared as you like, but at the end of the day, mother nature always rules supreme. I had the ideal training weekend planned (minus the work Christmas party on Friday night); finally, I had organised to run through Goats Pass on Saturday followed by the Rasdex Classic River Race down the Waimakariri on Sunday, the two main sections of the Coast to Coast course.
After an early start but a not so early get-away we left the sunny, warm Canterbury plains and headed for Arthur’s Pass. When we arrived, it was cold, raining and not at all ideal conditions. We were still 50/50 about going through, but after a quick chat with the staff from the Visitor Centre, it was decided that the run through the Pass was not the safest option. With the Mingha River rising and rain forecast for the rest of the day, an alternate route was chosen through the Casey and Binser Saddle. Did I mention this was 40km? Don’t worry, that part was news to me too until we had actually started running and even then I thought they were joking! Yes, I love running, but you know those times when you just want to stop, curl up into the foetal position and will yourself to another place (like back in Hagley park with my friends who enjoyed the sun, wine and great food at the Wine and Food Festival!). Well, this was one of those times. In saying that it was a beautiful run through the beech forest coming across many small clearings that would be ideal places for deer to feed on dusk. I thought about a wide variety of things to keep my mind off the task at hand! My body was feeling tired, the devil on my shoulder almost winning, but after just under 6 hours we made it back to the car. A little longer than expected and the longest run I have done to date (both distance and time wise!).
We headed back to Arthur’s Pass village to a cute wee house where we cranked the fire and sorted dinner with the rain pouring on the roof. Things were not looking good for the morning as we watched the Bealey River rising out the window. The kayak leg starts at the Mount White Bridge, approx 15km from Arthur’s Pass, hence our reason for staying in Arthur’s Pass. So when we woke in the morning with the rain still coming down, it wasn’t a surprise to find the race had been changed from the Waimakariri to the Avon. Yes, the Avon; a 27km flat course starting at Kerr’s Reach, heading out into the Estuary and back. This was not a good scenario, but alas, we packed up and hit the road back to Christchurch.
They let the female novices off first at 11.00am, so for a brief while we were in the lead. This did not last long with what felt like streams of people powering past me like I was sitting still (to be honest I probably was). To make matters worse and continue the theme of the weekend with mother nature having the final say, we battled an incoming tide going out and an outgoing tide coming back in! Typical.
Three hours, 28 mins later I crossed the finish line, exhausted and questioning why I find the need to give up my spare time to participate in such activities! This weekend was definitely Type Two fun; not so enjoyable at the time but when the initial hurt leaves I seem to want to come back for more.
So after another good(ish) weekend ticked off, I’ve gained some sweet tan lines that will look spectacular in my bridesmaid dress in four weeks and hopefully no known diseases from the less-than-clean Avon water. I think a quieter week and weekend will be on the cards!