Sunday, April 01, 2007

The Cotter Experience!

Distance: 28.7km
Time taken: 3hrs 9mins
Average pace per km: 6:40
Calories burned: 2000

It was a perfect morning for a run in the hills. It was cool, clear and still - a beautiful Canberra Autumn morning. Six of us met at the Cotter to start our run just after 7.30am. Jill, Steve, CJ, Ewen, Chris and I set off together although pretty soon Ewen, Steve and CJ ran ahead. We ran up a gradual incline at the start for about 3km up a gravel road and it felt quite steep and seemed to go on for ages and that was before we even reached the real run. The surface then changed and was much easier on the feet. There were lots of ups and downs with some very steep hills. CJ, Steve and Ewen waited for the rest of us at the 9.5km mark where Jill and Chris branched off to run a shorter loop. The views from this spot were amazing. Without the trees, which had been destroyed in the bush fires a few years ago, you could see all the hills and undulating tracks and we had a perfect view of Black Mountain Tower in the distance.

CJ and Steve took off again at a faster pace and Ewen very generously offered to run with me otherwise I was in great danger of becoming lost out there in the great beyond! At Vanity's we ran ankle deep through water keeping our shoes on so for a while after that my feet felt like lumps of lead but the socks soaked up the water surprisingly quickly and felt ok. I've never run through water in shoes before so that was a new experience and not too unpleasant as the water was icy cold and quite refreshing at that stage in fact. After that there were only a few kilometres left but that included a number of steep uphills and they felt so tough at that stage. In fact when there was only 3km left to run Ewen and I looked at each and said "pity we can't phone for a ride from here!" However, that last couple of km was actually quite pleasant as it was slightly downhill and fast.

We found CJ and Steve sitting in the cold river in the sunshine and we were quick to join them. The water was absolutely freezing but gee, it felt soooooo good - damn cold, yes, but it numbed the aching legs and butt and was beautifully refreshing. Later we just sat, talked, nibbled on fruit and drank refreshing drinks (Ewen and I had our favourite ginger beer). It was a lovely morning.

So now I have experienced the Cotter and I feel encouraged and quite enthusiastic to give it another go some time! That was my last long run before the marathon - only two weeks to go - scary!


  1. You'll have a great marathon Strewth. It'll feel like a walk in the park after the Cotter. Thanks for waiting for me! Next time I'll bring my mobile phone!

    The wet shoe running was excellent practise for 6' ;)

    Eravate brillanti a sprinting sulle colline!

  2. Sensational!

    How exciting - only two weeks to go. Looking forward to seeing you again soon!