Do we all too often gravitate towards well-trodden and familiar trails? It’s a question I pondered today while out in the Waitakeres with my two-legged friend Vicki and my four-legged friend Luca.
At this time of year these hills (the ‘Waitaks’ to Aucklanders) can be incredibly muddy and it’s tempting to take easy options instead of more adventurous ones. I had planned the former but thankfully Vicki had in mind the latter. The 20.6k route we took involved just 2 kms of gravel road, everything else being steep, very technical and treacherously muddy trails that reduced us to a fast walk for much of the time. Over four hours to do less than a half marathon – that tells a story!
But in re-visiting trails that I have avoided for several years now (on the basis that they are all-too-often unrunnable) the day became so much more memorable. So what if we hardly ran more than a few hundred metres at a time before being forced to crawl over some windfall or pull ourselves out of man-devouring bogs? We had an adventure. We went to the highest point in the Ranges. We got filthy. We had fun. We should do this more often!
Check out the Root Route (so named because of all the exposed tree roots that make this such a technically demanding run): http://connect.garmin.com/activity/95622019