I love the physical act of trail running. I love the places it takes me and the sense of adventure it awakens in me. I love the challenge, the exertion, the reward of achieving long-held goals. But these things alone don’t explain why I have become the junkie that I now undeniably am. There is something else that is harder to put into words. I’ve been grappling for the right term while pondering this post and the closest I can get to it is simply “spirit”.
This spirit has seldom been more evident than on the weekend just gone when a bunch of us got together for the second year of Midwinter Midnight Madness – a 77 km traverse of the stunningly beautiful but fearsomely tough Hillary Trail, starting at midnight.
With the muddiest midwinter conditions I have ever seen in these glorious hills it was always going to be tough. There was little chance that all 17 of us would make it to the end. And so it turned out to be. One by one the Mud Monster claimed its victims and our number was depleted. But this is where that Spirit came to the fore, because when each disappointed runner withdrew they didn’t just jump in a car and go home for some hard-earned sleep, they stayed to support those of us carrying on. They were there for us at each road-end with food, hot drinks, smiles and encouragement. It was something very special. And the 10 Fortunates that made it to Muriwai beach were most grateful!
That’s why I keep going back for more.
Watch the video of this epic run: