I have a week or so off work over Christmas/new year so I thought it would be a good opportunity to get some trail experience down as part of preparation for the Maroondah Dam Ultra in February (although I will probably do the kiddies option of 30k rather than the full 50k). Today’s run was also a chance to test out my new Cambelbak that Santa brought me! (Verdict = so unbelievably awesome I can’t believe I have done without for so long!)
This morning I did the Everard Circuit in Kinglake NP. It was mostly fire trail, some single trail and a little bit of road. The route is clearly signposted although the signs say it is 22km, my Garmin said it was 20.02k including an extra bit at the end and MapMyRun reckons it’s 19.8k. I’m inclined to believe it is under 20k (even including the extra mini bit at the end I added).
Despite the constant drizzle, there were hundreds of butterflies out! They were everywhere! They kept running into my arms or legs, one even ran into my face and nearly went into my mouth! I only saw one kangaroo, and he was quite big. Lots of the usual birds such as kookaburras, rosellas etc and I even saw two brown owls! I thought that was quite unusual considering it was clearly daylight hours. But I think I was the only one in that section of Kinglake NP so they probably thought I was an even odder sight. (Yes that really is an owl in the pic – click to enlarge)
Some sections of the run were very steep, especially going up Mt Beggary and Mt Everard. I prefer its former name of Mt Misery – that better describes how slow I was going. I was so slow up some of those hills that my Garmin even thought I had come to a complete stop!
My right achillies was really hurting after the steep hills and I found it difficult to maintain good running form from then on. I was wearing my Nike Frees and I really find with my feet so far away from the ground I am much more susceptible to displacing my feet and tripping when I lose concentration. I think flats are ideal for trail running. My Waffles have excellent grip and being close to the ground they would be very stable. I wish they were not so narrow though! No way could I handle such narrow shoes and blisters for any decent distance. But maybe I will look into some men’s waffles or similar for Maroondah.
So overall it was a pleasant run. No views of interest to report, but it was just general trail running training for me and I would like to explore some of the unmapped trails later on. It was very easy technically speaking but I don’t know if there are many technical trails within close range of home