I told her how Kate and I did the crazy adventure long distance together (read about that adventure here) and that we kept in contact via facebook and messages while doing the walk. She thought this was a great idea. Then I had a crazy thought, how cool would it be to have 12WBT members all over Australia doing a 5km walk/run on the same day and at the same time....and so the challenge was born. I floated the idea and got heaps of positive feedback so I created an event in the 12WBT 30+ crew page, on the Wide Bay page where I'm a member and on the Upper Hunter page I administer.
And so it began!
Originally I planned to get a map of Australia and put pins in all the towns where participants were located but it quickly got too big, with a participant in New Zealand and one in United Kingdom, so I found a cool app that helped me show how cool we are!
It grew slowly, gathering momentum.
And grew some more,
until game day (today) arrived with 73 members agreeing to participate. I need to do the final map as there are a few spots missing in NSW on the above map.
Until this morning I wasn't sure if I'd be doing my challenge alone or with company. Yesterday we were discussing it after our SSS. Mandy was planning on coming in but wasn't sure she'd make it due to having to clean her house in preparation for a thermomix party (which I was supposed to attend) and Debbie thought she might make it if her Hot Air Balloon flight was cancelled due to the rain. I had always planned on just doing the 5km track around town that I have been doing when I run on Monday and Wednesday, but then Debbie assumed I was going up the hill to the lookout. I told her I wasn't sure if it was a 5km walk or not and she said 'why not walk from town' laying down the challenge.
What Debbie didn't know is that ever since my first walk up to the lookout, I have wanted to do it from town. I have been talked out of it twice, by well meaning friends who thought it wouldn't be safe walking along the side of the narrow road. As I went to bed I made a promise to myself. If Mandy came in, I would do the 5km around town with her, but if she didn't come in I'd do the walk up to the lookout from town.
Now I had NO idea how far it was by foot from my house to the start of the walk up to the lookout, but as I said I have wanted to do this for over a year.
I was very excited when I got up to see that the rain had stopped. I got ready, checked my phone - no message from Mandy, put my all terrain asics on (better soles for walking up the hill), checked my phone - no message from Mandy....decided to go for it. I packed extra water, an apple and a small towel in a back pack, super glued my poor polar's band back together and set off.
Ready to get going...
My polar band super glued back together AGAIN!
So off I went. I followed my usual path to start with before turning onto the road that would take me out of town towards the path to the lookout.
Enjoying the footpath while I could!
Only 15mins into my walk, my new bluetooth wireless earphones ran out of battery and died. NOT GOOD TIMING....so the rest of the walk was without my traditional fitness playlist!
Leaving the footpath and hitting the side of the road.
On the left, lookout number 1, on the right the TV
tower and lookout number 2!!
I was pretty wary heading out along this road. It has a 100km speed limit and not a heap of room on the side of the road, which is how I was talked out of this challenge previously, BUT I walked on the right side so I could see any oncoming cars, I went when it was fully light and I only saw one car on the way out there!!!
the view up the road
already feeling pretty good about this challenge!
I was please to see as I arrived at the base of the walk up to the lookout that I wasn't the only one out here on a Sunday overcast morning after heaps of rain doing this walk. I felt more confident knowing others were on the track too. At this point I realised how crazily I'd underestimated the distance, I'd already walked nearly 5kms...and I hadn't started going up...but I had decided to do it and so I would. I could hear Kate (CocoGirlButter) in my head telling me 'You've got this'. And so I kept going. I thought at this point I might only go as far as the first lookout.
I was a little more worried when I saw this...had there been a land slide and it wasn't safe? Well whoever had parked the car there was doing it so I figured they'd tell me when I saw them if it wasn't safe...and so I kept going!
I always feel a little overwelmed looking at this slope, it's so steep and quickly my calves start to complain, but today I didn't care so much. I knew that around the state and interstate there were around 70 others doing their walks and it spurred me on!
step by step, higher and higher
The view from Lookout 1!
Selfie at lookout 1.
I had toyed with the idea of just turning back after reaching lookout 1, but as I took my selfie with the view in the background, an old guy steamed past heading towards the top. I thought 'if he can I can too' and I kept going! Crazy? Stubborn? Yep but happy!
Looking up to the second lookout.
The second stage up the the TV aerial and lookout 2 is steeper. It's quite deceiving as you go down before you go up. It is steep and there are no spots where it levels out...just crazy. On my way up this bit I passed a lady on a horse - I told her it looked like a much easier way to get up to the lookout. I didn't think to get a picture until she had already gone!
This is my 'Are we there yet?' face....
Then I was there, at the top....8kms later...and I still had to go back! Gosh it felt awesome though. I had a quick stop, filled up my water bottle and got out my apple to eat on the way back down!!
Very happy to be at the top!
My delicious Pink Lady apple!!
And then it was time to go down. I met a lovely couple coming up as I went down (they caught up with me later) and to my dismay it started to spit and gradually got heavier. It wasn't torential but it was heavy enough that I wrapped my phone up (after taking the pic below) and put it safely in my back pack so it wouldn't get too wet. So that's why there aren't more photos coming down again.
The whole walk ended up taking me 3 hours, I walked 16.5kms and burned 1445cals! Insanity! But it's something I've wanted to do since I moved here and I'm thrilled to have accomplished it. When I got home I had 20 minutes to make breakfast, have a shower and get ready to go to Mandy's for her thermomix demonstration - needless to say I was late for the demo.
Proud as punch of my 1445calorie burn!
map my run snapshot!
The collages I posted in the 30+ site and on Instagram!
All the other participants had a wonderful time too and we are going to make this event a regular each round!! Very exciting!