Thursday, 2 February 2017

Adventure 24 - The one with a twofa

This is what about 200 runners look like at 6:30am
Where: Walyunga National Park
When: January 2017
My Adventure Companions: Mr MAP, Mini Monkey and the Giant Baby.
"Would you like to come on a hike after the race?"
I thought it would be lovely to get the rest of the MAP family involved in the post-race festivities and a hike is normally a pretty good incentive. On previous trail races I had noticed how many families were hanging around at the finish line wished the MAP family could have been there. But who wants to get up early and hang around for a couple of hours? Not my family for sure and I don’t blame them. After a few discussions on logistics, we came up with a plan: I would get a lift up with a fellow runner and the rest of the family would follow to be there around the time I finished a run. We would then do a regular Sunday morning hike including a trail nap for the Giant Baby.
The race (run by Perth Trail Series) was being held at Walyunga National Park, which I have been to several times before. It has a lovely, kiddo freindly trail along the Avon River and some interesting hills on either side of the valley. I like the way the race series runs, preparing you as you go for some of the larger hills in the later races. As this race is only the second in the series it’s still pretty gentle, even though I was left wheezing like an old steam train half way up the first hill. Why do race photographers always insist on standing up hills? I had to run all the way up that one lest I was snapped slacking!
Distance wise, the first half of the race is spent going up. What goes up must come down so the second half of the race went very quickly The trails were mostly wide (no concertina effect this time), some were a little sandy and some a little pea-gravelly but overall it was a nicely flowing course. As per usual, the people were great fun to be around, even with the Race Director making sure to give everyone who finished a big old smile and a high five.
I finished bang on time (estimated an hour, finish time 1:00:32) and the MAP family  they were able to catch me coming through the finish line. It was lovely to see the Giant Baby on Mr MAPs shoulders and get a hug from Mini Monkey.
After the new addition to our routine (a visit to the park facilities for Mini Monkey), we set off down the Heritage Trail. As I had planned our hike route based on what I remembered about the short-course from two years ago I had forgotten that the long-course runners came in from a different direction. Despite dodging a number of runners coming towards the end of their race, we still managed to reach our 'half way' point very quickly. Mini Monkey's walking has come on leaps and bounds, especially as he spends half his time running everywhere now. 
The Avon is an amazing river. During winter it flows rapidly and is a heaven sent playground for kayakers and in the summer it dries up to form sludgy ponds with cobbled crossings between. Having reached our designated half way point significantly quicker than expected, we decided to explore the other side of the river and crossed over.  
Mini Monkey ran out of steam not long after so hopped into the pack with Mr MAP and contentedly chomped on his snacks whilst the Giant Baby dozed on my back. We returned at the same crossing we had come over, pausing to look into the sludge that was the river and headed on back to the car park for a final snack before heading home. 
There was a proud moment just before we arrived back at the parking area when Mr MAP managed to convince Mini Monkey to take a largely successful bush-wee (are you begining to see a theme here for our current stage of life/development?!). 
Opening Hours: website says 8:30-4:30 weekdays only but I'm not sure about this as we've been on the weekend before.
Cost: $12 per car
Image courtesy of Perth Trail Series

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