This was an awesome run! There's just something about running through a forest, with good company / like minded people, not a car in sight, and a light drizzle on your face (and hair, which was turned into a dreadlock/rat's nest before too long). Pure bliss.
There were of course ups and downs. Quite literally. The first being the steepest and most challenging up, where you hike up some near vertical steps, stones and tree roots for almost half a kilometre's elevation. At the top the route opens up into bushland (after heading past some beautiful, iconic black boy trees) and then again into a wide path that dips up and down for the majority of the 25kms (which then became 30km, yay!). The first section was a rude awakening and quite a shock to my system. I am definitely out of practice with stairs and hiking! However, once at the top and the intensity mellowed somewhat, I felt myself really relax into this run. It wasn't nearly as slippery and wet underneath as I had expected (having had nothing but near torrential rain here in the Newcastle region all week) and the ground seemed pretty solid and not too slippery. Didn't fall in the mud once! Oh, and no leeches either, as we stuck to the main open track, phew! (Someone had mentioned that there would be leeches there sucking on to my feet/legs! So glad this turned out not to be the case.)
For those who are much more technology minded than me and want the official stats (rather than my vague 'up and down' write up) luckily my friend had the tools on hand to record what we did! (Thanks again Mick!) So the official stats are as follows: