In the sand again…

Apologies a manic time at work has meant blogging hasn’t taken priority…

Our first desert run of the new ‘winter’ season was awesome. It’s just such an amazing feeling to throw off the shackles of the city and head out into some open space.

A massive group showed up for this first run, with many camping the night before. I think, perhaps, some regretted this a little as by all accounts a lot of people were enjoying the desert partying noisily into the morning hours.

Thick fog made our drive out less than pleasant, but allowing plenty of time we arrived right on cue. Although leaving at 4.30am isn’t pain-free for any concerned. The fog was so thick we had to use gps, with plenty of lefting and righting thrown in, to actually find the desert base camp.

Thankfully we’d managed to find a seconding car, to carry water, first aid, and tired runners, so at 6.00am precisely a group of around 30 runners hit the shale. Many had already decided to heading back at 3km, 5km, 7km …but the long group had decided to do 10 before turning. It was an easy run as the fog meant we had to hug the coast. We daren’t head inland onto the trickier terrain and risk losing our way and each other.

Our resident sure-footed, ultra-expert, Wendy

Back in the desert.

Back in the desert.

and I ran backwards and forwards between the different running groups to make sure we didn’t mislay anyone in the fog. Gradually, the sun burned off the moisture and the heat increased, as it always does. The sun is now lower in the sky than mid-summer. This means you don’t scorch your head but do burn one shoulder and arm!

After looping back for the last runner, my Garmin was reading 11km and the front runners were still heading out. A burst of speed and I spotted that they’d actually stopped and were waiting to regroup. All runners accounted for we turned for home.

The sun was certainly high in the sky but weirdly we ran back into a cloud bank of fog. Eyes on our earlier tracks we trotted through the mist and kept our route. I wanted to push my pace a little on the way back so didn’t turn again and came into camp dead on 24km.

A quick change all round and most people waded into the shallow sea for a wallow in the water – the best bit.

In all-in-all, a successful outing in the desert for many first-time trail runners. Falls = zero and all runners accounted for.

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