Saturday, August 25, 2007

Trailblazer Training

Our first official training hike for October's Trailblazer Challenge - 50km from the River Torrens in the city to Mt Lofty Summit. Today we tried out the first half of the challenge, Pinky Flat to Montacute Road.

We set out from Pinky Flat, Coleen's car safely parked behind a large tree, obscuring it from potential golf ball misdemeanors from the adjacent golf course. Although, now that I think about it, the North Adelaide golf course is quite a good one, I can't imagine too many newbies being able to get out onto this course on a Saturday.

We hiked the 18km to the entrance of Ambers Gully, along the River Torrens Linear Park. Easy walking, all on bitumen walking/cycling paths. Gotta watch out for those lycra-clad cyclists though, they seemed to be under the impression it is a veloway. Coleen was correct in surmising they should have signs up at all the track entrances - 'No lycra-clad cyclists (please use your nearest raceway). Other cyclists and walkers welcome'. Being bitumen walking though, it is hard on our feet. Something I think Coleen felt the most, having decided to wear her hiking boots, whilst Jenny, Tim and myself had opted for shoes. It took us 3.5 hours, we did it without a break, so that's about 5km/h. Lots of people out walking and playing with their kids, even one industrious mother with the child on the back of her bike and the dog on a lead off her handlebars. Not so many people though as we pressed on further towards the hills. Tim was impressed by what he saw, never having been this far up the park before, I can agree, very nice area, lots of hills and views and parks.

After a half hour lunch, which was perhaps poorly timed, as we immediately hiked up the steep 1.5km section up Ambers Gully. It was on this incline that Kate shared her distress during a recent hike, and I did not share my distress. But this time, whoa, it was tough and hot in the sun (forecast about 26 degrees), I felt a bit sick, but we had climbed hard and fast. After the climb it was an easy walk across the top of Black Hill, and back down to Montacute Road. I think we finished at 3 (?), so this 6km section had taken us about 1.5-2 hours.

The section from Ambers Gully to Montacute Road is 6km, bringing our hike to a total of 24km. All of us could have hiked more. With our busy schedules in the next few weeks, we made tentative plans to hike the second 26km section from Montacute Road, through Morialta, Norton Summit and Horsnell Gully up to Mt Lofty Summit.

No google map for today, you can check out the map Start - CP1 and Start - CP1 on the Trailblazer Challenge website. I have also recently purchased a GPS unit on ebay, but it hadn't been delivered yet, but should make calculating walk times, speeds, distances and maps easy.

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