By ioMerino Outsider, Sputnik.
It was the event that delivered three of Trail Running’s ‘Horsemen of the Apocalypse’: Wind, Rain, and our dear friend Mud – who made multiple, suitably epic appearances along the way. With a forecast that was enough to scare off all but the bravest and/or craziest runners, the ‘not started’ list of runners for this run was considerable. What those non starters don’t know, is they missed out on what is likely to be one of the funnest runs of the year here in South Australia.
The weather was perfect ioMerino wearing conditions. A quick look at the runners on the starting line showed people were wearing everything from singlets to heavy rain jackets – some dressing for the milder, dryer parts of the run, some for the wilder, windier, colder and wetter parts. For me, I opted for one of the new Ultra T-shirts underneath an Ultra Long Sleeve zip. This gave me the warmth I needed when the temperature dropped to around zero with the wind chill, but still prevented me from overheating in the warmer, more protected areas of forest.
The course itself was a literal rollercoaster mixed bag of spectacular – from awesome pine forests to a fantastic boardwalk across some flooded wetlands to the finish line, which was possibly the only really flat section of the entire race. There was a big creek crossing early which was a blessing in disguise, because as I quite rightly pointed out at the time, “wet’s wet”. And while it’s always nice to keep your feet dry if you can, once we got it over and done with and splashed our way through, when you’re already soaked there’s no point hesitating at any of the many other water crossings. Quite liberating really, and we really did enter ‘kid mode’ and just enjoy the ride from there on. It didn’t hurt at all that i was wearing my ioMerino socks which kept my feet warm and comfortable even when they were wet.
Some of the climbs were a little brutal, made tougher by the mud which made it two steps forward, one slip back. And a couple of other slip and slide sections kept us on our toes, and busting some of our best Joe Cocker dance moves, but for the most part, this run delivered everything we want from a trail run. And all up, you’d have to say Mother Nature was relatively kind to us considering the carnage she delivered later that afternoon.
I’ve never seen Mt Crawford, or ‘Atlantis’ as I’m now calling it, quite that waterlogged, but it sure did make for a fun, challenging, interesting and exciting run. Easily one of the top three wettest, muddiest races I’ve ever done. Loved (almost) every minute of it and was as grateful as ever to be wearing my ioMerino out there. Whether it’s the T-shirt, the long sleeve, or a combination or both, I’ve started wearing the new Ultra range on all my runs now, and it’s fair to say it’s my new favourite whenever I hit the trails.