The goat laughed at me and the kid whipped me…

8 Dec

blue lipped waiting on the homeward bus..

view from the bus after finishing...

after half way, the view of the 'waterfall rock'...

The beginning....

The beginning-about ten minutes till the start..

reubs at the beginning....Yes..well…it was brutal…and to boot; bloody 24year old men are stronger and fitter than me. Yes…I was whipped by Reuben’s (step son) skinny arse. I just can’t stand it….especially after spending 3 weeks prior telling him that I was gonna leave him in my dust..
Speaking of dust, there was none. It had all turned to MUD. The conditions were atrocious. I loved it. It made me cry.
The day began with me waking every hour from midnight…it’s ‘my thing’. I goat got up at 4.45am…(yes I realize thats taking it way way over the top…)and began my day with strong coffee, a cup of disgusting porridge followed by a half hour of yoga and meditation..and victory prayers and mantra’s,(please buddah..let me beat the step-son…) .
I started worrying that Reubs would not get out of bed in time and was about to rap on his door, waking him and girlfriend, but realised just in time that it was still only 5.45am. I swallowed another coffee, dressed, double checked my gear and swallowed a ‘up and go’, by which time I was pretty full. burp.
Reuben emerged from his cave, and after laughing at me (for being up so early), he was ready, I was ready, it was 7am so we were off.
We made it onto the bus which took us and however many a bus takes, to whakapapa ski village. The drive takes an hour. We then waited in the relative warmth of the village cafe. Three bus loads of competitors arrived while I supped on powerade and a banana. I talked to a few first timers and checked out the ‘competition’…(I knew it was no competition really, only the young, brave, and very fit generally enter this race..and then there is me….ummm…)
There were four waves with three minutes in between each one. Reuben and I were wave four. Obviously wave four were the elites. We ran down the road together, noticing already a victim of the run, groaning in pain and clutching her ankle. Race over for her and we weren’t even off tarseal! After veering off into the volcanic desert, Mr step son left me.
I clipped along at an okay pace(obviously in my head..) the mud and rock making the down hill sections more treacherous than usual.
I counted three injured peeps pulled over clutching limbs not yet one hour into it. I struggled on each up hill section-feeling a bit ill, with tickly weak legs. I struggled for breath, which folks, is unusual for me. I was wondering why it felt so hard…I really thought I would do well..ya whole hour better than last time! groan! For a while, I ran with a 52-year-old woman who was running the goat for the sixth time. She was struggling as well, she thought it may be the altitude. She was taking it carefully, having experienced a helicopter ride off the mountain in a previous goat due to jumping onto a rock that was in the wrong place. Naughty rock!
It is hard to describe the mud…I regret not taking a photo of it. I ran/crawled through it as it cascaded down the track. It tried to take my shoes quite a few times. I sunk up to my hips in it. I was covered in it, hoisting my self up slippery boggy chasms, finding foot holds on tiny precarious tree roots and bits of rock. The river, that I was in fear of, was bigger. I crossed it anyhow. The waterfall rock, (I don’t know it’s real name, thats just what I call it) was massive. Amazingly, the rock face is not slippery..I didn’t mind climbing it, it was the massive waterfall not one meter from me that freaked me. The pic above is of it, you may be able to spot people ants crawling up the side of it. There were moments in this race where I felt completely alone with the elements;I liked it. There were moments when I cried…not a huge amount, I’m not a wuss you understand. I was just overcome with the magnitude of the mountain, I think it had a lot to do with the weather.
I cannot stress enough..the MUD!!!
The course marshalls were wonderful..and frozen. I crawled to the top of a hill to find one on his back furiously doing sit ups. I asked him if he was skiting and he said…’Nah! just trying to keep warm mate!’
Another marshall was guarding a mud hole that lay between two sections of board walk. His job was to save peoples lives by guiding them around the mudpit…telling us there were bodies in it already. Hahaha. Anyway, once I had scaled the last rocky hill, I was on the last leg of the run. There was a sign that said ‘welcome to mama’a mile’. It was a hellish loooong run on the road up to the car park. A real killer. The thing is, because I took so long, cars were beginning to come down the road carrying yahooing finished competitors. They yelled out words of encouragement (I think)..which was sorta nice. The fog was so thick I could not see the finishing shute (which was a blow-up white thing), but I started running anyway. I heard music, heard my name being yelled out, heard Reubs yelling and I put my arms up and finished like the hero I was. I yelled at Reuben triumphantly that I had whipped his arse, even though it was plain to see he had been standing waiting for me for so long he was hypothermic. What goes on in the mountain stays in the mountain. I won.


11 Responses to “The goat laughed at me and the kid whipped me…”

  1. justine December 8, 2009 at 8:39 pm #

    Yay! Great write up!

  2. Elaine December 8, 2009 at 9:46 pm #

    ….INVICTUS…..obviously penned with you in mind Catherine !!! x

    • catherinedrew December 9, 2009 at 4:37 am #

      is invictus something i should read mum? is it in latin? obviously it is a story of great heroic doings, si?

      • Elaine December 9, 2009 at 6:24 am #

        …google Invictus… by William Ernest henley… will know it I;m sure ! ….one of David;s favourite poems ..Though it’s much more than a poem…x

  3. Paul Andersen December 9, 2009 at 7:37 am #

    Well done Cath, congratulations on finishing again. Invictus is quite apt.
    “my head is bloodied but unbowed”

    “I am the master of my fate
    I am the captain of my soul”

    Always been a particular favourite of mine too. Very apt for the goat I think, great choice Aunty.

    • catherinedrew December 9, 2009 at 12:51 pm #

      thanks Paul..and yes..i love invictus…you are so right paul and elaine…i am the captain of my fate…bloodies knees and all…

      • Paul Andersen December 9, 2009 at 6:43 pm #

        Invictus was always used as a geeup for Rugby players, in fact I think it was the theme “song” if you like for the south african team. Also much quoted in Boxing circles. The other well known poem of his was the “england, my england” one. I can’t remember what it was called though, has been much parodied over the years though.

  4. ange December 9, 2009 at 7:39 am #

    Great poem Mum! and well done Catherine – you conqured the goat! amid the mud, rain and skinny legged youths – but there is no mention of time? did you bet your last time?
    So Missy whats next?

    • catherinedrew December 9, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

      Thanks..and errr…no..i was slower..far slower..this time 4.44 last time 4.15…next for me is the motatapu full off road marathon in wanaka..wanna have some fun???

  5. AndrewE December 10, 2009 at 8:48 am #

    Awesome effort and fantastic writeup!

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