Coastal Forest Trail Run

My knees sound like a freshly prepared breakfast cereal when I walk up a staircase.

I know the all consuming burn of chafe on kilometre 40 of a marathon and that the comrades marathon smells pretty bad at the start line.

I have tripped on a cats eye, knuiped for a hour while hunting desperately for a petrol station and shuffled up Polly Shorts like a ninety year old.

And so with one whole road ultra marathon under the belt, I can confidently say that I gave it a good go, and while I was chuffed with myself, I am not rushing back. And so, predictably the running shoes started gathering dust at the back of the cupboard.. and then along came Trail Running.

I would like to say that it was a decision I made myself, but actually my wife and I  were “peer pressured” into the sport by family members who already spent enough time in remote mountain regions to start growing lichen on parts of their bodies. Despite early protestations, I soon found out that my knees loved it, I got to see spectacular parts of the country, meet some really cool people who took part, and there was cool (expensive) equipment to feel guilty about buying! It was my kind of sport.

The marriage of adventure/survival/high performance gear and a lumo trend in sporting gear meant that events at those epic locations lent themselves to great photography, and so soon the “adventure photographer” was attracted to the sport. These silly fools have fire burning in their sweat drenched eyes, and they operate like mountain ninjas, quietly and effectively taking photos of one in the middle of ones physical torment.

Runners will be at their most ungainly while stumbling across a stream, or be fighting back a bout of nausea after cresting a mountain top, and one of these intrepid ninja fellows will appear out of nowhere (having hiked with all their gear to the same spot that makes all the trail running gear feel a little OTT) , and flashes will fire from hidden spots around you for a photo of you at your most exhausted.

I opted for a different approach and chose a location close to a parking lot. I called a good friend; Blake, a local trail runner and part time male model,  and found a spot that would work for a series of shots with strobe, trial and error. We never moved more than 100 meters from that spot, but I reckon Blake probably did a 10km in that time.

These were the results: 

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