The past few weeks have seen a steep increase in companionship on our hikes. As the weather gets less intense, we have gone from solitary hikes to rambles with friends and other dogs. Not that our hikes have ever been monotonous but it's been very enjoyable to have a change in the routine.
Yesterday, a last minute social media posting was quickly answered by a friend who I haven't seen since my days as a Sandy Bay coach. He's been busy in the past couple of years, having seriously taken up hiking. A former prop, he is still of a front row physique, which is misleading. He set a determined pace that had the dogs and me puffing along. If not for our breaks to hydrate and water down the dogs, we would have plowed our way through the usually 2 hour hike in half the time. Of course our usual hikes include stoppages to splash in streams but this man's pace was impressive.
He is going to attempt to complete the HK trailwalker after two failures. He suceeded the Japan trailwalker but this one has eluded him. During the first year he suffered a freak injury when quite suddenly, he was unable to place any weight on his left leg, which still baffles him as to what happened. The second attempt saw him teamed up with a man who was in his own program, insisting that he was going to do the trailwalker as he remembered it over a decade ago. The man left them to complete the "correct" course and the team eventually caught up with him as he was entering the shivery stage of heat stroke. His teammates did not return the favor and abandon him.
During our hike yesterday, we came across a dozen or so people who seemed to be part of the same group, only staggered along the twins by twenty minutes. The ones in front looked tired but the ones in the back were downright miserable. They were all impressively kitted out in ultra runner clothing, with high end shoes and running backpacks. I wondered what the story was. Office entry into the trailwalker perhaps?
SB wanted to do the trailwalker previously but several stints as support crew changed his mind. The glory of completing the course in his mind didn't take into account the pain. Watching your very fit friends vomiting and swaying about like zombies puts a damper on enthusiasm to partake. Now SB is happy to limit his participation to going on training hikes with people who are preparing for the hellish event. I never had such lofty ambitions and have always been happy to be the water girl. I'm a very good water girl.