The “Pre-Adventure” Adventure

Just getting to the start of the Six Foot Track Marathon was an adventure. The plan was to get up on Saturday morning at 5:00 A.M. We had to drive an hour and a half on steep winding roads to Katoomba. We planned a nice buffer to help if there were any issues with our gear, our childcare, or the race in general.

On Friday night, the sun set in the valley and then it started to rain. And boy did it rain! We had wicked thunderstorms deep into the night. Bright flashes of lighting were punctuated by echoing booms of thunder and the sound of pitter patter rain on the old roof of the Caves House. I tossed and turned all night as I thought of the muck that would great us on the track in the morning. It turns out my worries about the race course were unwarranted. I should have been worried about the roads!

We got up on time, fueled up, geared up, and loaded up. We didn’t even make it through the Grand Arch 50 yards from the house before we were turned back. Apparently, the coach (bus) that was sent to pick up some of the runners, broke down and was blocking the road. This isn’t any ordinary road. It is a very steep mountain road with numerous switchbacks over the course of 10 kilometers.

So, we were sent the opposite direction, which was 45 minutes out of the way. We had to go west, then north, before heading east again. The road towards Oberon is half the length of the more direct route towards Katoomba, but the elevation gain is the same, so it is much steeper. No problem. I had a week of driving on the left side of the road under my belt. I had mastered rotaries, parallel parking on the left side of the road, and was feeling pretty comfortable.  I was up for the challenge until I realized that the fog was like pea soup. You couldn’t see 15 meters in front of the headlights and it was still raining. It didn’t matter what side of the road you were on because the road was only 10 feet wide! It was a “white knuckle” ride the whole way to Katoomba. I had Deb’s moral support, as well as driving and navigation advice. We were happy to arrive in time for the start and in one piece. Now I know why our insurance agent recommends taking the supplemental rental car insurance when you are so far from home!

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