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Barrington Tops

Sharon tackling one of the obstacles on
the Link Track
Being in the Barrington Tops area for a couple of days, I just had to search out a nice long trail run for Sharon and me to do today.  Neither of us is in great form at present.  My problems have been documented ad nauseam in this blog and Sharon has been making a slow comeback from shin stress fractures.

The route we chose was the Link Track that connects the Gloucester Tops to Barrington Tops via a forested ridge, a 34km out-and-back trip, starting at about 1300m and climbing to about 1500m at the Carey's Peak turnaround.  It was forecast to be a warm day, so the idea of running at altitude had some appeal.  It was also quite windy, so that helped keep us cool as well.

The track wasn't that hilly, but was narrow and technical in many parts.  The terrain varied from glades of Antarctic beech to more tussocky open alpine forest.  We had the place to ourselves and saw no-one at all, despite it being school vacation time.

Beautiful trail running on the Link Track
It turned into a run of two halves, with me leading on the way out, waiting at the top of hills for Sharon to catch up, taking pictures, and walking the more significant hills.  Sadly it was quite hazy at Carey's Peak, so the views were restricted, but it was still impressive.  I started to feel very achy and sleepy as we began the return trip and soon it was Sharon waiting for me on the hills and taking the photographs.  The further I went the more liberal became my interpretation of what was a hill, and therefore walkable.

With a few kilometres to go, I caught Sharon making hand signals at a distance to indicate the presence of a snake on the track and I got a good picture.  From there, I pretty much walked all the way back to the car, feeling absolutely exhausted.

Some wildlife on the Link Track
I shouldn't feel this bad, so will write it off to remnants of the illness I had on the weekend.  By contrast, Sharon was very happy with her run, being easily the longest she has done for some time.

On the plus side for me, my Achilles pain wasn't too bad and the knee bearable during the run.  Neither seems to be worse post-run, but I did kick a rock or stump during the second half of the run and felt sharp pain in the right arch that was giving me problems a couple of months ago.  Hopefully, it will be fine.

Despite my exhaustion, I count myself lucky to have been able run/walk through such an environment, and will relish the memory.  I think the Australian bush is in my DNA and I always feel right at home there.  Despite going quite slowly, we essentially completed what is supposed to be a two-day hike in just 5.5 hours.  Trail running gives you many more options in wild country.