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A single kilometre

Single track running on
Kincumba Mountain.

This morning's Terrigal Trotters "Erina Bush" 12.5km run is yet another of my favourites.  It has a variety of terrain, including roads, trail, hills and flat, and is a true test of fitness.  I usually look forward to the run and particularly the one kilometre of very technical single track that climbs gradually through the Kincumba Mountain Reserve.

It seems strange that there's a single kilometre I look forward to in a much longer run but this little kilometre is magic.  You have to keep your wits about you to maintain a good pace while carefully picking where you put your feet.  We run it at dawn so the forest is just waking up, with a few bird calls to accompany the heavy breathing of runners.  There is a fairly solid hill before this section is reached, so it's a challenge to maintain momentum when you are already tired.  But the clincher probably is, that as a sixty-three year old, if my fitness is good, it makes me feel young and competitive again.  I'm still quite good on technical track when running hard (though I usually avoid running hard unless it's a race), and the closeness of the bush on each side of the trail makes you feel like you are running fast.  When I'm in shape, I can still match it with most of my club-mates on this section, which is then followed by one of the best gradual fire-trail descents you can find on the Central Coast.

Unfortunately, for this morning, I worked hard not to be competitive on this favourite run, because I have a 40 kilometre trail run tomorrow.  I knew that if I exhausted myself on the uphills, and pounded my body on the downhills, I would struggle tomorrow.  I held back, though still probably ran a little faster than was wise.  Tomorrow will tell the tale.