It was never intended for us to run in the dark when we set out about Lunch time on Saturday….but thats the way things turned out!
Tim and Myself headed up to Coopers Creek for a medium-sized run on Saturday and got a little bit side tracked then a little bit caught out by the sun going down too. We managed to get to Black Hill hut by about 3pm…afterwhich we began to realise that it was going to be a bit of a push to get back to the car before darkness. As it got darker and darker Tim became slower and slower and as he became slower we came closer and closer to Marathon distance. Eventually it got so dark it became very difficult to see much at all.
Once it was pitch black Tim decided to inform me that he had a headlamp but it was back at the car….a lot of use really…. However it was beginning to become clear that we could take quite a long time to get back to the car. It was at this point that I decided to run back to the car and come back for Tim with his light. I got a little way around the track managing to stumble along the track for about 1.6km’s then decided to risk wasting my watch light battery and used it to figure out if I was still on the track or not! Then after a while it became completely impossible to run with out some sort of light and I turned it on full-time and hoped like hell the battery would last.
As I got closer to the end of the track the more relieved I became and the more worried I was about how far Tim would have managed to get with no light. I was hoping that he would not have wandered off the track and also that he had managed to get a fair way along the track so I didn’t have to double back too far as after 6 hours of running I was feeling a bit tired.
Back at the car it took a little while to find his head lamp and the battery but I got back out onto the track plus some water and food on board. Luckily it didn’t take too long to find Tim, about 25mins or so….We both were very pleased to see each other and cruised out of the forest a little bit broken and a little bit tired.
Learned some important lessons about running long distance in the winter….like always carry a headlamp no matter what! It could have turned out pretty bad but we were lucky that our experience allowed us to get out comfortably….without spending the night out in the open.