All still smiling
I joined them at the Calwell Shops and we ran across the oval and onto the track behind Theodore. The sun was rising to a cloudless blue-sky morning and, already at 7.20am, it was ominously warm at 20 degrees C.
We all carried extra water. I had an 800ml bottle of 'Mizone' in addition to the 700ml in my fuel belt. This would prove to be woefully inadequate.
Some sections of the tracks on the northern ascent of Rob Roy are incredibly steep. One particular rock-strewn hill reduced even Steve and Elizabeth to a walk. After 14km we re-grouped at the very ancient trig station on the summit of Rob Roy. Zel took a couple of photos with his mobile phone. At this stage we were all still smiling.
Soon we were off on a free-fall descent down the south-eastern side, dropping about 300 metres in 3 kilometres. Once through the paddocks at the bottom we turned right and commenced climbing again. I walked all these uphill bits. I could see that Catherine and Mike were using a combination of walking and jogging. Chris was jogging slowly and I presume Elizabeth, Steve, Zel and John were jogging quickly.
I wasn't having a good day and decided to take the shortest route home. I was rationing my water. There was a cool breeze blowing on the high plains which disguised the energy-sapping sun. I was walking, but quite slowly as I knew I was suffering from dehydration. I was thinking "How bad is this! I'll be glad when it's over".
This was the opposite to my mood on Thursday night. How good had that been! Luckylegs, in her first race on the track had missed the world mile record for a 75+ female by just 7.48 seconds. This was in spite of me telling her to chase Cory who I thought was in the same age-group. I was shocked by Cory's seemingly suicidal fast start. I know she has good genes from daughters Sarah and Melanie, but... that good? Luckylegs took it all in her stride running a very even-paced race to establish an ACT record for W75s - 9:06.88. Afterwards we celebrated at Dickson with Aki and Flash Duck.
I rested in the shade of an old Eucalypt on the descent of Rob Roy and gathered myself for the final plod through the bush to Theodore. After 29km in 4 and a half hours I was home and downed two big glasses of Coke before lowering my salt-covered body into bed. It was so good to be lying down! I didn't have the energy to drive to the Murrumbidgee where the other Six Footers had planned a swim. I just slept.