Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

September 3, 2012

Adventure Racing Poem

...and now for something a little silly

Adidas TERREX Sting In Stirling AR 2012

Bang! Goes the gun, and we’re off like a shot,
Oops, running too fast, better that we’d not!
A long race awaits, a true test of skill,
Reaching the finish, is a force of will.

Racers spread out over hill, fell, and dale,
Near the beginning we all feel quite hale.
As days pass unending, pace starts to slow,
Without any rest, how far can we go?

Food is our fuel, so we constantly eat,
Gummies and shot bloks, are all so sweet.
Hand me some chocolate, to melt on my lips
I’m craving the sight of some fish and chips.

Time on the water can be a nice change,
We paddle in pairs and rest tired legs.
But rivers throw rapids around each bend,
This race is continuing without any end!

Help! We’ve tipped over, what’s to do now?
The bailer, I’ve lost it!  Pick up the bow.
Dump out the water, hope our bags are sealed,
Where’s the next rapid, keep your eyes peeled!

Our moods come and go, about like the sun.
With warmth on our face, then wow this is fun!
More likely, though, is a faceful of rain,
Soaking wet clothes are a consummate pain.

When darkness falls, we continue along,
The world is sleeping, this just seems so wrong.
A beam breaks the darkness, to show the way,
Some trails stay hidden, and we go astray.

It’s 2 am, can’t we stop for some sleep? 
My eyes are half-closed, I try not to weep.
Not on your life, we’ve got deadlines to beat,
I slump, uncaring, against my bike seat.

At last, a transition, a really nice sight,
With shelter and food, and welcoming light.
Spare bags give us shoes, dry clothes and some socks,
A place to sit down, and dump out the rocks.

Now for a wetsuit, a harness and lid,
Jump in the waterfall, act like a kid.
Canyoning cools down our muscles just right,
The largest leap, is an adrenaline spike!

Back on the bikes for the longest bit yet,
Puddles soon show us we’re gonna get wet.
Glen Tilt pulls us up the smooth valley trail,
Oh, more hike-a-bike, I let out a wail!

The orienteering is optional, right?
Instead we’ll just sit with antlers in sight!
Food from Clive Ramsey’s, some pasta and veg,
Warmth keeps us from tilting right over the edge.

We’ve chosen the long route, our bums rebel,
We’re biking a Munro, that’s something to tell!
O-k, we’re hike-a-biking a Munro?
Bums get a break, but progress is so slow.

Time to box up bikes, get them out of sight,
Let’s get up on the hills while there’s still light.
The long trek before us, how far can we go?
I don’t know, but we’re traveling so slow!

Teams travel in packs, just the four of us,
Alone on the horizon, from dawn ‘til dusk.
My feet are so wet, it’s boggy out there,
Where’s my dry socks? Our toes deserve some care!

Can’t go on forever, asleep on our feet,
We break out the tent, when we’re really beat.
Where to erect it, I see rocks and slopes?
Wind tries to steal it, we crawl in and hope...

For moments of stillness, a second of sleep,
A chance to lay flat, dry our feet and eat.
All too soon chimes my watch, beep-beeps your watch,
Get up, tired bones, we’ve controls to catch!

Rock scrambles loom above, so dark in the night,
We’re tired and cold, we wait for first light.
Volunteers in blue jackets point the way,
Thanks for enduring such winds without pay!

Transitions again, again, and some more,
More biking, more paddling, what’s in store?
Packs crammed with gear, may explode in a pile,
That wet shirt stuffed inside, smells terribly vile.

Hold on, I’m thirsty, my bottle is dry!
“A stream up ahead”, soon comes the glad cry.
Maps fly all over, where’s the one I need?
To tell us the turns, the hills we should heed.

Late in the race, our muscles are so sore,
Sleepmonsters beckon, with visions galore.
In stillness the midges come at us again,
Speed through transition, only way to win!

Teammates tell jokes, lend a hand, or a drink,
There when needed, to save us from the brink.
Carry our packs, and pull us up the hills,
Push bikes unceasing, pick us up from spills.

Now drop the bikes, to the finish line run,
Hand-in-hand, we will cross the line as one.
Medals and cameras stuffed in our face,
Only one thought, that we’ve finished the race!

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