Thursday, 31 October 2013


Posted by speedygeoff on Thursday, October 31, 2013 with No comments
Have you ever got completely lost on a run? Or felt so exhausted you have stumbled and fallen, while walking with hands on thighs uphill? I have, on a run in an unfamiliar location, this year on the 6th of August. We stayed overnight at Undara in Queensland, after a visit to the lava tubes there, and next morning there were a couple of free hours so I decided to go for a run on a 12k track, after checking it was runnable ("Yes" - no it wasn't) and after telling everyone where I was going and how long it would take ("90 minutes" - it took me 110 minutes including getting totally lost and including struggling to climb up and down the rocky hills the path went on). The first 2k and last 2k were a good forest road, good enough to drive along in fact. The middle section however was at times indistinct track with occasional arrows tacked to trees and ribbon in places where walkers presumably had decided more signs were needed.

The large loop on the LHS of the map is the 12k track. I ran it clockwise. The text about getting lost I found today on the website! The mind boggles whether I would have been found if I had "waited where I was".

Here is where I actually ran.

Here is detail of where I was lost

When I looked at where I went, I see that after I had backtracked I was actually on the right track without knowing it, heading in the opposite direction. Then a little anti-clockwise loop brought me back on the actual track. Up and over the same hill, all rocks, where I had first gone wrong, and bearing hard right instead of left, finally I did see the track again. Phewwwww!

Where in the world was I? A rapidly heating up outback Queensland.

It was all guess work. All directions looked the same. Initially I panicked for several minutes, not recommended, then I calmed myself down and made a decision as to what I would do. Backtrack. when I did finally recognise the track, I had no idea which way to go. I wanted to continue on, whichever direction that was. Returning the way I had come would involve scaling three hills again, spending much more time out in the heat of the day, and getting back after the coach was due to leave. I had already stumbled and fallen, I was not very fit as I had been sick for a couple of months too.

But I guessed right (actually, "left") again, and got back before I was missed, I even had time to do another 500m to make the distance up to 16k on the Garmin! As you do.

And just for interest, here is a photo of the very large python we saw on our walk at the lava tubes the previous afternoon!


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