It is not all beer and sausages – Part Seventeen

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It is not all beer and sausages – Part Seventeen

The rehab to my leg continues and last weekend it was time to put it to the test. Although I cannot run, I can “hobble walk” at a reasonable rate. So I decided that it was time to head back into the hills. This was my first time in the bush since my escapade last April.

I entered the Hooper Loop a shorter route that is held in conjunction with the Jumbo-Holdsworth mountain run. I have completed the full event seven or eight times and I realised prior to the start that I would be the last competitor home. The event goes up a valley, followed by an ascent up a moderately steep ridge and then a hobble down the well graded Gentle Annie track. I even managed to pass a guy on the ascent. He did tell me he was 80, but I confidently informed him that he would catch me on the downhill. He doubted this but I can happily report my prediction was accurate – He did catch and pass me, and I came home satisfied with my performance, five minutes after him at the back of the field.

It was great to be in the bush again. I derived great satisfaction from being out in the hills and enjoying the ambiance of the bush. Although I was slow, I also managed to feel good as I moved as fast as I could for over two and half hours. My fitness is returning – I just need my leg to work so I can run again. I cannot take long strides as the impact of the site of the leg break makes this too painful. I was able to watch and admire the speedier finishers of the full length event power past me as they cruised on the downhill section to the finish.

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At the end of the event they have a barbecue. I brought my own sausages – Soggy Bottom’s smoked chorizo. This sausage is a great example of chorizo, it is a medium to chunky grind. When you taste the sausage it has elements of heat and smoke. The smoke is moderate, the heat is medium to strong. It all makes for a great snarler that has complexity in the taste. It was very satisfying to savour a delicious sausage after the event.

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The kai was washed down with a bottle of Silverstream Pale Ale from Kereru Brewery. This is a mildly hoppy pale ale that has some residual bitterness. A very nice beer on an increasingly hot Wairarapa day.

So at the end of my first day back in the hills I was pleased to enjoy the company of fellow mountain runners and of course a great sausage washed down with a beer.

Cost – $25 per kilo

For an index to other parts of the series click here.

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