A backlog of posts about my Point to Pinnacle experience, being a not overly fit, desk-bound, not-getting-any-younger casual walker.
27 July 2018
I like to walk. I go for a 20-minute walk every morning and aim to walk at least 12,000 steps every day.
Occasionally, I sign up for organised walks like the City to Casino Fun Run (and Walk) and have participated in CARE Australia’s Walk in Her Shoes challenge, which is a walking challenge to raise funds for CARE’s work with women in developing countries.
These have all been reasonably gentle events that haven’t been overly physically challenging for me.
However, there is one event that I’ve thought about participating in for several years and never made the commitment to because it’s beyond the next level for me.
The Point to Pinnacle is described as:
the toughest half-marathon in the world, and for good reason, with just over 1270m of ascending, gradients above 10% and extreme changes in climate and weather conditions. The event is a challenge of the human spirit and allows people of all ages and abilities to be involved through our walk or run. It is now one of Tasmania’s iconic events that draws many people from interstate and internationally each year. (2018 Point to Pinnacle Event Book)
The course starts at Wrest Point Car Park and goes for 21.1 km to the pinnacle of kunanyi/Mount Wellington.
I was walking with a friend in the City to Casino earlier this year and mentioned I was considering entering this event. I said that I’d thought about it but never done it. She said something along the lines of, you don’t do it by thinking about it. She had a point, and I thought maybe this would be the year I’d do it. But I wasn’t sure.
Fast forward to today and I had to see the HR guy who had coordinated my work’s participation in the City to Casino. I had to return a shirt that my sister had refused to wear. (I don’t blame her; they were most unflattering). I handed the shirt back, he thanked me and I wondered for a brief second if I should go back to my desk or if I should say something about how much I had enjoyed participating in the race and how good it was for work to be supporting things like this.
I did neither.
“I’m going to do the Point to Pinnacle,” I blurted out.
Brain-mouth disconnect. Why would I tell anyone that?
He looked at me in what I can only describe as horror*.
“I could never do that,” he said. This from a guy who is, I imagine, because he ran the City to Casino, fairly fit.
Instant fear struck my heart. If a fit, young(er than me) guy said he wouldn’t attempt it, what in hell made me think I could do it? Up until then, I’d imagined it would be difficult (because hills) but not overly impossible for someone with my level of fitness to do. I know people who have done it and haven’t died, so I know it’s possible. I semi-regularly do 10 km walks so I know I’m not entirely unfit. However, this is double that distance and involves a mountain. It’s not exactly the same thing.
“I’m walking it,” I said.
I don’t think that needed to be said. A quick glance at my physique would tell anyone I’m not a runner, let alone a runner who runs 20 km up mountains.
“Yes,” he said.
“Well I look at it like this,” I continued because I’d got myself into this conversation and now I had to end it. “It’s in about three months, so if I sign up, I’ve committed and I have to do it so I’ll have to train for it. There won’t be any getting out of it.”
“Yeah,” he said, looking less than convinced.
I am now doubting myself bigtime. Is it going to be a hell of a lot harder than I had thought? Am I completely crazy to think I can do this?
Registrations open next week. I have set a reminder to sign up. Am I going to do this? Am I going to let someone else’s reaction stop me?
No, I am not. I’ll never know if I can do it unless I try. I have enough time to prepare. I’m committed and I’m doing it.
*HR guy’s reaction may be slightly overstated for dramatic effect.