Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ball-Breaker Run (Saturday, 10/25)

Giving my fucked up shoe a little smooch

Saturday morning I woke up at about 9:00, and went downstairs for some breakfast. Much water drinking was in order. After breakfast I returned to the room and went back to sleep. I woke up at 11:45 to the sound of my alarm, threw on my running shoes, and headed out the door to catch the bus. We had the choice of four different runs: short, medium, long, and ball-breaker. You can imagine which one I chose. I was told that the ball-breaker would be about 23k and pretty heinous. As it turns out, it was about 23k and pretty heinous. They first started by running us across the steep hill over a lake, while trying not to slide into the lake, or impale ourselves on any of the bamboo pongee sticks sticking up everywhere. After that, they ran us through some farmers’ fields and back yards, before turning and sending us straight up a freaking mountain. They sent us almost all the way to the top, at various times climbing a forty-five degree slope while clinging onto tree roots. Once they got us to the top of the mountain, a couple thousand feet above where we started, they turned the trail and took us straight down the other side. Of course the trail was nothing but lose rock and mud, so everyone was falling on their asses. At one point the ground gave way underneath me and I almost sprained my ankle. After getting to the bottom of the mountain, they decided to run us through underbrush and gullies until finally getting to our water stop… right next to an ancient 30’ tall statue of the Buddha.

Thirty minutes later we were recharged on watermelon, peanut cookies, and dried fish snacks, and it was time to knock out the last 10k in . They first took us through vast landscapes of thorns and briers, including some tumbleweed-like plants that would wrap around your leg, forcing you to stop and untangle the spiny mess before continuing. After that they dropped us down a steep embankment, into a creek, and started running us through tall grasses and marshlands. After that, they decided to make us run, hunched over, through dense jungle before dropping us into the rice patties, trudging through knee-high mud. We eventually made it to the party at the end of the trail, and I must say, that beer never tasted so good. They had the fire truck there, spraying down all the nasty, nasty hashers. My socks looked like something from a horror movie, my shirt was completely fucked, and the sole of my right shoe was about half way peeled off. All in a good day’s work. A hash circle, dinner, and of course more singing, drinking, and general debauchery ensued. Most of the time I was just sitting there tired but contented with a thousand yard stare, somewhere between zoned out and planet zargon. By midnight I was fading fast, so it was back to the hotel for me. I am pretty sure I was fully asleep before I even got to the bed.

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