The Next Chapter - Mount Laguna...
I write this as I’m wedged in the back of a Dodge 4WD on the way from Los Angeles Airport to Mount Laguna. It’s a 3 hour journey but we’re doing it tough in this 7 seater, as there are 7 people in the vehicle, plus everyone has 2 suitcases and a backpack with them. None of us mastered Tetris so as you can imagine it’s a pretty tight fit. I actually struggle with claustrophobia, but only when I think about claustrophobia. So guess what, now I’m starting to get claustrophobic. Take deep breaths!
Ben St. Lawrence is at the steering wheel and Dutch athlete Susan Kuijken is riding shot-gun, providing directions and making sure we don’t end up in Tijuana, Mexico. Alongside me is James ‘Genghis’ Kaan and somewhere buried down the back is Selma Kajan, Anna Laman and Zoe Buckman. When we arrive atop the mountain, we’ll link up with Ballarat Project members Collis Birmingham and Brett Robinson, as well as Lara Tamsett. In the next few weeks we’ll also be graced with the presence of Irishman Paul Robinson and Brit Andy Vernon. Altogether there will be 12 Melbourne Track Club athletes on this annual training camp. The terrain at Mount Laguna is ideal for getting fit fast. My 2 other favourite training locations are Falls Creek and Ballarat, and Mount Laguna is the perfect mix of both. It combines the hilly terrain of Ballarat with the altitude of Falls Creek. Mount Laguna is close to 2000m elevation which is probably ideal for benefit. Any higher and the quality of training is sacrificed.
Weather wise, being up at Mount Laguna can be a little tricky at this time of year. Some days it could be shirts off and then the next day you could be in the middle of a blizzard. Another thing to be wary of is the wildlife. There are plenty of coyote around and even though they are not aggressive toward people, sometimes it’s a little scary if you come across a couple of them when you’re out on a run on your own. The main legend in the area though is the mountain lion. They exist but are rarely sighted. Benita Willis saw one back in 2004 which has kept the rest of the group on their toes over the years until last year when we were lucky enough to see one next to the highway while we were driving up the mountain. The locals have told us that if we see one when we’re out on a run we should stay still and make ourselves look as big as possible. Hopefully it doesn’t come to that!
On the plane trip I watched ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ which starred Bradley Cooper and I really enjoyed it. I’d have to say that Cooper is one of my favourite actors, with Limitless being one of my all-time favourite movies. The other movie that I watched was ‘I Give it a Year’. I was actually lol’ing.
On a footy note, a perfect start to the year by the Sydney Swans in the AFL, going 3-0, and it’s nice to see the St. George Illawarra Dragons turning their NRL season around, currently sitting 3-3.
Editor's tip: If you're interested in getting into running check out our beginner tips from couch to 5k run in 6 weeks
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