1984 My first run in Bowral

Starting to write some stories about my running.

1984 – my first run in Bowral.

Do you remember those green stubbie shorts that men used to wear with their overlapping tummies while drinking VB beers?. Well they were the shorts that I first wore when I started running in Bowral. They were matched with KT- 26 shoes which seemed to have a large sole which meant, so I thought, to give me protection for my feet while running. What they did give me was a false sense of security and my first running injury – shin splints.

This was added to with a cotton singlet which soaked up the sweat and made me cold when I had to stop or slow down for a walk, which was not a sensible thing to do when running in Bowral in winter where the temperature is quite cool. The wet t-shirt soaked through to the thick sloppy joe which in turn got soaked.

Added to this was the fact the shorts were conducive to chafing between the legs, not only due to the undies but the ulta short shorts.Little did I know this then, in hindsight when I started on my first official run as a runner in Bowral in 1984.

So I set out the door near to dark in this country town I have only just moved into a few weeks earlier. I lived a couple blocks from Bowral Hospital on the corner of Bendooley Street one block from Bong Bong Street the main street of Bowral.

The geographer in me knew in general terms, from driving around, that if I ran to the main street turned left and then left again on the main road out to Bong Bong Racecourse and Old South Road I would eventually be able to do a big rectangle and make it home.

The factor I did not take into account was that dusk led to darkness and not all the roads in Bowral had street lights. I never thought of this having lived in Liverpool, Strathfield and a short stint in Redfern while at university.I got to the second side of the rectangle to note the sun was going down, I had no street lights, the gaps between homes were increasing and more dark agricultural land was surrounding me.

The third side of the rectangle was when turned left into Old South Road which was heading to Mittagong. Now it was dark and in fairness, with a couple of faint street lights a few 100 m apart and open farm land. Land which is now housing a housing estate on the eastern side of the road.I now could feel myself panicking.

Even though on the left hand side were the perimeter houses of Bowral.I had gone too far to turn back. An experience I was to replicate on several trail runs over the following decades. To go forward or go back? I did both over the years. I got to the fourth side of the rectangle which I was not sure I was on at the time.

Now I had farmland on both sides and was unsure if I was truly lost in the dark on a cold night in Bowral with no cars on the road.I could see there was a small creek to the side ahead a slight rise in the road. A rise that I would push up on a regular basis in the years to come.

I went over the top of the crest and with relief I could see houses and in the distance the light of Bowral Hospital and soon I was home, cold and wet from sweat a little shaken but hooked on running.This first run I measured the next day in the car and it was 6km.The start of #6kmrunning. cheers Plu

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