Each year in Alice Springs the YMCA (the Y) organises an eight kilometre walking and running race from the Y to the top of West Gap, on the west side of Heavitree Gap. For all those of you that are locals then you’ll know it as the place where the three towers that provide telecommunications to Alice Springs can be seen wide and far.
This year Amanda, myself and Ben volunteered to assist in setting up the finish point high above Alice. After a fitful sleep due to some noisy neighbours we arose at 5.40am to travel to the Y to get the gear that we needed to setup at the finish line. So loaded with a trestle table, food and eskies full of Gatorade and mineral water we set off for the top.
At the base of the hill is a locked gate that is always locked except for occasions like this or for maintenance on the towers high above. We engaged 4wd because it said to and started up the long single width bitumen road to the top. It is quite a steep incline, winding as you near the top and no doubt just a bit of a challenge to the walkers and runners that attempt it. After getting to the top and just enjoying the view for a moment, we began the task of setting up the table, the eskies and laying out the food to await the athletes upon their finish.
The view over Alice Springs
The walkers start first some time ahead of the more serious runners and after a quite flat walk/run up to the base of the hill begin the arduous final stage of the King of the Mountain. While we were waiting we took a few more photos and even had a black-footed rock wallaby keep us company for awhile.
Black-footed Rock Wallaby
In well under an hour the first walkers and very close behind them, the runners came into view making their way to the line. Before long a flood of people came across the line, some absolutely buggered and some seemingly ready for more. People talked, trophies were handed out and people made their way back to their Sunday off. And then there was those who were only just warmed up and what did they do? Well, of course they ran back to the Y to get their cars so they could drive home, didn’t they?