Short Runs in Strange Places – Easter Island

I was feeling ambitious. I had been yomping up and down steep hills well above 2,500 meters for more than two weeks now, and I wanted to see if this whole altitude-training, red-blood-cell, hyper-fit malarkey was actually true. Incidentally, Easter Island is the location that I originally had in mind when I decided to start this whole Short Runs in Strange Places business, and my running shoes were starting to give me accusing looks again. So I went out for a short jog: from our guest house in Hanga Roa up the hill to the Birdman Ceremonial Village and back. Easy.

The cliff path

The cliff path

A few observations:

  • I learned the joy of jogging by the Hudson River in New York. There are no gradients there – sea level, that sort of thing
  • Choosing as a running destination the top of a hill that prehistoric men used to climb to prove both their manhood and the vitality of their whole civilization is Not Very Smart
  • I’m no Michael Fish, but if you spot the most beautiful rainbow ever, and it is upwind of you, you are about to get utterly soaked in freezing rain
  • My rinky-dink New Balance running shoes are deeply technical and lovely, and are designed for running on pavements, possibly moist pavements at a pinch. They are NOT designed for running diagonally up steep grassy hills in the sleet while hurdling gorse bushes
  • Large animals poo mightily in handy gaps between said gorse bushes
  • Running at just above top speed down slippery red clay roads in the pouring rain wearing aforementioned urban footwear is, erm, “exhilarating”
  • My heart rate can still top 180 when the red mist of stubbornness comes down
The view from the lip of the crater

The view from the lip of the crater

The outcome? Well, I have no idea if I am any fitter than I used to be, as I never would have attempted something so patently stupid before. Still: just over seven miles; 300 meters up and down; slow at 85 minutes; came home to Lucy covered in mud, blood and soaked to the skin. Epic.

[PS: check out the crater on the satellite photo above!]

2 thoughts on “Short Runs in Strange Places – Easter Island

  1. Preparing for a light jog around the new neighborhood tomorrow. Was feeling a little tired. This may take away that excuse :)

    Been reading every post and loving it. Just remembered I can comment too ! The tales are awesome and the photos epic (although no photo of blood / mud stained Mr Viggers? *tsk* *tsk* your audience demands suffering, or at least pictures of it)

    Love to you both from the Bimi clan.

    • You know, your “Endomondo” run tracking exploits were where I discovered that this sort of thing was technologically possible, so a belated thank you.

      Sorry about the lack of gory evidence from the run – next time I get banged up for any reason I’ll take a blood spattered photograph and post it. Does that work?

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