The Ulladulla RATS certainly are a tough bunch! On Sunday, July 14, a small but enthusiastic group met at the power lines just up from the corner of Martins Ridge Road and the Princes Highway in particularly cold and windy conditions.
As they huddled near the cars rugged up in beanies and hoodies it took some initial encouragement for the runners and walkers to shed layers of clothing and start the run further west along Martins Ridge Road.
However, faced with some challenging, continuous uphill track it wasn't long before we were all warm and loving the fresh air and companionship.
Some 5km along the track there were a few different options for the runners. They could continue further along the main dirt road for another couple of kilometres and return or they could peel off down Rocky Ridge Road for a loop back onto Calgaroo Road and a right turn back onto Martins Ridge Road and to the cars.
A few significant hills and some uneven ground made the run even more interesting. In amongst the trees the wind was not nearly as strong but evidence of earlier gusty conditions was very visible with tree trunks down and branches and leaves all over the track. The runners were cautious with their footing.
There was, of course, the opportunity for those runners who wanted a greater distance to continue out to the highway and across along Murrays Road. This provided the chance for some flat running and a faster pace for an extra 3km.
As always coffee was enjoyed at Duke and Co. in Milton.
One very lucky RAT was happy to make a return to the group after a recent trip to Europe.
While in England she was able to tick a bucket list run down the Long Walk in Windsor only to be greeted by a big herd of spectacular royal deer at the Copper Horse statue. A really special 9km run on a Sunday morning.
While in England she was able to tick a bucket list run down the Long Walk in Windsor.
Next Sunday's run, July 21: Lemon Tree Creek Road run up to 14km. Meet at the Holiday Haven Caravan Park 6.30am.
Tuesday: 6am, meet at Narrawallee Inlet carpark, for flat interval training. Suitable for beginners and serious athletes, distances from 1.7km.
Wednesday: 6am, meet at Macca's car park, up to 10km.
Friday: 6am, meet at Mollymook Surf Club car park, up to 10km.
Saturday: 8am, Batemans Bay or Huskisson parkrun, 5km, is always on option.
The Ulladulla RATS welcome guests, visitors and potential new members to join them, for any of their runs.
You are not obliged to run, walk, or ride the full distance and can turn back at any stage.