Cold, dark, cruel run for fun
It takes a certain kind of delirium to come up with an event in which participants get to run up and down Mt Cargill every two hours over and over again on the shortest day of the year.
Add to that a level of cruelty to start the event at 8pm on the night before, and you wouldn’t expect people to bother turning up.
However, turn up they did!
Last month 26 runners lined up at 8pm to start the Crush the Cargill Longest Shortest Day event at Bethunes Gully.
As the very long, cold night dragged on the numbers steadily dwindled until by daylight only 10 runners were left.
At that stage they had each travelled over 50km and climbed roughly the height of Mt Cook.
Numbers continued to dwindle over the short day until by 2pm only two runners were left.
Chris Bisley and Malcolm Law – on his own fundraising campaign to climb 1 million feet for Mental Health – both kept going until dark.
Mal finally tapped out at the end of his twelth lap (over 100km and nearly 7000m elevation).
According to the rules of the event Chris couldn’t be declared the winner until he had run more laps than anyone else, so he had to run one more lap up the hill, in the dark, on his own.
Meanwhile the organisers packed up and threatened to go home to bed.
No fanfare for the winner, but congratulations to Chris anyway!
More than $700 was raised for the Valley Project which will be used to help keep people warm over those long nights and short days.—Co-organiser Steve Tripp