I'm a woman

I'm a woman
Photos copyright Laurence Gouault
No reproduction on other media without the photographer's permission.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Paying your Dues, by Stevie ‘at your service’ Haston.

Steaming up hill

I am a selfish man, but I believe in community. I am a lazy man but believe in accomplishment, so like alotta folk I swing both ways. So the other week I had blisters and thought it stupid to make them worse by running a 100km mountain race, so I decided to be good by being at a refreshment station on the 55km race, and thus accruing some ‘Brownee points’ with that fictitious God that still lives in the back of my mind. Anyway there was a slight motive, as if I run in the race I wouldn’t see it as such, as I would be well down in the pack. By officiating I would see the good runners, see their condition, and judge them and myself. The refreshment stand was at three thousand meters staffed by three women, and served water, coke and some energy stuff. These women had walked up there along with another girl and a man who did the runner checks, in addition there was me, and all the stuff that had been flown up there by helicopter. There were alotta these check/point aid stations, and that’s why I decided to help, to be part of it all, not just a user. Anyway you understand, you have probably done this kindda thing yourself, you may have just taken home some litter climbers have forgotten, it all counts. So on the 55km the initial climb is a separate trophy in itself, it’s called the Pascal, named after a local guide who died in an avalanche. The climb is particularly gruelling, 2000 meters of very steep path over 9kms, it’s a mean montée, but if you have a history of alpine mountaineering you might understand it’s got an attraction to climbers, even if you cant do it! So the first lad got to the stand in 1hr 45mins, and I gave him some coke, 1hr 45mins, jee wiz! It was a humdinger of a race, cold with a very competitive field. In fact more than a few burnt themselves out, and didn’t finish the 55km. 
Laurence resting
The 100km with 5000mts of up, was won in just over 12hrs, and the second guy was 1st in the Tor de Géants last year, very impressive. Anyway lots of runners very little litter, and what litter there was  taken care of by me. So that night I stayed at the hut, and was feeling great about myself, running, and humanity in general, until along came some youths, who proceeded to shit within a meter of the hut, and keep me up passed my aged bed time. If for some unaccountable reason you wish to visit their graves they are under the big cairn, and I have planted some Edelweiss to help their passing. Never hesitate to tidy the mountains up, keep em clean, stay mean!