That evening we were having dinner outside in the sunshine and one of the Movara people came up to us and asked us if we were going to do the 5k or 10k race the next day, free T shirts were in the lobby. We had seen this advertised on the notice board all week but both agreed we weren't really interested. Somehow we were persuaded that we should do it…not quite sure how that happened. So Elisabet put her name down for the 10k, and I put mine down for the 5k. I knew, and so did Elisabet, that I had walked 11k the day before, but to be honest there were so many competitive people I just didn't want to come in last, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. So we went to get our T shirts and numbers, all very serious. The following day we set off at the usual 8am hike time, and we had to walk to the start of the race which wasn't exactly on the doorstep, and then when everyone was gathered together they rang the starting cow bell.
Basically this race was all up hill outwards and all down hill coming back on the same route. The fast walkers were soon off in the distance, and I managed to keep a steady pace going up hill, walking alone mainly. I had the choice at the 5k turnaround point to carry on and do the 10k but decided that I would stick to my guns on the 5k, only two people had passed me going back, both men, and I didn't really have any idea where anyone else was, so I thought I had a chance to come in third. So I set off down the hill, and as I turned the corner I knew I was in with a chance of doing it in less than an hour, so pushed myself to get through the finish line. I did it, third place in 58 minutes and some seconds, I was really pleased with that as a result, and again thought I should do this more often, 5 and 10k races. So that's the third new activity I have added to my list. My husband sent me a message when he saw the post on Facebook saying how well I had done especially at that altitude. But the real bonus of doing the 5k was I could go back and finish off writing about Las Vegas and get it posted. There was no time during the week, up until that point, when I had the energy, time and wherewithal to actually write. I must also mention here that Elisabet came second in the 10k, she is amazing.
So we finally arrive at day 6 more commonly known as Saturday, this was slightly different in format, we had no stretch and we had to nominate to do a particular walk, or we could pay extra to go and hike in the Zion National Park. The two walks on offer were the West Canyon and Stop Sign. Stop sign is a long walk with a very steep hill for quite a distance of the latter part of the hike, you finish when you reach the Stop Sign, surprisingly. We had pulled out of that earlier in the week after Elisabet's issues with the altitude as. So we went back to West Canyon. It was another glorious day, and we set off, there were four of us again, but we all went off at our own pace from the start this time. I managed to get a couple of amazing panoramic shots on the walk this time, having finally figured out how to do it properly. At one point a bird of prey soared over my head, I stopped to watch for a few moments, and he started to hover, having seen his prey. I was torn, I wanted to watch, but he was a little too far in the distance, but I also wanted to do a good distance today. I didn't think I would make it to the end, if you remember this is the one where you have to turn around at 9:30, but I wanted to see if I could improve on my distance from Wednesday.
I remembered to bring my headphones with me this time and was listening to the Eric Clapton collection whilst I walked. Last year I was off work for a few months after quite a major operation and I started walking after that, on a daily basis, I managed to get up to five miles walking across fields and onto a sort of rough road towards another village nearby. I really enjoy that feeling of freedom, just you and the road, especially when the sun is shining, and you are listening to some music, no stress, pressure, allowing your thoughts to roam, making sense of life. On this hike I really felt at one with the world and at peace. I passed the point I had turned at on Wednesday and carried on for quite a while. On the way back Elisabet passed me much earlier than she did on the Wednesday, and she said afterwards that she couldn't believe how far I had got, she thought I was probably about 15 minutes from the end, which would have been just over a km as I was averaging just over 11 minutes a km. I had walked 11.7 km which is 7.27 mile in old money! I have to say I was very pleased with that performance. That was the last of my hikes in the mountains in Utah, and I enjoyed it enormously. I know I will be doing a lot of walking on the rest of this trip, and I think this experience has put me in the right frame of mind for that. Make sure you click on the photos below to get the real panoramic view.
So the rest of the day was really a more slimmed down version of the week day, with a final workout in the gym and a final stretch. Many people were going home on Saturday and early Sunday, including Elisabet who had to leave at 03:15 for her minibus to Las Vegas to fly home. We had had a wonderful time together, two very different experiences, we both felt invigorated to carry on with what was next and continue the good work we had started, both losing weight and inches. I feel sure our Mothers, Greta and Helga would have been looking down on us pleased and happy to see us together.
The experience really put me into the mindset for the next part of my journey, and for my adventure as a whole. Feeling relaxed and happy. My next stop was St George and the Comfort Inn, ready to catch my Greyhound bus to Denver at 04:30. I left Movara at around 1 pm and got checked in to my hotel, went out to explore, and make sure the bus stop was where I though it was, and it was literally just across the road, perfect. I found a restaurant around the corner and had a lovely piece of trout with sweet potatoes and vegetables, and a couple of glasses of wine, and watched the sunset, went back to the hotel to try and have an early night, ready for my early start.