On Friday at 10am we were informed of the inevitable news that the Kanangra 50 Trail Ultra had been cancelled for 2013. While this was very disappointing personally, the issues affecting NSW and in particular the Greater Blue Mountain's communities from Lithgow to Yellowrock were far more important and offer much concern.
Not only is the area a beautiful part of Australia, an area I love training in, it is also the community in which I teach and I have many close friends that reside there. I know of several people deeply affected by the fires, losing their homes or that of family members and those who have been partially relocated with no end in sight for now. The terror in the eyes of those living close to the fire at Lithgow in particular will remain with me for a long time. The feeling on Thursday was that of shock, with a massive ploom of smoke filling the sky above Lithgow. On Friday is was calm and eerie with a red sky and thick smoke lingering across town stretching all the way to Bathurst.
I can only hope that this week brings better news and respite for the RFS battling to control these fires but I am not confident with high temperatures predicted early in the week. I don't know what my arrival at work will bring tomorrow but I know that our school community will support the victims of the fires in any way, the same as those throughout other communities in the mountains.
There will be more races and even though my whole year has been aiming towards Kanangra I am not too disappointed. I will now throw my all at the Carcoar Cup 60km in 2 weeks aiming to run a fast competitive ultra, as I had planned for the weekend. I know the running community is strong and will help in anyway possible, below are a few links to help if you can: