I rocked into Blackbutt 10 minutes early and met Vickie at her van. Rich was out running she said – should be here soon. At 10:01 Rich jogged up. Took two walking steps after stopping his running stride and shook my hand. No sweat, no heavy breathing, greeted me in a normal voice. I said he was a minute late. He said there was a car going slowly that held him up. Some tourists who couldn’t drive fast in the forest or something…
After that I tried to just slide into Rich and Vickie's day as unobtrusively as possible. Took some pics of them making a cuppa, Vickie serenading Rich on her guitar as he sipped from a strategically placed sponsors sports drink bottle, a photo of Rich’s shoe obsessively labelled with its odometer reading. Just ordinary stuff.
Then we didn’t stage a gate climb so that Rich could look like RM Williams man. No sirree that gate had to be climbed. I did it 4 times cos I left stuff in the car and had to go back for it.
Some quick clothes changes to make it look like Rich was actually running the BNT (what is the BNT?) and we took some photos of him pretending to stride past me. The best ones were where we cheated.
Oh yeah, the BNT. Just a short 5,330 km of rugged trail. He's halfway through it. Like I said just ordinary stuff.
We found an old war plane – well the front of it anyway and a car hanging from a tree – what the?
Then to Taromeo station. A quick tour back into past times where aboriginals came to trade with the white man, one of Australia’s few private stonewalled cemetery, badly in need of repair after the last floods all but destroyed it, levelling the headstones and the entire wall apart from one small section.
Rich ran past the cemetery though the creek jumped some rocks and then past some cows - this wasn’t faked at all – he actually ran!
Some hallucinatory chilli jam sandwiches and then a photo of the Maui camper van and Rich with his obsessive collection of old shoes.
Did I mention crazy? No – Rich is passionate and dedicated. He even runs on his rest days.
These guys are genuine Aussies who care about helping people (actually Rich is a pom – but then so am I! don’t tell anyone.)
I had an absolute blast shooting Rich and Vickie and wish them all the best for the remainder of their run.