Five hours of sleep isn't conducive to running up a 600m climb, but I guess you just have to go with it.
Rode up to 3km from the Waterfall Gully trail-head, locked up dad's bike and started running. Here it was a "false flat" - an imperceptible climb - so I felt like turd, but was soon into a decent rhythm, running somewhere between fours and fives.
Soon enough, the pub was on the left, the waterfall straight ahead and the mountain above. Started the climb feeling OK; no monumental soleus cramps as has become customary, and I was travelling at a decent clip. It went from straight flats to steep switchbacks as I counted down the metres by the hundred. After a while, the softer inclines disappeared, and it turned into a hard, slow slog. Up and up and slower and slower. Nonetheless, running past scores of walkers and saying hi was keeping the mind on top of things and the pace decent.
Oh God, is this even runnable?
Only 100 metres have passed? Come on!
It can't be far now...
As I arrived at the lookout it started to rain. I wasn't keen to hang around, so after a quick stretch of the knotted calves and quads I started down. Passing people became more difficult here, had to shout "trail right!" like the yanks at nearly every corner. Couldn't seem to get comfortable because of the Inov8s' small heel but was still travelling well and having a pretty good time.
And before I knew it, I was back on the tarmac, busting out 4:30s in an attempt to get back to the bike over an average of 10km/h - an arbitrary goal, I know, but a worthy one in my eyes.
Done - 13km in 1:18, 600m vert.
What a great mountain - Lofty by name and nature.