It was an early start, with the alarm #1 going off at 3:02, so alarm #2 didn’t need to come into play. Why I picked 3:02 and not 3:00 would require a separate blog post, and one that may drive away my 2 readers with the author’s wackiness… I did sleep well knowing everything was packed / ready, and I just need to get up, and go pretty much.
I grabbed a light breakfast and caught up with the news overnight, seems the watching of the Wallabies Lions decider may not be as urgent given the result. I heard a sleepy ‘good luck’ from someone upstairs that sounded like Sue in a dreamlike state.
It was a good run down the coast, sipping on my water and chanting don’t go out too fast. Parking was easier than expected and I found myself in the race precinct around 5:00, an hour before the start. I dropped off my bag, and made the regulation nervous toilet stop, after the regulation nervous toilet line wait. I then lined up at the barriers, to be let into the starting area, and made sure the playlist was loaded and working.
The gates were opened and a little jog to the starting zone, and an underdone warmup was complete. I couldn’t see the 2:00 pace starting area, so I hung back behind the 1:50, and let the massess press past me. (I didn’t want to be that guy slowing up the pace). I caught fellow parkrunner and daily runner, John C at the start, and I said don’t wait for me, run your own race. There must have been 1 or 2 thousand people ahead of us, and as the start got closer, lots of nervous banter about their garmin’s dropping the satellites again. I must have played with my watch every 15 seconds to ensure it was good to go, as it would be crucial to my run pace.
In my pre-race test of my playlist, I lined up the play list, stuck a headphone in the ear to test all good. Seems it was the only headphone that would work… Jiggling the jack for the first k had intermittent success, so I resigned to the fact that my right ear only having music, no use stressing about it now…
Near the start, Matt gave a shout out and a high 5, which was great that he spotted us. He then ran the marathon, starting in just over in hour in a blistering time of 3:05! I am guessing his wife Rowena, must have been around me somewhere in the field, but she tore away and finished in 1:51. I am so glad I didn’t bump into her and try and keep pace…
Running along, with an eye firming on my pace, it was great to see lots of support for runners by their family and friends, but it extended to all who ran past. I am pretty sure the multiple kids that I high fived as I passed, gave me extra energy! There were people dressed up in all sort of gear on the side of the road, and I loved an old couple standing their, banging pots with spoons (saw them at 2km and 19km), crazy elderly folk! There were a lot of positive comments along the route, and coming home in the last 1.5 km it really helped!
During the race when mr brain was trying to let me know what a stupid idea this was, I started thinking about various things, and I spotted landmarks in Sue and I’s earlier life. I passed by our first unit we moved out together in (1990), where the grand hotel used to be, the bottle shop at Runaway Bay I worked at part time, after we bought our first place and we needed some extra coin, and on it went…
As I started back in the field, though I didn’t know how far after the start I actually started, I was worried I wouldn’t see the black balloons. The pace runners have different coloured helium ballons attached to them, and the 2:00 target was black. I passed the 2:10, and was hopeful of spotting the black. I spotted them in the distance around the 9k mark, and I think I caught them around the 12k mark. The pace runner was dressed as a bee, and looked to be doing it easy, letting people know when the next water station was and getting photos taken.
I pushed on at my 5:30 pace, and managed to finish (my garmin says) 1 second ahead of the target pace. I felt Elated! My knees did not.
Really happy with my time of 1:56:37
My garmin map and pace for the event is here
I caught up with John post race, and we also bumped into Neil who ran a 1:23 which is scary fast! John said he had “backstage passes” to a special area, so he was going to grab some food, while I grabbed my bag. And that was the last I saw of him… So many people and he didn’t have a phone, oh well, next time.
Finishers shirt and bling
IF, and a big IF, I decide to do it again, it would be great to have the family down and stay the night before and after, as it had a fantastic atmosphere, and would be great to experience the event more than that of a race blow in.
Those beers I mentioned in a previous post will certainly get a nudge this afternoon.
Thanks to support from the local runners that gave great advice, and especially Paul H and Werner. Cheers!
The song of the day, is off the playlist from today Queens of the Stone Age – Go with the Flow, and it was playing as planned as I approached the finish. I did however pause the music to soak in the last 500m.