Sunday, October 09, 2005

Melbourne 1/2 Marathon

Cold, very windy, with the occasional speck of rain....does this sound like ideal conditions to run a 1/2 marathon? I think not!! But this was what we awoke to this morning! Hubby picked up Michelle and drove us down to Beaumaris, which is where the 1/2 marathon started. (Thanks babe for getting up at 5.30am!!). There were thousands of people there (3,500 I'm told!) and that wind was bitterly cold as it blew off the ocean. My complaining started immediately! Of course there was a queue for the ladies toilets. The women were even queuing to use the mens! We were told of some public toilets about 300 metres down the road, so we jogged down there, which was great anyway as it warmed us up, and there were no queues. We then headed for the start line... which there didn't appear to actually be one. I think we started the stopwatch at the right spot, but can't be sure of that. Anyway there was this sea of people jogging up the first hill and it was an awesome sight. So many people, all different ages and sizes. I think the people who lived on Beach Road must have had a bit of a shock when they opened up their curtains this morning! Felt good running today. We even managed to pick up the pace around the 12km mark as it was really flat and we both had quite a bit of energy to burn. Michelle had brought along some Jelly Beans to give us a bit of extra energy, but I managed to choke on the first mouthful of them! That'll teach me not to put so many in my mouth at once! At about the 15km mark I started to feel a bit of pain in my hip. Not bad pain, but I knew it was there. By the 20km mark I was almost out of energy and the pain in my hip was becoming worse. We eventually saw the Spire of the Art Centre and raced toward the finish line. Unfortunately the finish line was a bit further than we thought, so we ended up dragging our heels over the line as we were both spent. We did 2hr 2 minutes, which we were both very happy with, especially with the conditions today. And getting a medal when we crossed the line was a great feeling too. We were pointed in the general direction of where the pick up was for our bags, only to realise after about 300 metres that we had gone the wrong way....aaaghhh! So we retraced our footsteps and found the sign (very badly signed!) only to be met with a sea of people all holding up their race numbers so that the volunteers could find their bag. The queue was about 6 deep, so if you're short like Michelle & I, no chance at all of anyone seeing your number. We had to push to the front of the queue for anyone to see us. It was all a total shambles. Very badly organised that bit! Once we'd got our bags we went to get a massage, but there was a long queue, so we gave that a miss. Went to find a good place to watch the marathon runners coming home. Yelled and cheered as our Aus Run friends went by, then wandered up to the Transport Bar, which is where everyone was meeting up after the race. All in all, it was a good race. Felt fantastic to run with so many other people, and if the weather had been a little bit better, it would have capped it off perfectly. Will definitely do this race again!