Marathon #59 Gold Coast Marathon, Queensland, Australia
This was a running weekend. It was shared with my Brother-in-law to be Col Cafferky. We started from Safety Beach on a 4.5 hr drive north to the gold coast. Col had organised an Air B&B that was 1km from the start and finish line and was a wonderful 2 bedroom affair overlooking the sea and also overlooked the race course.
This was a AIMS Gold medal event that included loads of events and over 30K runners over the weekend. We arrived Friday and picked up our numbers. Both Col and I were entered in the unusual 5.7K on the Saturday and I also had entered the marathon on the Sunday.
|At the start line of the 5.7K|
Amazingly the first event off was a 10K at 6:30am and we watched the whole race from the balcony. We headed to the start line for 8am. Col had 2 previous victories and a 2nd in his age group and this was his last year in this particular age group 65-69. At the start line around 50 17-19 year olds lined up from the US cross country Team and they hared off and took most of the top 50 places. It was over a year since I have run anything other than a marathon so I was nervous enough. I was through the first 1K in 4:05 which was faster than I expected and decided to push all the way. I came through the 5K in 22:30 and I had forgot how lung busting these distances were and I came in with a 25:53. Not surprisingly I was well off my PB for 5K but I havnt been training for this. I earned 153rd overall out of 3834 finishers and 6th in my age group. Not too shabby. But Col did brilliant and did a 27:52 for a age group win and 226th overall. A brilliant start to the weekends running.
The next day it was an early start again with the Marathon starting at 8am. Amazingly as I walked to the start I saw the finish of the Half Marathon which was won by the current Olympic Gold Medalist in the steeplechase. Amazing to watch. The marathon itself had 10 runners under 2:10 so was going to be competitive. As we lined up the elites started to be introduced. After the first it was interrupted by the national anthem and we were off. The weather was gorgeous and got hotter and hotter and hotter as the race went on.
Amazingly at the 5K mark I heard someone calling my name from behind. I turned and it was one of my club mates from Crusaders Kristy Ryan, who was back in Australia on holidays. We had a chat in shock and Kristy pushed on. The first 20 miles was an out and back and we saw the start of the race pass us on the way back. That was good. I was doing pretty good in the first half going through the half marathon in 1:55. I though a sub 4hr was on the cards and kept going well. As I came through the finish area at 20 miles I was still under 3hrs so 4hr was still OK. I passed Col at 33K but was soon caught by the 4 Hr pacer by 34K. It was hot and I was suffering. I eventually came through in 4:12 totally knackered.
Kristy was in with a brilliant 3:55 and we chatted and took photos at the finish. It was brilliant.
I really enjoyed the weekend and we headed off on the 4.5hr journey back to Safety Beach.