This morning there is a white frost out there but it looks like being a lovely sunny day which is more than I can say for the weather over the few days we were at the Gold Coast. However I do believe that the day after we flew back to COLD Canberra Mr B returned to the beach for a swim and the sun was warm and beautiful - grrrrr - the green-eyed monster has reared its head! CJ and I flew to Brisbane on Friday where Mr B met us and drove us to our apartment at Berriwa Waters. We then went to registration to collect our numbers, time chips etc and spend money at the Expo where we caught up with a few familiar faces. That evening we met up with Luckylegs, Ewen and Roger for a lovely meal at Main Beach after which we walked round to admire LL's absolutely fabulous apartment. She had been upgraded from a one bedroom apartment to this exotic dream of a place where one would never want to leave - it was amazing to say the least!
On Sat we met up with Ewen and Katy (ihatetoast) for a lovely long relaxed lunch. It was awesome to have the opportunity for a real catch-up. As the day progressed so did the wind. In the evening we were staring out at rain and fierce gail force winds. During the night we could hear the wind rattling the windows and we were just a tad worried about conditions next morning. However, although there was still a cold wind when we were eating brekkie, by the time we headed down to the start of the half for Mr B the wind was minimal and although it was cold and bleak the rain had stopped and the conditions were reasonable - sigh of relief! Mr B's race started 20mins before ours and we just managed to see the start after three nervous loo visits!
I started quite near the four hour black balloons intending to keep them in sight. At about the 3km mark they were already heading off into the distance. For a while there I kept them in distant sight and then I resigned myself to the fact that this time I was not going to set any PBs so I decided to settle back and enjoy the atmosphere and the day in the best way possible. No point in stressing about time, better to just do it. Indeed there were a few times during my training and injuries before the day that I seriously didn't think I would make it to the start line so I felt lucky and happy that I was actually here and running another marathon.
It was a huge event and there were lots of people running who I recognised. I missed catching up with lots of Cool Runners but I did see a great crowd of them cheering towards the end and indeed I caught up with quite a few old and new friends before and after the run which was great. In the middle of the run I felt comfortable and relaxed. I ran with my music as there were not many spots where spectators could cheer. I tried to stay in the middle of the road as I found the slope of the road on each side of the white line difficult to negotiate. Although it was not a hot day by any means the humidity was noticeable for us Canberrans and I tended to take a drink at every drink station. When the sun came out for a brief glimpse it felt quite hot in fact!
Mr B finished his run in 1hr41:39 on his chip time. He had a good run but still needs to keep running to beat his goal of 100mins.
I ran my second slowest marathon, the slowest since my first one in 2001. However, it was my first Gold Coast marathon and the only marathon I have run out of Canberra so it was a new experience for me. I loved the social aspect of it but summing up I think I prefer the Canberra course, in spite of the hills and the altitude.
Total distance: 42.195km
Time taken (chip time): 4:10:14
Category place: 13th (out of about 68)
Average pace per km: 5:53
Calories burned: 2527
And now it's back to the drawing board. The sun is calling me - I am ready to run!