I am a very sore, tired but happy goose tonight! Yes, I'm happy because I finished and ran all the way in spite of a sore hamstring which niggled right from the start and did not improve with distance. However, the pain didn't become unbearable and I managed to finish and although my time was very slow I felt just so happy to finish my 9th Canberra Marathon. I am suffering now but it was worth it!
The conditions were perfect - a cool 2deg to start (brrr) but no wind and the sun streamed down as the day progressed. The early 7am start meant rising at 4.45am in order to digest a couple of pieces of toast and honey and leave home at 6am to arrive and park in plenty of time for a little warm up with Michelle and three nervous visits to the loo!
It was a well run event starting from Manuka Oval which had a plentiful supply of toilets and a special room for bags. It also included a stadium finish within the oval which was pretty exciting. The cheer squad was great.
I couldn't find the four hour balloon at the start and as a consequence I ran out too fast (again) as I assumed it was up ahead somewhere and was running to catch it! After about 2km along came Roger with the four hour balloon - oops! Later when I checked my garmin I discovered I had run the first km in 5:20 and the second km in 5:30 which is a bit fast for my prospective time and may explain why the balloon just ran on past and I didn't catch it again!
At the 5km mark I sighted Margaret who was running the half marathon and I ran with her until she turned off on the half marathon course at the 15km point. It was great running with someone at that stage and I was hoping she would make it in under two hours but unfortunately she missed out by a few minutes. However, she still came second in her age group. :)
After leaving Marg I plugged in my music to keep me company for the long hard run ahead. I had forgotten about all the undulations on that course and the bitumen which is so hard on the body. It was fun to see so many familiar faces out there and I remembered to smile for all the cameras along the way (hopefully) and the lovely encouraging spectators and volunteers.
This was an inaugural running weekend and I would think the Cross Country Club would be very happy with the way it turned out. It was great fun having the half marathoners run with the marathoners for the first 15km. There were lots of late entries. In fact they had only catered for 300 marathoners and 400 decided to run. As a consequence the last 100 have their medals posted to them so I was very lucky to receive one. I also received a medal for finishing third in my age group - amazing! Mind you the other two winners in my age group (Claire and Maria) did times of 3.40 and 3.42 respectively - fantastic!
It was a good day. I loved the finish and found a little bit of extra oomph in me to sprint past Katherine over the finish line - woo hoo! I think it was just that great crowd cheering us on, including my workmates who had brought huge pink pom poms and were screaming out my name. It was so cool. My son and grandchildren were there at the finish too which was just lovely. Mr B ran the half in 1hr 42mins so didn't quite beat his 1hr 40mins goal but I think he ran really well! There were some great times out there and lots of PBs were set and lots of first time marathoners who ran great times.
Later it was great to catch up with so many friends who had all run so well, including the lovely Norma (Lucky Legs) who, at age 80, had finished the half marathon in 2hrs 17mins - amazing effort.
The results are already on the website.
Total distance: 42.195km
Time taken: 4hrs 18min 22secs (2nd slowest time I have run)
Average pace per km: 6:07
Place in age group: 3rd
Place overall: 285th (out of 377 finishers)
Calories burned: 2,482
Next year I will run faster (does that sound familiar?) as it will be my year to become a Griffin when I will have run ten Canberra marathons - yay, not to be missed!