One week ago I ran my 16th Canberra Marathon. It doesn't get easier as the years go by but I am gradually getting nearer to my ultimate goal of running 20 Canberra Marathons and becoming a Burley Griffin.
Training started seriously from 1 January as it does every year for me, my longest run this time being 37km. A couple of my training weeks were well over 100km and I felt reasonably well prepared in spite of a constantly niggly hamstring.
My alarm was set for just before 4am on marathon day and I woke to the sound of the rain steadily falling. It also felt very cold - not a good omen. However by the time I arrived at the start line the rain had stopped. It was still cold but that's not a bad thing when running 42.2km and there was no wind at 6.25am. The first 5km felt tough as there is a slight hill heading to Parliament House which feels like a mountain at the start of a long run without a proper warm-up but after that I found my rhythm and began to feel comfortable.
It is a pretty course running past many of
Canberra icons including Old Parliament
House, new Parliament House, the High Court, the , the National
Library and beside the pretty Lake Burley Griffin. For a little while I ran with a girl from
interstate and she commented on the beauty of the surroundings. It made me see
the sights through a visitor's eyes and I felt very lucky to call National Art
Gallery my home. Canberra
At about the 10km mark I ran with a lady who last year ran seven marathons in seven days and in June will do it again. She is raising money for Bravehearts, a charity to help abused children. We ran together for about 10km and she was loads of fun calling out our names to spectators and keeping me entertained. It certainly helped the time go by. I lost her when she ran ahead at a water stop but at about 35km I saw her again and surprisingly I ended up finishing about ten minutes ahead of her.
During the entire course my Dave rode his bike and appeared whenever he could calling out encouragement and keeping me smiling. It was also exciting to be joined by speedygeoff when I had about 7km to go. He ran a few kilometres with me which boosted my spirits considerably.
The spectators and volunteers are what makes a marathon doable. They are the people who keep the competitors going, who really get us to the finish line. I cannot express my gratitude enough.
At about 25km the temperature dropped even more and the rain returned. It was light and refreshing for a few kilometres and then the heavens really opened. The last few kms were difficult especially as the course had been altered a little bit to create an extra loop which also created an extra 550metres to the total distance! I was very happy indeed to reach that finish line in the pouring rain and with a huge relieved smile on my face.
|Griffins (those who have run at least ten Canberra Marathons)|
Finish time: 4:43:25 (2 minutes slower than last year)
Place in age group: 3rd