South West Rocks is one of my favourite places on Earth. We head there for Easter every year and also pop down for the Trial Bay Triathlon and Macleay River Marathon, it is a family ritual. The event is ran by a committee of local volunteers who donate the profits from the event to local charities.
I have been training for the Half Marathon at the Gold Coast in July and Andrew thought that a good solid hit out at the Half at South West Rocks was just what i needed. I won this race last year so i was also back to defend my title.
Arriving on race morning i felt reasonably calm and had Mark there to help stop the nerves. I had been quite ill with a bad stomach bug for a week just before the race so i was feeling a but nervous about how i would hold up.
Heading into the start shoot i took a caffeine gel , which i had never had before. I thought i would try it out before the Gold Coast. I immediately felt a massive surge of hyperactivity, it was quite freaky but i didn’t have time to worry as the gun sounded and we were off!
I got away at a good pace for the first 5km into town feeling quite calm and like i was in a good rhythm. There are a few hills and rises as you run through town and make your way out to the river flats. It was about here that i really started to regret taking a gel i had never had before. I started to get back stomach pains and headed for the water station hoping that a big drink of water would settle it down. Backing off the pace a little i started to feel a bit better as we headed back to level ground.
Getting to the turn around point i could see that i had a reasonable lead on the lady coming second and felt that if i could keep it together i could probably take first place.
It was a great moral boost to run back past lots of familiar faces as i headed back into town, i’m not very good at communicating my appreciation when i am racing but the encouragement doesn’t go unnoticed.
Heading back along the final 5km i could see Ed up in front. I have watched Ed’s back at more races than i care to imagine and I pushed myself to make an effort to catch him. The whole time also freaking out that one of the other girls might catch me.
We headed towards the finish line and i knew that Ed had it in the bag, i wasn’t going to catch him, but i was going to get first female over the line!
My time of 1:27:20 was a 7 min PB from last years time here and a 3min PB from last years Gold Coast. I was super stoked! I also made my own little bit of history being the last winner of the Macleay River Half Marathon and the first winner of the South West Rocks Running Festival Half Marathon.
We were presented with the biggest trophies i have ever seen and will every likely receive then headed off for the best 10 min massage i have ever had! The wonderful Physio’s also donate all the money they make to the Fred Hollows Foundation – fantastic!
Looking forward to what the Goldy has to offer now and taking the kids to Seaworld with my prize money 🙂
More info on the South West Rocks Running Festival.