The Gold Coast Half Marathon has become one of my favourite events over the winter running season. The atmosphere of the crowd and the other runners just can not be topped.
This year we decided to take the kids along and have a week long Gold Coast holiday after the event. The kids would do the 4km dash on the Saturday with Mark doing the Marathon and me doing the Half on the Sunday.
Many months of training had gone into preparing for this race and through the superb coaching of Andrew Rollings I was feeling confident and ready to tackle the 21.1km course to gain a PB.
Waking up the Friday before the race I discovered that I had had an allergic reaction to something which caused my face to swell up. Having suffered from this previously I tried to get into the doctors to no avail. We were set to leave for the Gold Coast at 10am so a quick trip to the chemist and a box of phenergan later we set off.
Phenergan and I are not friends. After completely wiping me out on Friday night I spent Saturday feeling extremely lethargic and was a grumpy pants as we dragged the kids off to do their run (poor kids, poor Mark)!
Apart from feeling like crap it was fantastic to watch the kids race. They all enjoyed it so much and were so excited to run in such a big race, get their medals and hats and be a part of the atmosphere. Such champions!
We headed back to our accommodation where the kids spent the afternoon in the pool. I made myself go for a short run along the foreshore at Broadbeach which perked me up a bit and made me feel much better.
I decided to switch to Fexo’s after my experience with the Phenergan the night before. I usually have lots of trouble sleeping the night before a race but I was out like a light and felt really refreshed when then alarm sounded at 4am.
Mark had offered to accompany me up to the race, even though he didn’t start until over and hour after my race, he is so good like that. We boarded the tram at 5am with a few thousand other people and then proceeded to stop at every stop on the way up to Southport even though the tram was busting at the seams. A quick loo stop when we arrived and I bumped into PT who drew my attention to the fact that we had 10min till start time!
I had received a priority start so I conned PT into coming up the front with me. I through down a gel and was so excited to be right up the front on the start line soaking up the atmosphere.
As the gun went I remembered Andrews wise words to not go out to hard and found two other girls that were going around 4min/km pace and hung with them. Last year I remember getting to the 6km mark and hitting the wall then struggling through the whole rest of the race, this year I was on fire! I felt fantastic! Coming up to the 10km mark I saw I was under 40min and felt happy and on track to maybe get a 84min finish as I hadn’t seen either of the pacers at this point. Hitting the turn around I saw lots of my training friends running up who called out encouragement as I went past.
I had planed to have a second gel at the turn around but had started to feel nauseous so decided not to. I knew the stretch from 13km – 16km was essentially straight so wanted to push hard along here. The first 84min pacer past me at 15km and I tried to stay with him for as long as I could but I wasn’t feeling well. Heading into the 17km section the second pacer caught me and he was yelling out encouragement, we were nearly there, keep pushing.
Mentally I was great, I felt positive and was pushing hard but my body didn’t want a bar of it. By the 18km mark by guts really started to play up and were grumbling big time. There was no toilet in sight, I just had to keep pushing on until the end. Unfortunately the gel I had at the start just had not agreed with me.
I crossed the finish line in 85:08 a new PB and 38th female overall which I was really happy with considering how much I struggled in the last few km. I grabbed my medal, shirt and bag with clean clothes and headed for the loos …..
I found PT at the finish line after I had freshened up and we jumped on the tram to head back to see Mark come past in the full marathon. The kids and I just caught him as he ran past our accommodation looking great. PT phoned to say he had seen him pass the 24km mark and we headed back up to see him finish. On the way to the tram we found a lost little boy of 4 who was riding his trike around crying so after back tracking to the police station we headed off again.
Mark was hoping to do a sub 3hr marathon and waiting to cross the road to get to the finish line I thought that we would miss him. I loaded the online tracker and saw that he was not going to get there in 3hrs and that we still had a chance to see him. We got to the finish line just in time to see him finish.
It was fantastic to see the rest of the Retro crew at the finish line to celebrate a great day of racing. We will defiantly back again next year though Mark’s sworn to never do another full marathon and I may never take another gel!