On the starting line I glanced to my right. There looming above Hobart are the foothills and then the mountain itself, Mt Wellington. I turn to Husband and say From here it doesn’t look that high. No it doesn’t he says, you can see the road just there, the incline is steady but not too steep. A lady next to us turns and says It is steep! It goes like this… (she puts her hand at about a 60° angle). She then goes on to tell us of how she ran the Point to Pinnacle last year. She’d had back surgery (I’m not sure when) and all the way through the healing and recovery process she promised herself that she would run it. She did. She said the feeling was so wonderful that she couldn’t put it into words. The look on her face, the surprise sparkle in her eyes, the joy and elation in her voice – that said it all. And just like, at the start of the City to Casino, crowded together with 949 other runners doing the 11km race, within two minutes of the start, I met another inspirational running person with an amazing story of achievement to tell.
Yesterday Husband and I started the 41st City to Casino 11km fun run. It turned out to be the largest fun run event in Tasmania’s history with 4700 participants over the three events (11km run, 7km run-walk and 2.7km junior event) all starting at 9am that morning.
Saturday was lovely, we headed to Hobart, a weekend away, but as we approached the city the clouds and cold closed in. Husband dropped me off at Salamanca Market then he went to watch his younger son play rugby. After a lovely wander around up and down the stalls I went to an Italian restaurant with the aim of carb loading for the run the following day. I know, 11kms doesn’t really warrant carb loading, but well, YUM! I had gnocchi, so delicious and then because I could and I was still hungry I had some bread and dips, all washed down with a glass of Tasmanian Sav Blanc. (Wine has carbs, I’m sure it does, yes definitively part of carb loading).
Sunday was run day. Sunday turned out to be very cold, it was 8°C when we got out of the car, but it was sunny!
The course was undulating; interesting terrain with gorgeous views of the Derwent River, the surrounding countryside and city. The hills didn’t faze me. There were four major inclines. The first couple I chipped away at, concerned I would run out of energy if I went too fast (always my worry), but then powered down the declines. I found that I was passing quite a few people (shock). At the third hill I was feeling good so I tentatively started to power up – striding, swinging my arms, moving forwards uphill with the best posture I could manage. Then power down. The last hill came and I felt great! I powered up and then with one km to go I decided to go into top gear. Away I went, the Unsporty Woman’s version of sprinting was on full display. As I rounded the final corner into the finishing chute I was elated! I glance down at my watch 1:01:32. Oh my goodness! I thought I would do it in 1:10:00 there abouts. I couldn’t believe it. (I was later to discover that my time at the 10km mark was 56:20! My last 10km was 58:45! My official race time was 1:01:30).
Unfortunately Husband didn’t go so well. A hamstring pulled at the 5km mark meant that he wasn’t able to finish (a first for him). My finish was tinged with a big helping of sadness. He hadn’t been able to achieve his own goals and he wasn’t at the finish line patiently waiting for me. He is on the mend already though and is doing all the right things to ensure it heals as quickly as possible.
I went over the finishing line with a chap. He turned to me and asked me what my time had been What did we do it in? he asked expectantly. Then he noticed my bib Oh, you did the 11km! He patted me on the back and said well done and that he hoped he might be able to run the 11km one day (he had finished the 7km event). I assured him that if I could slowly build up to this, that of course he could too!
That’s what this running thing is all about. We put ourselves out there. We hope for a happy run, a run that’s pleasant and fun, free of injury and with an ok time. We hope for the best. Along the way we meet ordinary people just like us who with the aid of running shoes create magic and achieve goals that we can aspire to. Like the lady at the starting line. She worked so hard to achieve her goal. She did all the hard work and believed in herself and did an awe-inspiring thing – she ran up a mountain after back surgery. Oh my, if she can work so hard to get up that mountain (and after back surgery), maybe I will be able to do it too?
Happy running 🙂