Once I got to the start line I was right. Beforehand I was a nervous wreck! Well not quite a wreck but a borderline wreak! How many times does an Unsporty Woman have to run to the little girl’s room before a race?… answer multiple x multiple!
Km 1 to 1.5
I clicked my magic running shoes three times and said Take me to the finish line, take me to the finish line… the countdown started… 5…4…3…2… a blast of the siren and I was off running towards my quest of the Holy Grail.
I started out steady. I didn’t get carried away by race nerves or excitement but stuck to my plan of keeping to around 6:00 minute pace per km. LOTS of runners (that’s 100s) past me. Stick with your plan, stick with your plan I chanted in my head. Just at the 1km mark I saw Husband’s son M and daughter in law C. They had an awesome couple of signs! Sweet… loving the encouragement. Husband had decided to stop and wait for me and then ran with me for the next few kms.
Km 1.5 to 7
The hill begins. Feeling strong. Chip chip chip. Saw Santa running, a person in a sumo suit and someone running in bare feet! Husband was having a ball and chatting lots and lots. I told him to sail off at this own pace and away he went along with several of my lovely running friends. I continued in my groove.
Km 7 to 10
Smiling feeling good. The plan was to eat two chews every 30 minutes. I did this and didn’t start to flag like I sometimes do at the 10km mark. There have been lots of people cheering and clapping all the way. It was wonderful to see F and her two boys cheering The Running Group on with a special sign… thanks so much you wonderful three!!! They also took some photos as we all ran by. I updated my facebook just for the heck of it three times… once at the 8.4km mark, a photo at the 12km mark and then an update at the 13.4km mark. I was having a ball… chipping away at that big hill. AND guess what? There was a very short flat bit at the 9km mark that went slightly down hill towards the end of it… about 500m of lovely restful downhill. I used this to go a bit slower and recharge the tired legs.
Km 11 to 15
Still feeling happy and strong. Loving the cow bells and the offers of lollies (candy) from the gorgeous spectators who were the best cheer squad ever. I smiled and thanked them as I went past. I smiled and waved to all the little toddlers and babies. It was just awesome. AND so lovely of these people. They get the only access road from their homes cut off for over five hours… so nice of them.
But then came km 16
The incline has been relentless. I’m still smiling, chatting, chipping away. But it’s getting steadily steeper. Km 16 to 17 we climbed 105m in altitude. I couldn’t see a runner running in sight. All runners were walking. I tried to keep running. I started to feel just a little woozy, just enough to be scary. Pop another jelly bean, come on you can do it.
I had to make the choice to take a walk or risk hitting the wall. I walked and smiled and reminded myself that I was here doing it.
I sucked up my pride. I’ve never had to walk in a race before. Km 16 to 19 I walked and ran. I checked out the views. Breathtaking. I savoured the moment. Wrest Point Casino where the race began was smaller than a lego house. My girls were into Polly Pockets when they were little things… it was like a Poly Pocket Casino! I would eye a walker in the distance and make myself run to them and then walk for a bit.
Km 19 to 21
Still run walking but passing lots and lots of people. My walking pace was between 9:30 and 10:00 minutes per km. Km 20.5 to 21.4 I began to run. I could see the top of the mountain becoming enticingly closer and closer.
As I went past a walker I would check their bib to see if it was pink or blue (walkers had green numbers, girl runners had pink and boy runners had blue… we are traditional in Tasmania like that hehe). I cheered and encouraged the runners to go for a big finish… come on let’s run. I kept remembering the Lazy Runner’s advice who says make the last 1km a good one! I still had to have a few walking steps but was managing to get more running steps in.
The finish! Members of The Running Group who had finished were lining the road and cheering. There was Husband! I finished just behind New Heart Running and while we had planned to do a Happy Dance all we could do was hug and cry. I’m so inspired by this running friend of mine… from not being able to walk to the letter box such a short time ago to running up a mountain. Please check out her blog. You will be inspired!
It was an awesome run, made more special by thinking about each person I’d dedicated a km to. Remembering them, why I had dedicated a km and feeling humbled, loved, cared for and inspired all at the same time.
The event was really well organised. We were funnelled down through the visitor information centre, received our medal, commemorative towel, water and jelly beans… then out again.
The fast runners
The record was broken on Sunday. The first man over the line on Sunday broke the record and ran 01:24:10! Up that huge mountain in less than an hour and a half!!! Speechless and in awe of this I am. The ABC web site has details and a video of the finish on their web site. I would like to buy some of their magic running shoes because those fast people are truly magical.
AND the WEATHER!
Oh my goodness… last weekend we had snow down to the 500m mark. Sunday was beautiful. Bright sunny but not too hot. I ran in just my t shirt and didn’t even have my long sleeve tied around my waist as planned. It was perfect. To everyone who put in a good word to the weather controller, thank you so much!
There were 52 buses at the top of the mountain. The police motor cycles escorted them down the narrow winding road. It was so well done. The volunteers were awesome and there were so many of them! Thanks so much. I’m so grateful for all their hard work. I will definitely be putting my hand up to volunteer in years to come.
We were all bused back to the Casino where there was lunch put on and lots of wonderful spot prizes. There were even four Garmin watches drawn out as spot prizes.
It was the most awesome day. Despite having to walk I am still pleased with getting up there in under three hours. The training was so worth it.
Am I going to do it again? I said that this would be a once off event for me. But what do you say when two weeks before the big day you new running buddy sends you an email and says I would love to run the Point to Pinnacle with you next year. What do you do? If you are the Unsporty Woman who LOVES to encourage people you say Yes! I said yes quickly in case after Sunday I wanted to give up running forever. Huh! Not while my legs can carry me in little running steps. So yes, Husband, L and I will be doing it again next year. AND next year I might try and conquer Km 16 and run all the way.
This was the best most magical wonderful race EVER! I can’t believe I did it! It will go down in my memory as one of the amazing days of my life. A wonderful day made all the more special thanks to my wonderful Husband, my gorgeous running friends, my family and friends AND the awesome amazing beautiful running blogging community… bloggers and followers… thank you so much for your support and encouragement. You made such a difference. Thank you.
Thank you Point to Pinnacle you have shown me that I can do so much more than I ever thought possible. If I can do the training and get to this point with running ANYONE can! Just keep trying! You can do it!
Happy running 🙂