What a tough race! But what a great race too! Ross Marathons half marathon 2014. A wonderfully organised event that is streamlined, professional and laid back all at the same time. I recommend this event to all runners everywhere. Such a beautiful part of Tasmania to run in.
There were a mix of highs and lows yesterday as we ran this half marathon, my third for the year and Pauly’s fourth.
Still feeling not quite fighting fit Pauly decided that he would run with me. We have never ran a whole race together, in fact we’ve never really done anything race-wise together apart from line up at the start line. It was so lovely to have the company of my best friend for what was going to turn out to be the toughest half marathon I’ve participated in and the third slowest (I found it harder than Point to Pinnacle and that’s known as the World’s Toughest Half Marathon!).
The course is two laps of 10.55kms. Part of the course is a 4km stretch which on the way out is hot hot hot but on the way back the head wind is so uncomfortable and persistent that the heat of the way out starts to seem not so bad after all.
The course is so pretty; I concentrated on the scenery and cheering running friends on. Since the start of Launceston parkrun nearly two years ago and joining the Launceston Running Club we now know lots of runners. It was really great over the two laps to cheer on so many running friends. While I was finding it tough they all looked like they were taking it in their stride.
But let’s not concentrate on the tough things. What were the highs?
- Being there at the right time with words of encouragement and some magic jelly beans from my magic jelly bean bag to help out a young lady doing her first half marathon. That was a special moment. She told me at the end that they really did the trick.
- Cheering on members from You & Me PT (where we attend our Outside Fit class on a Tuesday). There were about a dozen runners most of whom were doing the team half marathon that involved one lap of the 10.55km course – for most their longest distance! And several who were doing the half marathon distance for the first time. What a wonderful bunch of fitness people having a go at running longer than they ever have. It was fun to cheer them on.
- The lovely Tina who handed me a gel at the halfway mark complete with top removed. So good! Thank you Tina xxx
- Helping out a little lady who was really struggling with cramps. She fell in with Pauly and I as we battled that head wind for the second time. Pauly’s slipstream helped her a lot! We rhythmically paced it out step by step together.
- Knowing that when the going gets tough by putting a smile on my face and singing a song in my head or saying a mantra, that I can keep running on. You can do it, you can do it, go unsporty girl! Was my favourite yesterday hehe
- Meeting a blog follower (why does this always make me cry when it’s just so happy???). I had noticed this runner at the start because she had the cutest plaits and had a little frill on her running top – gotta love a bit of cute running fashion and this young lady was looking wonderful! She said the nicest things to me about how I’ve encouraged her and inspired her. I was so humbled. I might have encouraged her but to know my ramblings are helping another runner on to meet their goals has in turn encouraged and inspired me (thank you Amanda xxx).
But THE biggest high of the day was crossing the finish line with my gorgeous husband, my best friend Paul. My Pauly is why I started running in the first place. For him to slow his pace way way way down to match mine on the day and then to cross the finish line holding hands? It was so good. And my beautiful running friend Fiona managed to get a photo. Just the memory of the way we finished together brings a tear to my eye but to have the photo is priceless to me. (Thanks Fiona xxx).
And what can I say about my beautiful friend Janette who stood by me at the end when I had another huge coughing fit and thought I was going to be sick… thank you Janette, you’re an angel xxx
Not a good race in many many ways but the best, most perfect race in so many more. In the ways that count it was the best race ever. And a new medal! This is the first time that the Ross Marathon Festival has given Finisher’s Medals. Sweet!
There were some amazing runners out there yesterday who really deserved their finishers medals. I was talking to one of the elites and he said how very tough he’d found the course and that he was 10 minutes slower than last year… if it was tough for the elites then it’s ok that it was tough for some us ordinary runners too.
Next half marathon? The Melbourne Marathon Festival half marathon in a month. Goal? To have fun, cheer and encourage as many runners as I can and to run all the way and finish, a bit like yesterday 🙂
Happy running 🙂