Conquering km 16
As the gradient went up several notches I looked down at the distance I’d run and it said 15.42kms. I steadied my resolve and calmed my nerves. Envision the finish line. You are a Rock Star. Envision the finish line. You are Rock Star. I said this over and over in my head as my feet slowly chipped away at that big mountain; taking me up and up little bit by little bit in running steps.
Was that Van Halen playing in the distance? I could faintly hear the song Jump. As I got closer, yes I could hear the song. A walker in front had a small speaker the size of a golf ball swinging from his belt. I had a giggle. Not being someone who runs to music I found it oddly motivating and it took my mind off my approaching nemesis. Kilometre 16. In fact, I was running my 16th km – it was 16.2kms when I caught up with him and checked the distance. Jump finished and there was a pause.
I kid you not.
Not a word of a lie.
The next piece of music that was on the walker’s play list was none other than Chariots of Fire.
How did the running gods secure this deal? The Unsporty Woman, in pursuit of her Holy Running Grail got to run the toughest km of the whole entire mountain to the highly moving and motivating sounds of Chariots of Fire.
Yes. I conquered km 16 and went on to conquer 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 21.4 as well.
I ran all the way. The goal to run all the way was achieved. From sea level to 1250m up. I ran the Point to Pinnacle, the World’s Toughest Half Marathon. All. The. Way.
Wonderful People On the Point to Pinnacle
The P2P maybe a run up a mountain but it’s about the people.
Just after the start of the event Sam caught up with me. Sam is a regular reader and commenter who encourages me so much! I was so pleased to see her especially after she thought she wasn’t going to make it due to injury. It was very special to run alongside her from time to time throughout the run. To watch the joy as she spotted her Husband and Daughter halfway up the mountain and see how proud of her they are. They were there to cheer her on. And then finally at the very top she chipped passed me and came in eight seconds in front. Then we got to enjoy the first thrill of the finish together and receive our medals. This was Sam’s first half marathon. What an extremely difficult one to choose as a first but she NAILED it!
Km 16 Lady
When I was having a giggle about Chariots of Fire another lady right by me was also having a giggle. I told her how much I wanted to run all the way and how just plain funny it was to have my hardest km of all played out to the melody of this epic running theme. She looked at me and cheered me on and told me that not only would I run km 16 but that I would run all the way. I could have cried, her encouragement was just right. I dug deeper and kept running. Thank you Km 16 Lady you will never know how much your encouragement meant to me.
At the start of races do you see the dudes with the tags on their running tops sticking up and you just have to tuck them down? I see them and the urge to tuck them down is so STRONG I have to physically restrain myself! Rodney was one of these chaps with his tag sticking up. How I wished I’d tucked it down because we travelled together for a while up that mountain. When I say travelled, he is a big tall man and he was run/walking and I was running. His big man walking steps and my little woman running steps basically had us at the same pace for a while. Finally I got the giggles and I introduced myself and said that if I was going to travel with him up the mountain that firstly I had to introduce myself and secondly I HAD TO tuck his tag down. Fortunately for me Rodney was a good sport and we had a laugh together about my OCD.
After a while my little woman running steps actually travelled me faster up the mountain and we parted. Thanks Rodney for the fun conversation.
Mr Yellow Shirt
Mr Yellow Shirt was also run/walking. He was running fast then having a slow walk to recover before he started to run again. We did this catch-up thing off and on together for a long time – for about the last 8kms. Finally, after catching up on his walk break for about the 10th time or so, I said We have to stop meeting like this. He laughed and before he ran off he said he’d save me a seat on the bus (all participants are bussed back down the mountain after they finish). Next time I passed him he called out to me and said I would have to save him a seat. We did this exchange so many times after this. But finally the Unsporty Woman’s little running steps got her in front and over the line ahead of Mr Yellow Shirt. What a cool running dude. He made those toughest kms of all so much happier.
There is so much about this event and this whole weekend I could honestly write a book. The way it all came together was mysterious and magical, a bit like the mystery of the Holy Grail itself.
An extra massage that Pauly booked me on Saturday as a surprise turned out to be the best thing ever. I’d had an excellent remedial one on Friday but this one was pure relaxation and sort of energising. The masseuse bent down and put her arms around me at the end of the massage and told me that I was in peak physical condition but that I needed to let my anxiety go. I did.
John McLean was the speaker at the dinner the night before. He has completed the Hawaiian Iron Man. The amazing thing is that he has been in a wheel chair for 25 years – he completed the Ironman with only the use of his arms. He told us to think of the finish line and be prepared to change the way we think. I shall post more about this another day.
Debbie came and introduced herself to me at the dinner. She reads the blog but has her own very inspirational story to tell – she has said it very briefly but beautifully in a comment on the About page. I didn’t see her on race day but I looked up her time – Miss Speedy!!! Your little Daisy would be so proud of you xxx
Paul from Running Wild wrote a wonderful post just before P2P and encouraged me greatly. That’s where my Rock Star mantra comes from. If you haven’t read his blog please do, I gain so much inspiration from his writing. Thanks Paul x (and an awesome manly man sort of name, Paul – not that I’m biased).
Then of course there are those amazing people who I have trained with for P2P. They all nailed it. My beautiful friend Louise ran all the way in a time of 2:39:15. Janette, despite the knee niggle did the smoking time of 2:41:23 and Bruce 2:44:50. And my Pauly’s time was 2:33:04. And Louise’s husband Grant walked, yes WALKED in 3:08:02!!! Leigh and Leanne also nailed the P2P, Leanne took 8 minutes off her time from last year and Leigh had a happy run and enjoyed it all the way. They are all Rock Stars! Pinnacle Rock Stars!
“Come to Tasmania. Come to run. Come to have fun. This could be the best time of your life.”
– Bryce Courtenay (Point to Pinnacle Event Patron)
Yes Bryce Courtenay, you are so right. Point to Pinnacle has made memories that will never be forgotten.
Thank you to everyone who has believed in my P2P journey. To be the Unsporty Woman and to dream of doing something like this is so outside the comfort zone it’s on another planet. To be here now, at home on the farm with two P2P finisher’s medals is totally unbelievable. I wanted to do this event for my 50th Birthday but brought it forward a year and did it for my 49th. To be 10 days away from turning 50 with TWO P2Ps completed is beyond what I thought possible.
I love running. I love that it inspires us to go further than we ever thought we could.
Running explodes the concept of possible and makes the impossible a reality.
If you can dream it you can achieve it. I am proof.
To everyone who has encouraged me on my P2P journey, thank you so much. This year I dedicated my run to my Mum and Dad. Thanks Mum and Dad. Thanks to my beautiful, wonderful encouraging (and sometimes long suffering) training buddies, Janette and Bruce, Louise and Grant AND my beautiful Pauly. AND big big thanks to the running blogging community – we may be separated by oceans and countries but we know each other’s hearts and we echo our feelings around the globe one to another.
I did it – I ran all the way. Thank you Point to Pinnacle.
Happy running 🙂
PS unlike last year I’m not currently walking like tin man – Pauly and I even managed a 4km recovery run this morning.